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Game-on for online gambling reform

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For more information contact Jeremy Roberts on 0433 620 850 or Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677

24 / 11 / 2015

GAME-ON FOR ONLINE GAMBLING REFORM  Sweeping on-line gambling reform Bill being introduced today into Senate

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, will today introduce a wide-ranging reform Bill of Australia’s online gambling sector designed to end credit betting, set up a national ‘opt out’ register for gamblers and ban gambling inducements that are driving many Australians to financial and personal ruin.

The Bill is based on many of the recommendations made in Financial Counselling Australia’s landmark report Duds, Mugs and the A List, which Senator Xenophon launched in September. The Bill also dove-tails on the review by former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, instigated by then-Social Services Minister Scott Morrison. However Senator Xenophon has criticised the review for being too narrowly focused on illegal offshore casinos and having a lesser emphasis on the damage caused by legal online gambling outfits in Australia.

“If you’ve lost your life savings, or your home, on a legal sports betting site the damage is still the same as for an illegal offshore site. In fact, it makes it more galling because it highlights the illusory nature of consumer protection provisions in Australia that are centred on the pathetically weak Northern Territory laws,” said Nick.

The Bill being introduced this afternoon will include measures to: • Ban credit gambling and inducements • Ban gambling ads on television during G rated times and during sports broadcasts • Close the online ‘in play’ betting loophole and outlaw micro-event betting • Set up a national self-exclusion register for problem gamblers

The Bill is expected to be introduced after Question Time today and Senator Xenophon will move to have it referred to a Senate Committee for inquiry.