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Government's on-line gambling review ignores the almost $1 billion a year lost on legal on-shore sites, and the carnage it causes: odds-on, Government squibs on-line gambling review

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

7 / 9 / 2015 Government’s on-line gambling review ignores the almost $1 billion a year lost on legal on-shore sites, and the carnage it causes


WHAT: Media conference with Nick Xenophon WHEN: 3pm today (Monday) WHERE: Mural Hall, level two, Parliament House Canberra

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, says the Government’s online gambling review has taken the “easy way out, by ignoring the up-to 50 per cent of money lost onshore through legal online gambling sites”.

Senator Xenophon was critical of the Government only focusing on illegal offshore wagering, given the almost $1 billion a year lost on legal sites and the damage it causes to Australians.

“Just three weeks ago I launched Financial Counselling Australia’s landmark report Duds, Mugs and the A List, which set out the devastation legal sports betting sites are causing to an increasing number of Australians, particularly young men,” said Nick. “This very narrow review ignores the powerful vested interests of the on-line gambling industry in Australia, including Jamie Packer’s CrownBet, and the impact of TV advertising on driving a problem gambling culture.”

Senator Xenophon will urge Minister Scott Morrison to broaden the terms of the inquiry to include legal Australian sites.

“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.

Senator Xenophon will introduce legislation into the next sitting of the Senate to reform the Interactive Gambling Act targeting both legal and illegal gambling sites. The measures will include:  Ban credit gambling and inducements

 Ban gambling ads to be broadcast during games  Restrict the ‘in play’ betting loophole and outlaw micro-event betting  Set up a national self-exclusion register for problem gamblers  Provide for family intervention orders - based on legislation in force in South Australia

The Bill will also seek to tackle illegal online gambling sites by providing mechanisms to disrupt their financial transactions.