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Democrats welcome PM's gambling statement.



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Media Release

Senator John Woodley 

Senator for Queensland 

Australian Democrats spokesperson for

16/12/99

Democrats welcome PM’s gambling statement

The Democrats have welcomed Prime Minister John Howard’s promise today to examine ways of reducing the ex pansion of problem gambling in Australia.

Democrat Senator for Queensland, John Woodley, said the Democrats would wholeheartedly support a ban on Internet gambling.

"Australia already has a massive gambling problem. We need Internet gambling like a hole in the head.

"The Democrats are heartened by this strong acknowledgement from the Prime Minister of the human suffering caused by problem gambling.

"But more is needed. A top priority should be restrictions on poker machines.

"Public opinion is behind restricting poker machines but state governments are refusing to take a stand.

"The Democrats see the Prime Minister’s promise to ban Internet gambling and raise him one national limit on poker machines."

Senator Woodley said state regulation of Internet gambling needed close attention - following the Queensland Government’s allocation of an Internet gambling license to GOCORP, a company part-owned at the time by state labor MPs. (The Queensland Government has since moved to prohibit such ownership.)

The Democrats referred the GOCORP matter to a Senate Inquiry on Online Gaming which is due to take evidence from GOCORP and the Queensland government next year.

Senator Woodley said a national strategy on gambling would win the government similar support to the guns crackdown.

"Gambling is an issue like firearms - they are both scourges of society. The less we have of either, the better it will be for the nation."

 

 

jy  1999-12-21  15:36