Nick Xenophon, currently running as an independent Senate candidate for South Australia, has called for sports betting ads to be subject to the same restrictions as alcohol advertising, so they avoid peak viewing time for our children.
He argues that given Australians lose more than $1.2 billion on sports betting each year with increasing levels of harm, especially among young people, the proposed restrictions are sensible and overdue.
Given the concern that exists across our community about the harm sports betting is doing, it could be somewhat surprising that it has been virtually absent from the current election campaign.
None of the major parties have promised major reform on this issue. The silence on this from our politicians is deafening.
It would be puzzling - unless you understand the staggering amount of money the gambling industries funnel through to our political parties.
We know that $50 million in political donations from gambling interests was disclosed at the Commonwealth level in the decade to 2019-20.
Now an ABC investigation has revealed organisations and individuals linked to the gambling industry have poured at least $18 million in political donations into the states and territories in recent years.
It is a salient and troubling reminder of the money the gambling industry commits to influencing our political system.
And while politicians and donors alike argue such massive donations do not buy influence, one just needs to look at the evidence.
This is an industry that is awash with evidence of money laundering, financial fraud and criminal infiltration.
The damning evidence against Crown Casino and now rival The Star speaks to an industry that creates enormous harm.
And yet, from a political perspective, it appears they have near impunity.
That's why a key plank of the Alliance for Gambling Reform's election policy platform is the critical need to reform political donations.
At least, we need to ban donations from any gambling licence holder, including board or committee members and peak bodies, to political parties and candidates.
We should go further in totally reforming our political donation system, and heeding the calls from organisations like Transparency International Australia who have raised the alarm about Australia's deteriorating anti-corruption standing.
And of course we should ban all sports gambling advertising on television, radio and online.
Last year sports gambling advertising soared to $287 million, and that's before the value of online ads is included. The industry is increasingly aggressive, and will not self-regulate.
Australia led the world in important public health and public interest actions in banning tobacco advertising. It is possible. We owe it to our kids to do it again.
Beyond sports gambling reform, we urgently need other reforms to protect the community against the harms of gambling.
During the last parliamentary term, the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services recommended legislative changes to ban the use of credit cards for gambling, directly or through third-party payment systems like digital wallets. The next Federal Parliament needs to swiftly finish off this process as a key part of the national consumer protection framework.
And our leaders need to create a national casino regulator and online gambling ombudsman.
The past two years have seen the establishment of unparalleled judicial inquiries into casinos in Australia. They have revealed a consistent failure both of self-regulation and also state regulation of casinos. A similar problem exists with online gambling.
We must do more to regulate casinos and online gambling at the national level.
It is tragic that only a very few candidates are willing to speak out during this campaign. Not that political journalists have asked questions on the issue
There is widespread outrage by parents at not being able to protect their kids from this insidious advertising. The first and primary responsibility of adults is to protect children from adult products.
Gambling causes untold harm in our community. All Australians should be able to live their lives free from the harm gambling causes.
But instead of representing us, our political leaders are beholden to the industry because of our flawed political donation system. We deserve better.
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