Charles Livingstone writes in The Conversation (24.6.16) about the positions of the major parties regarding the gambling industry, and whether the make-up of the next federal parliament – with the possible Senate success of the Nick Xenophon Team – will increase the chances of achieving gambling reform.
‘Since then-prime minister Julia Gillard appointed Peter Slipper to the speaker’s chair in 2011, the gambling lobby has appeared triumphant in defeating any substantial reform of gambling regulation.
‘Slipper became speaker because Gillard was under enormous pressure to back down on her agreement with independent MP Andrew Wilkie. Wilkie had agreed to support her minority government in the parliament, but one of his conditions was to introduce a pre-commitment system for poker machines.
‘The gambling industry took this very seriously. ClubsNSW and various associates saw the reforms off with a highly effective and multi-pronged campaign.
‘ … It is probably not the gambling industry that has been most effective on keeping [reforms] off the agenda, however. The revenue that flows from all those TV ads goes into the coffers of the broadcasting industry. From there, it finds its way onto the bottom line of the major sporting codes, via inflated broadcast rights.
‘It is hard to find a politician who wants to get on the bad side of the TV networks, sporting codes and bookmakers all at the same time.’