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Greens call on Rudd to put pokies reform back on agenda

Australian Greens gambling spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, joined Tasmanian Senator, Peter Whish-Wilson, in Hobart today to announce the Greens policy on pokies for the 2013 election and call on Prime Minister Rudd to get behind pokies reform. 

"This parliament missed the opportunity to comprehensively deal with the harms from problem gambling but a new government has the opportunity to put pokies back on the political agenda," said Senator Di Natale.

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Pokies: Dollar Bet Limits

Australians are the world's most prolific gamblers. We spend a remarkable $1200 per capita every year on bets. 

Of the $19 billion gambled by Australians every year, 60% (or $12 billion) goes into poker machines. About 4% of the adult population, or 600,000 people, play pokies at least weekly. Up to 15% of the people who gamble weekly are considered "problem gamblers" who have difficulty controlling their play and expenditure. These problem gamblers account for about 40% of all pokies losses. This means that those who can least afford it are losing the most.

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Politics trumps evidence on gambling committee

A Greens-initiated Parliamentary Inquiry into gambling advertisements in sport has today reported its findings.
“Sadly the majority report reflects the views of the old parties who have again put politics before evidence,” said Greens spokesperson on gambling and sport, Senator Richard Di Natale.

“Despite the broad consensus of the committee that something needs to be done to disentangle gambling advertising from sport, the old parties have baulked at taking strong action.

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A big step forward on gambling promotion in sport but we need to finish the job: Greens

The Australian Greens have today welcomed the Gillard Government's push to ban gambling odds during live sports programs and restrict generic advertising, but say it needs to go further.

“These reforms are a big step forward but they absolutely wouldn’t have happened without the Greens putting the issue on the agenda and leading the way with a comprehensive plan for reform,” said Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne.

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Live odds are only one part of the problem: Greens

Australian Greens spokesperson for sport and gambling, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the reported move by betting agencies to ban live odds would only address one part of the problem.

“The Greens set up an inquiry into the promotion of gambling in sport back in February and it has thrown the industry and the government into a tail-spin,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Abbott is repeating Labor’s mistakes on odds: Greens

Australian Greens spokesperson for gambling and sport, Senator Richard Di Natale, today called on Tony Abbott to get behind a Greens bill to restrict the promotion of gambling in sport.

“I welcome Tony Abbott’s acknowledgement that there is a problem with the constant bombardment of betting ads in sport, but his announcement today will do nothing to fix it,” said Senator Di Natale, who referred this issue to an inquiry earlier this year.

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Greens bill to ban odds during sports

 Australian Greens spokesperson for sport and gambling, Senator Richard Di Natale, today released an exposure draft of a Greens bill that would ban the broadcast of betting odds during sports and sports-related programming.

“People should be able to sit down with their kids to watch a game of footy without being bombarded with betting odds,” said Senator Di Natale. “It’s becoming increasingly hard for young kids to know where the sport ends and the gambling begins.

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Waterhouse makes mockery of live odds reform

Australian Greens spokesperson for sport and gambling, Senator Richard Di Natale, said this morning that presence of Tom Waterhouse in the broadcast of the first NRL game in the 2013 season, shows that proposed reforms to the broadcast of live odds are dead on arrival.

“Gambling advertisements and odds are blight on Australian sport and they risk creating another generation of problem gamblers,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Minister Conroy supports industry-regulated codes on the broadcast of live odds but last night the weakness of those changes were highlighted.

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Labor taken for a spin by pokies industry: Greens

Australian Greens spokesperson on gambling, Senator Richard Di Natale, said today that Labor's cave-in to the pokies industry has been exposed but it still has one last chance to help problem gamblers.
“The Senate Inquiry into my $1 bet bill today has shown that it has always been the best option for gambling reform.
“Labor had an opportunity to enact a simple, effective and popular reform that would have helped reduce the harm from pokies but instead it caved in to pressure from vested interests, just like it did on the mining tax.

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