Gambling related articles
Here is a letter from Senator Bob Brown to Prime
Minister John Howard on the issue of Betting Exchanges.
6 April 2005
Prime Minister John Howard
Dear Prime Minister
You will recall that in 2001 I voted in support
of the Government's legislation to ban online gambling
- providing the crucial vote that allowed the legislation
to pass. I supported the legislation because I am
deeply concerned about the social consequences of
increased access to highly addictive types of gambling
such as those provided online.
However my support was contingent on amendments to
the legislation aimed at protecting the horse racing
industry from any adverse impact from the new law.
A new type of online gambling - betting exchanges
- is now being considered by at least one state in
This form of gambling is both damaging to the racing
industry and allows a type of gambling counter to
the intent of the interactive gambling ban passed
in 2001. These new aberrant forms of gambling online
present an unnecessary social threat that could lead
to increased incidents of problem gambling.
I write to ask you to consider amending the Interactive
Gambling Act to specifically outlaw betting exchanges.
Here is a response to Senator Brown's letter (which
was published on the Greens website) from a professional
Good morning Cr Brown.
I was amazed to read recent news reports quoting
a letter from yourself to the Prime Minister regarding
the licensing of the Betting Exchange "Betfair" in
As an ardent Greens supporter I am shocked to see
the content of your letter. As a large professional
punter I cannot understand why an organisation which
offers a reduction in their "take" can be regarded
as an "unnecessary social threat" and why the real
social issues of problem gaming (such as Casinos and
Poker Machines) are not being adequately addressed.
The content of the Interactive Gaming Act is archaic
in that the distinction between telephone betting
and internet betting are distinguished, when they
are the same technology (one being more expensive
than the other - telephones). I agree that some forms
of online gambling can be addictive and support any
stance to outlaw gaming and casino style betting,
however gambling on sport outcomes is a completely
It would appear from your letter that you have been
hoodwinked by the Australian Racing Industry and monolithic
corporations that support it (i.e. Tabcorp and Tab
Ltd). The propaganda being bandied about by these
bodies must not be listened to, their efforts are
nothing more than a restraint of trade - and protecting
"shareholder" profits. It is about time a decent competitive
player was allowed to compete in this market.
I am appalled that the Greens would allow themselves
to take a stance on this issue which I consider to
be outside your mandate. I felt the need to write
this email, given I approached you prior to the Interactive
Gaming Act being passed and my concerns at that time
were ignored. I will be writing to various other people
who have similar situations as myself to highlight
your stance here.
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