April 2001

Overstepping the mark on internet gambling legislation.

If only the federal government were serious about protecting Australians from the 'evils' of gambling! If only they hadn't allowed this country to introduce the highest per capita number of poker machines in the world. These machines, with their disgraceful percentage payouts, hypnotic addictive design and specially tailored environments, are the scourge of the problem gambler.

Next in line for luring problem gamblers are the casinos, with their glossy advertising, flashing lights and again, mostly appalling percentage payouts to the punter. Is the federal government targeting them? No.

Instead they have introduced a bill which will greatly reduce the availability of skill based forms of betting such as online horse racing, footy and other sports betting where punters have at least a fighting chance, and will consequently drive more business to the brainless pokies and casino games that are such a blight on our society.

This foolish legislation has not been properly thought through. It is doubtful it can even be enforced in the unlikely event that it makes it through the senate, a house that for all its controversy has a good record of spotting political grandstanding and rejecting stupid bills.

Perhaps the sweeping nature of this proposal is just a gambit by the Howard Government, expecting that it will be amended and watered down to a form that they secretly believe is reasonable but may have been defeated if proposed in that form straight away.


"It's 3am. There's a knock on the door. I think it's Mickey and his boys come to collect on the loan. I begged Clem and Marty to stay for a few more rounds, I knew my luck was turning, but they scarpered with their winnings a few hours back.

How did I land myself in this mess? I had 10 g's in my pocket last week. I gotta be doing something wrong..."

Alcohol, prostitution, drugs, internet porn... prohibition has never worked!



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