At a press conference in Melbourne last Thursday, independent senator Nick Xenophon announced alongside other independent members of government that he will be re-engaging in his quest to cap poker bet machines with $1 maximum limits and creating bans on gambling advertising.
Xenophon is passionate about his stance as he has joined forces with anti-gambling campaigner, Tim Costello.
“This is an issue that will not go away,” said Xenophon at the press conference. “There are 400,000 people with a severe gambling addiction or well on the way to getting one. We are here to say that we will be planning a whole series of measures, both in the parliament and outside the parliament to deal with the issue of gambling reform.”
Xenophon’s position is in direct conflict with that of the new Coalition government.
One of the specific targets of the anti-gambling campaign is banning advertisements during sporting broadcasts.
“So many parents have approached all of us to say they are appalled their seven and eight and ten-year-old children are talking about the odds of a game rather than the game itself…There is a specific exemption that applies to gambling ads during sports broadcasts, which is an anomaly, and that loophole needs to be shut down in accordance with overwhelming community sentiment in relation to this,” Xenophon said.