May 30, 2011

Last Bets: regulating gambling’s grip on sport

Having a bet on the baseball might be illegal in every American state bar Nevada, but every morning on the sports pages are the odds. It's a reminder to those who would like to outlaw betting on Australian sports.

Richard Farmer

Crikey political commentator

Every Australian over 17 loses an average of $1300 a year on gambling -- that’s about $22 billion for the whole country each year. As the fight over independent Andrew Wilkie's pokies legislation hots up, over the next fortnight Crikey's new series Last Bets will examine just how hooked our country is on having a flutter. We're not talking about the average problem gambler's addiction here, instead, we'll dig into our state governments' reliance on revenue, the future of gambling online, its grip on sport, the burgeoning casino tourism industry and the role of pokies venues in local communities for starters. Today, Richard Farmer on Communication Minister Stephen Conroy's flagged crack down on commentators urging viewers to bet during live sport broadcasts: They are playing rugby league tonight at Centrebet Stadium. Saturday had the St Kilda Saints out on Perth's Paterson Oval displaying their Centrebet logo...

Friday had the Manly Sea Eagles in their Centrebet guernseys up in Brisbane...

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2 thoughts on “Last Bets: regulating gambling’s grip on sport

  1. John Bennetts

    “If you are a parent worried about your little darling being influenced…”

    There’s nothing “subliminal” about Centrebet’s adds.

    More like “In your face”?

  2. Gary

    Another angle..given the recent examination on profit margins of retailers (eg Harvey Norman 30~40% compared unfavourably with others.)

    given betting is a licence to print money..two flies up a wall australians will compulsively bet anything on anything.

    so what is the margin?
    and who owns the betting companies??

    i suspect foreign ownership has already sent most profit offshore …

    a local betting company could argue, and win, that one!

    partly explains the vociferous opposition to any regulation in Australia, given Europe is the most regulated betting market on the planet.
    Another first, alone with the absence of any effective privacy regulations, we really are still a colony in many ways…

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