Clubs Australia misses the jackpot. There are no bells, whistles or flashing lights for Clubs Australia this morning: its gamble to offer a trial of mandatory pre-commitment for pokie players has failed to pay off.

Clubs Australia’s CEO Anthony Ball — who will feature in our Sydney Top 10 power list — wrote to the federal government last week offering to run a trial of the system in one state. But problem-gambling crusader Andrew Wilkie MP told The Power Index this morning: “Nothing has changed.” — Paul Barry (read the full story here)

Tony Crook gets his time in the spotlight. Tony Crook, the most low-profile cross-bencher in the House of Representatives, is finally getting his first real taste of power — but don’t think that he’s enjoying it.

Crook is this week expected to have the crucial vote in the lower house on Julia Gillard’s legislation to restore the federal government’s authority to process asylum seekers offshore. If Gillard’s bill goes down on the floor, it will make her government the first in over 80 years to lose a vote on a bill in the House of Representatives — a humiliating defeat that would further destabilise her leadership. — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)

Rann comes out of the closet on marriage debate. Mike Rann has finally said what he’s believed for years and backed same-s-x couples’ right to get married.

In a speech last night to mark the end of the Adelaide’s Festival of Ideas he evoked the memory of pioneering South Australian Premier Don Dunstan, who was the first to decriminalise homos-xuality way back in 1975. Rann has never dared to speak out in favour of same-s-x marriage before because he was put into the job (and kept in power) by the ultra-conservative Catholic shopworkers union, the SDA. — Paul Barry (read the full story here)

Peter Fray

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