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24 March 2011

Australian Anti Gambling MP May Cost Labor Election, by Greg Tingle - 24th March 2011

G'day punters, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, legal eagles, politicians and all. How hot is the gambling debate in Australia? Well, hot enough to win or loose an election it seems according to numbers we have obtained, and the Liberal - Nationals coalition are heavily tipped to smash the Gillard Labor government. No surprises there, but the giant margin between the parties is the shock, as well as some surprised that Labor appears to be sticking by the man who looks primed to be a key reason for their upcoming defeat. Media Man and Gambling911 probe the gambling with politics debate, as Labor dives head first into what may be one of their most embarrassing election loses in decades...

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie Anti Gambling Stance Tipped To Cost Labour Election...

How much difference can one man - an MP make? Well, they can cost an election victory Labor is tipped to suffer.

The clearly bias MP, not independent in his views, has been cause of much of the political - gambling news to come out of Australia for well over a year, and the man many describe as a professional mischief maker may be soon going back to school, so to speak, as Gillard and co may ponder what went wrong.

Australia is estimated to have roughly 100,000 problem gamblers, if you believe the numbers which get spoken about (numbers we are skeptical about as their are agenda driven). MP Wilkie is hell bent to drive forward and create a national gambling pre-commitment system, that would allow individuals to set limits on their addictive behaviour. At least, that's the concept, but many world leading experts say his plan is doomed to fails, and just one reason is that gamblers will always find a way to gamble - finding the loop holes, be it borrowing a mates card, club swapping, fake ID, online gambling, illegal Kings Cross gambling dens and underground poker games in the suburbs of 'Sin City' Sydney and 'Underbelly Mother' Melbourne.

Clubs Australia king hit Labour and the independents yesterday at a conference held at the National Press Club in Canberra, with president Peter Newell proudly announcing a $20 million marketing campaign against the Wilkie reforms.

Newell believes that the scheme will not work, pushing pokie players into buying black market 'smart cards' – the proposed means of tracking users' gambling spend Australia wide. Clubs Australia believe pokie players will also leap across to other forms of gambling or set very high levels of 'pre-commitment' anyway. And, he says, it will be the death of 11,500 jobs and rape $800 million or so from the NSW economy.

Wilkie was pretty pissed off yesterday, holding a long press conference and here's some of what he had to say "If Clubs Australia think they can intimidate me with the nonsense we heard today, then they misjudge me badly. If anything, I feel more committed to these reforms than I have ever have."

Senator Nick Xenophon, another big anti gambling supporter, tag teamed with Wilkie at the press conference to sprout off the colourful "The poker machine lobby reminds me a bit like the slave owners of the 19th century in the United States, who say their whole way of life would be ruined if there were any changes bought about. That's how the industry is behaving."

This is one hell of a mighty WrestleMania like political battle. Wilkie achieved support from the Gillard government to pursue the pre-commitment scheme in return for helping it form minority government. He also snatched research from the Productivity Commission, some of which is heavily disputed from many experts. The PC reckons that 7 lives of family or friends are seriously impacted by each problem gambler, with a national social cost in the region of $4.7 billion a year.

In the blue corner, introducing 'The Devil'. Just kidding readers. Clubs Australia is well aware that an avalanche of clubs, pub and pokie palace closures will send massive anti-Labor sentiment through the communities they accommodate. We're talking about clubs like Blacktown RSL, which held a political debate with Labor coming off not looking too bad in the 2010 election campaign. But, Labor did not win in their own right.

Yesterday Wilkie was pretty fired up at the press conference. This is his main agenda - get rid of pokies, or all but close them down. What a life hey. Some believe he has the numbers to get the bill through the lower house, and via Nick 'Mr X' (satire) Xenophon will no longer hold the balance of power in the Senate by the time the bill arrives, Bob Brown's Greens will – and they are tipped to embrace the push, and will want to make it one of their own. But Greens don't like 'Big Brother' type tactics, so they say, so its a big time 'Art Of War' thing going on here.

$20 million bucks will help show that Labor is making a massive screw up. That might trigger Gillard screw over Wilkie.

Wilkie's may just have the numbers to play "silly buggers" (mold and manipulate et al) with the Gillard legislative agenda if he does not get his way, tipped to be the way of the bible basing brigade.

It's WrestleMania time both in the U.S and Australia and Clubs Australia VS the government are our main event. Is it going to be a steel cage match, a no holds barred contest for the championship, or will it go to a street fight 'real life Underbelly' style? Stay tuned fans.

Aussie Punters Bet Labor Will Be History In New South Wales...

The bookies have given the kiss of death to NSW Labor. Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt is a rank outsider in her electorate, as are Verity Firth in Balmain, Frank Terenzini in Maitland and Jodi McKay in Newcastle. Centrebet's preliminary odds, published today, show the bookies are sure Labor is a dead duck in the inner city and the Hunter. Ms Tebbutt is at $2.25 to $1.58 for Fiona Byrnes of the Greens. Ms Firth is $3.70 against $1.24 for the Greens' Jamie Parker. Ms Firth's fight for Balmain was spectacularly unsettled on January 28, after her husband Matthew Chesher, the chief-of-staff to the Roads Minister David Borger, was charged with buying an ecstasy pill. Mr Terenzini is tipped to lose his seat, with the Liberal Robyn Parker a favourite at $1.52 to $2.40. In Newcastle Ms McKay is an outsider against John Tate, an independent who is also the lord mayor. Neil Evans of Centrebet said punters generally showed more nous than pollsters.

"We're talking about very connected people who are not betting to lose," he said. "The closer you get to an election, the more informed the money is. You can take a snap of 500 people in a poll, but they might think something one day and something different the next."

Sportsbet's odds are even worse news for Labor. It puts a win by Ms Tebbutt at $4.50 to Ms Byrne's $1.10, and Ms Firth at $7 to $1.28 for Mr Parker. As for who will be premier, 90% of Centrebet punters say Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell. It is not all bad news for Labor. Betting agencies say Kristina Keneally and her predecessor as premier, Nathan Rees, will both win their seats. Centrebet has priced a win by Ms Keneally in Heffron at $1.06, with the Liberal and Greens candidates both long shots at $8 and $9.50. Mr Rees, who bypassed a rank-and-file ballot to be endorsed as the candidate by the party's national executive, appears to have more competition in Toongabbie - his odds are at $1.74 to $2 for the Coalition. Sportsbet has already compiled odds for who will be the Labor leader at the 2015 election, and it does not look good for Ms Keneally. She is equal third with Mr Borger, behind Transport Minister John Robertson and Police Minister Michael Daley. In the lead-up to the 2010 federal election, Centrebet's seat-by-seat odds showed a hung parliament, with Labor holding 75 seats, the Coalition 71, independents three and the Greens one - pretty close to the actual result of Labor 72, Coalition 73, independents four and Greens one. Do Aussie punters know a thing or two about election betting? Just ask Labor... in about a week. Can we have mops ready please to clean up the bloody crimson mass!

Aussie Punter bets $30,000 on NSW coalition...

One punter put their money where their mouth is and has wagered $30,000 on a win for the NSW coalition in the upcoming state elections. A Centrebet spokesman said tonight that a client has bet $30,000 on the NSW Coalition at $1.015 to win Saturday's state election. The person who placed the bet would gain only $450 if the coalition wins as NSW Labor has drifted to the high price of $16, according to Centrebet. "Nearly $250,000 has been bet into the election - and the money split is 93-7 the coalition's way," Centrebet spokesman Neil Evans said. Word of the Aussie political betting has leaked to the likes of PartyGaming and Virgin Games, with both becoming more interested to start taking bets on Australian elections.

A Media Man spokesperson said "The Aussie punter who placed the wager must know we most of us already know - Labor is going to cop an almighty beating. The only difference is that they placed money on it. Overseas betting agencies have also taken note, always looking at new ways to expand business. Quite ironic that the anti gambling brigade has been so vocal in this election. We prefer slots and tables games over election betting, but don't let that stop you. Know the odds and have fun, as they say".

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

Online Casinos, Online Poker and Sports Betting...

Ok readers, we hear you... you also want to know some of the best places to play online (that accept Aussies) if your in or around the Asia Pacific - Australia (including Tassie) and New Zealand, so here it is... (Many of the world's best slot games. Aussies and Kiwi's welcome).

Captain Cooks Casino

Betfair (sports betting only) (poker, slots including Marvel slot games and sports betting) (online poker at one of the world's most respected poker rooms and gaming brands)


Australian Casinos

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If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

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