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19 May 2011

Gambling Australian Gambling Reform Committee Hopeful Of Results, by Greg Tingle - 19th May 2011

Gambling reform remains a hot topic in Australia. You've got the political and joe public lovers and haters, sometimes sensational headlines, and all manner of expects throwing their 2 cents in the ring. Media Man and Gambling911 take another look at this political hot potato...

Enter the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform in Australia.

We've learned that they have just launched an inquiry into the increasingly popular interactive gambling sector.

In order to help snatch support to form the current Labour government the Prime Minister Julia Gillard made a sweetish deal with a few independent MP's. It's now believed that she promised one of those members Andrew Wilkie that a Select Committee of the Parliament would be created to deliver advise to the Government, and in particular to respond to recommendations made by the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Gambling released prior to the election.

Here's a bit of history...The "JSCOGR" was officially started in September of 2010 and reported the results of its first inquiry into the introduction of a pre-commitment system for electronic gaming machines on May 6th 2011.

One may speculate that the committee is biased with Mr. Wilkie as chair and anti gambling politician Senator Nick Xenophon as Deputy Chair. I mean, comon, it needs to be said. Blind Freddy can see that. How did this committee makeup get green-lighted, and by whom? We think that answer will come out eventually, and then it may be back to square one again.

Actual results leading to recommendations of these nature of parliamentary inquiries are not binding on the Federal Government. Senator Xenophon has stated repeatedly that online gambling should be seriously regulated by the government. Many media and gaming analysts including even the Media Man outfit tend to agree.

The inquiry kicked off with basic investigations into areas such as the prevalence of interactive and online gambling in Australia and the adequacy of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to effectively deal with its social and economic impacts.

Prior to the Australian Federal Election in 2010 another inquiry was initiated by Senator Xenophon called the Senate Reference Committee on Community Affairs. It was during the election the inquiry was put on hold and revised to create the new Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform which uses similar terms of reference as the Senate Reference Committee on Community Affairs.

Before you could say uncle, new additions to the previous inquiry parameters included the risk of match-fixing in sports as a result of the types of wagers available online, and if certain types of bets should be prohibited, such as spot-betting aka "exotic betting" in sports which may expose sports to corruption.

Just when all the confusion will come to an end is anyone's bet.

Gambling continues to be one of the world's most successful industries and most popular pastimes, and Aussie gamblers are some of the most popular in the world.

With the Aussie news media and internet push on it seems unlikely that slots - offline or online, or sports betting and poker are going to decline in popularity any time soon. All gambling sub sectors are generally on the increase with the public, and now it just seems that all regulations across the board need to get into step with the landscape of the land. Rest assured legal eagles will continue to be busy and media reports will continue to be pumped out, keeping punters, politicians and all other interested parties abreast of the latest news. What else is left to say than good punting, and bet with your head, not over it.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies, gaming and casino wars.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

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