In response to the gambling inquiry report out today, Greens spokesperson for Gambling Reform, Senator Janet Rice said:
“Today’s gambling inquiry report and its recommendations are a first step towards reducing the awful harm caused by gambling. The crucial test is the Government’s response - we need urgent action from Labor rather than continuing to deny, delay and defer until after the next election.
"It is good to see the inquiry recommend a national gambling regulator. This is something the Greens have long been calling for. Government must act urgently to establish a strong regulator with teeth.
"Government after government have allowed gambling harm to go unchecked for far too long. Corporations and governments have profited at the expense of vulnerable people and communities.
"The BetStop program has been delayed for far too long, and there’s still no clear timeframe for implementation. The Labor party can’t continue to hide behind reviews and reports - the time for action is now.”
Greens Communications spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“Gambling ads should be banned by footy finals time.
“Gambling addiction fuelled by advertising wrecks lives, communities and sport. The power and donations of the gambling lobby also infect our democracy.
“These recommendations are welcome but the Greens are concerned that the Government has not backed them immediately. The Communications Minister can and should act immediately to crack down on gambling ads.
“Footy finals are just around the corner and parents and sports lovers shouldn’t have to sit through another finals season being bombarded with betting odds and gambling ads.
“Three years is too long - 3 years means 3 more years of gambling ads fuelling addiction, wrecking lives and affecting children.
“I have told the Minister we are willing to work with the Government to make this happen. There is no reason for delay. Parliament is back in August, let’s get a move on then and start removing the harm this insidious industry that profits off addiction is doing to families.
“The proposed timeline puts implementation beyond the next election, leaving the door wide open for the cashed-up gambling lobby to get their tentacles into the Government and pressure them to water down the reforms we know we need now. We’ve seen this before and we shouldn’t let it happen again.
“The gambling lobby has powerful political influence, is cashed-up and donates to both the major parties. Now is the time for action, not words. At the very least the Government should back these recommendations on gambling advertising and implement them as soon as possible."