The Coalition today released a Discussion Paper on Gambling Reform signalling its intent to (among other things) prohibit gambling companies from offering credit to their customers.
Federal Member for Aston, Alan Tudge MP, has been campaigning for this reform ever since an unemployed Wantirna man was provided with $80,000 in credit by Sportsbet earlier this year.
Mr Tudge had raised his concerns in the Coalition Party Room and had been consulting stakeholders in recent months over the merits of prohibiting gambling companies issuing credit.
Mr Tudge said he was pleased to have proposed this issue which has lead to this policy direction.
“I have been pushing for this measure for several months now, ever since a local man almost lost his house after being offered $80,000 in credit from online gambling company, Sportsbet.
“When this young man came to see me to seek assistance, I set two objectives. First, to save the young man’s house. And second, to change the law so that cases like this could not happen again. We succeeded on the first objective, and now are one step closer on the second.
“It is one thing to gamble away your savings account; it is another to be able to literally gamble your house away without leaving your living room.” Mr Tudge said, “Some basic protections are required.”
The Discussion Paper also signals an intent to introduce restrictions on advertising by online gambling companies.
“Dozens of local residents have contacted me in relation to the extent of gambling advertising, including during sports and other programs that kids watch. It is something that needs to be looked at” Mr Tudge said.
Mr Tudge is also a member of the newly established Coalition Working Group which will develop the national policies to address problem gambling over the next few months.
Industry, the community and interested parties are invited to participate in the Working Group process by making submissions by 31 January 2012 to http://gamblingtaskforce.com.au/submissions/
CLICK HERE to read the Coalition’s Discussion Paper