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The Boys from Brisbane

Peter Denkel wants to set the record straight regarding Senator Alston's attempt to curtail the Aussies' propensity for gambling:

Regarding the response by Luke Murphy quoting figures like 20M people, 20% worlds pokies, and saying that this bill is a good thing, some clarification may be in order.

The main point to note is that other services, such as phone betting, will not be affected by the proposed legislation. This means that sports betting through agencies such as the TAB (which, by the way, has offered phone betting services in New South Wales (don't know about the other states) since 1965 AND was a government established and owned agency up till 1998) will hardly be affected. The only form of gambling to really lose out due to this legislation will be online casinos.

Given the number of cities or towns that have at least one gaming venue to attract gamblers with their flashing lights, exciting sounds, EFTPOS and bar facilities and scorching hot, open air car parks in which you can leave your kids to fry to death in the car, I, like any other sane person, fail to see what this legislation hopes to achieve.

Maybe I'm just cynical, but it appears to me that online gambling could be harder to regulate and tax than some other forms. Perhaps the pollies are just worried that they may miss out on their cut? More likely this is just some more short-sighted moral crusading leading into what is likely to be a shocking defeat for the current government at this year's election. Keep your eyes open, cause there are likely to be more ludicrous policies presented during this year bearing what appear to be distinct sphincter marks.

Thanks. We look forward with pleasure to more legislative lunacy from Down Under.

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