Cross bench to push gambling reforms
GAMBLING reform is back on the agenda, with two key politicians looking to capitalise on the Turnbull government's slim majority in the House and lack of a majority in the Senate.
A deal with the Gillard government on gambling reforms driven by Andrew Wilkie MP and Senator Nick Xenophon fell flat after a public campaign against it by Clubs Australia.
But the two crossbenchers are looking to put the issues - including proposals for $1 limits on poker machine bets and mandatory pre-commitment - back on the agenda in parliament.
"The gambling lobby may have enormous political and financial muscle but that melts away in the face of the countless lives damaged by gambling addiction," Sen Xenophon said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is likely to have a one-seat majority in the House. In the Senate he will need to deal with a diverse crossbench or Labor to pass any legislation for the next three years.
Mr Wilkie and Sen Xenophon on Thursday put Mr Turnbull on notice that they would push to re-establish a joint select committee to investigate gambling reforms.
They would also be reintroducing bills from the last parliament to reform gaming laws, including putting in place maximum $1 bets on pokies, as recommended by a 2010 Productivity Commission.
They would also ban sports betting advertising on television during G-rated viewing hours, in a bid to limit children's exposure to gambling in the home.
"The great many Australian problem gamblers who lose billions of dollars a year deserve meaningful reform," Mr Wilkie said.
"So too do the between five and 10 people per problem gambler who are adversely affected, not to mention the millions of Australians who want reform."