Report on gambling reforms 'out of touch': Xenophon

A REPORT on gambling reforms and live odds promotion during sports broadcasts is "completely out of touch" on the impact of betting advertising, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said on Friday.

The report, by the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform, was released on Friday morning.

Driven primarily by Senator Xenophon and committee chair Andrew Wilkie, independent members and The Greens hoped it would lead to tougher laws on betting agencies.

But the report, by majority vote of Gillard Government and Opposition MPs, recommended not passing The Greens bill for gambling reform.

Instead, it suggested the government review industry self-regulation with a view to further regulations "if the industry does not make appropriate changes" on the promotion of gambling during family sport television hours.

Senator Xenophon said the majority recommendations failed to fundamentally address the problems created by live-odds broadcasting, and the potential effects on children.

"The fact that children will continue to be exposed to gambling advertising during sports broadcasts-and the proposed live odds ban-only affects 5% of advertising," he said.

"The evidence given to the committee from independent researchers overwhelmingly highlighted the critical need to ban all forms of gambling advertising during such broadcasts."

He said children would still be vulnerable whenever they watched a football match, due to the "avalanche of gambling advertising during breaks in play".

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, who has campaigned on gambling reforms, said the report showed "the old parties have again put politics before evidence".

"Despite the broad consensus of the committee that something needs to be done to disentangle gambling advertising from sport, the old parties have baulked at taking strong action," he said.

"While the Greens and independents have recommended legislating to end the bizarre loophole that allows gambling ads during kids' viewing times, the old parties have supported the failed approach of industry self-regulation that has got us into this mess."

The committee had a majority of Labor Party members, with two Coalition members, and two independents, while Senators Di Natale and John Madigan were participating members.

Topics:  andrew wilkie betting gambling nick xenophon reforms

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