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Parliamentary inquiry into online gambling continues today

Parliament House

Online gambling companies and Australian bookmakers will face public hearings today in Canberra as part of the national parliamentary inquiry into online gambling, gambling harm and gambling advertising.

The House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs will hold public hearings on Tuesday, April 4, and Wednesday, April 5, as part of its inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm.

Chair of the Committee, Peta Murphy MP, said: “On Tuesday, we will question Sportsbet, Tabcorp and Entain (operator of brands Ladbrokes and Neds), and the peak industry body Responsible Wagering Australia, about whether industry is doing enough to limit the harm of online gambling in the Australian community.

“Research released last week by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) shows that Australians support greater restrictions on gambling advertising, and that gambling advertising encourages people to gamble and to do so in more risky ways.

“The AFL and NRL are major beneficiaries of sports betting, including through sponsorship and advertising, and receiving a proportion of each bet placed on their games. The Committee is interested in hearing how this aligns with the promotion of their codes as family-friendly and socially responsible organisations.”

Australia’s bookmakers are aware of the rising tide of emotion against online gambling and its overt advertising amongst social media and some government corridors.

Appearing at Tuesday’s parliamentary hearing are Tabcorp’s Adam Rytenskild, Sportsbet’s Barni Evans, and Lottery Corporation’s (formerly Tabcorp lottery division) Susan van der Merwe.

Only Entain, which owns online bookmakers Neds and Ladbrokes, has decided not to send CEO Dean Shannon, but is instead sending its head of regulatory strategy and safer gambling, Stephen Lang.

Some of Australia’s major sporting codes will be represented at today’s meeting, with the AFL’s Gil McLachlan and the NRL’s Andrew Abdo both to appear.

Former Liberal Party politician Nick Minchin will appear in his current role as chairman of the Australian bookmaking industry’s lobbying body, Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA).

The online gambling inquiry continues today as Sportsbet and Entain are both the subject of AUSTRAC investigations into breaches of anti money laundering (AML) and counter terrorism financing (CTF) laws.

Also appearing on April 4 are the Australian Banking Association, the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association, The Lottery Corporation, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, and the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

On Wednesday, March 5, the Committee will hear from the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) about its new gambling research findings.

The hearings will be live-streamed on the APH website:

Online Gambling Inquiry Public Hearings

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