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Waterhouse makes mockery of live odds reform

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 8 Mar 2013

Australian Greens spokesperson for sport and gambling, Senator Richard Di Natale, said this morning that presence of Tom Waterhouse in the broadcast of the first NRL game in the 2013 season, shows that proposed reforms to the broadcast of live odds are dead on arrival.

“Gambling advertisements and odds are blight on Australian sport and they risk creating another generation of problem gamblers,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Minister Conroy supports industry-regulated codes on the broadcast of live odds but last night the weakness of those changes were highlighted.

“The proposed new code prevents commentators from broadcasting live odds but during the broadcast of the first game in the 2013 NRL season, Channel 9 crossed to Tom Waterhouse on the field for live odds. Most young kids watching the game would think that Mr Waterhouse was part of the commentary team but there won’t be anything in the proposed voluntary code preventing this in future.

“This is just the next step in the growing nexus between gambling and sport. Kids already find it hard to know where sport ends and gambling begins, and incorporating bookies into the broadcasting just normalises gambling further.

“It goes to show that if Minister Conroy is serious about reform in this area, he simply cannot rely on the industry to do the right thing. I initiated a parliamentary inquiry to investigate this issue and it’s now becoming clear that we need legislation to prohibit the promotion of any odds during sports related programming.

“Labor needs to get behind my push for meaningful reform and stop kowtowing to vested interests in the same way it did to the pokies industry.”

Media Contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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