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Murphy’s gambling report ‘considered’ – PM – Bayside News

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THE federal government will “consider” the recommendations of a gambling inquiry chaired by former Dunkley MP Peta Murphy, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says.

The inquiry into online gambling harm chaired by Murphy published its final report in June 2023. Six months on, the federal government has not committed to implementing all of its 31 recommendations.

Last week Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters in Frankston that the federal government would consider the recommendations, but did not commit to taking action on all of them.

“The federal government commits to considering all of the recommendations that are in the report, which is what we do. We give consideration to that – we know that gambling has a real impact on people in this area and right around. You need to make sure that governments are cognisant of that, but I do pay tribute to the work that Peta Murphy did as chair of that committee,” Albanese said. “She was concerned about the law, about health, about education, about gambling, about cost of living issues in this community.”

The 31 recommendations contained in the final “You win some you lose more” report included a ban on online gambling advertising, stronger consumer protections for licensed online gambling, a crackdown on illegal gambling websites, and a legislated duty of care. After the report’s release Peta Murphy said “gambling advertising and simulated gambling through video games is grooming children and young people to gamble and encourages riskier behaviour. The torrent of advertising is inescapable. It is manipulating an impressionable and vulnerable audience to gamble online.”

“A phased, comprehensive ban on online gambling advertising is recommended within three years. This will give major sports and broadcasters time to find alternative advertisers and sponsors, while preventing another generation from experiencing escalating gambling harm,” she said.

Murphy died in December last year. A by-election to fill her seat will take place on 2 March – Labor has selected Women’s Spirit Project founder Jodie Belyea to be its candidate and the Liberals have preselected Frankston mayor Nathan Conroy.

Online gambling statistics are not as readily available as other forms of gambling. The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission tracks losses on poker machines in each local government area – gamblers in the Frankston Council area lost more than $67.6 million on pokies in the 2022/2023 financial year – but does not track online gambling losses by municipality.

Victorian gamblers lost $2.58 billion on sports and race betting in 2021/2022, according to State Revenue Office data.

An article on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website read that online gambling is on the rise. “In 2011 and 2019, national telephone surveys were conducted to estimate the prevalence of online and land-based modes of gambling in Australia. The research found overall gambling participation, online and land-based modes combined, decreased from 64.3 percent in 2010–11 to 56.9 percent in 2019,” the article read. “This was mostly attributable to a decline in land-based gambling during that time, while online gambling increased by 9.4 percent. In 2019 the most common online products that money was spent on were lotteries, race betting and sports betting.

“In 2022 [research] participants described a range of emerging trends in gambling that they had observed, including an increase in exposure to gambling marketing – including advertising (for example, television, social media), promotions and incentives (for example, multi-bets, bonus bets, cash back offers, bet with mates), and sponsorships (for example, promotion of sports by celebrities or athletes) – an increase in online gambling, and concern about the potential harms due to factors such as the widespread availability and ease of access.”

In December, the federal government passed legislation to restrict gamblers from using credit cards and digital currency to gamble online.

First published in the Frankston Times – 23 January 2024

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