A set of legislative proposals aimed at limiting the political power of poker-machine clubs and pubs in the state of New South Wales (NSW) by prohibiting such establishments from making political donations is being officially submitted to the state parliament today.
The gambling industry is a major contributor to political campaigns in Australia. In the 2019 federal election, the gambling industry donated more than $10 million to political parties. This level of spending has given the gambling industry a significant amount of influence over government gambling policy.
The bill would amend the Electoral Funding Act 1981 to prohibit political donations from poker-machine clubs and pubs. These venues would be classified as “prohibited donors” under the act, along with property developers, liquor and gambling industry companies, and tobacco businesses.
The bill is needed to curb the political influence of the gambling industry. The gambling industry is a major donor to political parties in New South Wales, and this has led to concerns about the industry’s ability to influence government policy. According to the National Tribune, the current NSW Premier, Chris Minns, was quoted thus:
“Our bill closes a political loophole. “It is common sense that, if other gambling entities are banned from making political donations, it should apply to all clubs.” He went on to say, “I hope we can attract support from across the parliament for this overdue reform.
The bill is also needed to protect vulnerable people from harm. Poker machines are a major form of gambling addiction in New South Wales, and the bill would help to reduce the amount of money that is gambled on these machines.
The bill will now be debated in the New South Wales Parliament. If it is passed, it will come into effect on January 1, 2024. NSW Special Minister of State John Graham was quoted as saying that “This bill will ban political parties from accepting financial donations from clubs with gaming machines—it is another election commitment we are seeing through.” He continued, “From January 16 this year, NSW Labor took action to not accept donations from clubs with gaming machines. This bill will extend that ban to every state political party.”
Ultimately, the goal should be to create a gambling environment that is fair and safe for everyone. The ban on political donations is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to protect people from gambling harm. The ban on political donations will make it more difficult for the gambling industry to influence gambling policy. This is a positive development for responsible gambling, as it will make it easier for governments to implement measures to protect people from gambling harm.
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