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A bit of Xenophonobia

I see that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been encouraged to ‘take on’ the gambling industry by the independent South Australian senator Nick Xenophon. Xenophon told ABC’s breakfast programme that he thinks online gambling is ‘a bad idea’, and he says that there is great ‘potential for corruption’ in online sports betting.

Not that this is anything new, but what sort of world do some people live in?

Surely if a ‘potential for corruption’ were the basis for whether something was allowed or not, we wouldn’t be able to do anything? There’s ‘potential for corruption’ in being a politician, and Lord knows there are plenty of examples of that potential for corruption coming to fruition globally over the years to suggest that it is a risk we should take seriously.

Of course, I would stress that I am not suggesting that Mr. Xenophon himself falls into the category of risk; but it seems to me that his sweeping statement doesn’t allow the same caveat for me, or the company I represent.

It’s one thing to say that you think something is a ‘bad idea’, even if millions of people (that’s three million at Betfair alone, as you may have seen this week) disagree with you and believe that they ought to be allowed to make their own grown-up decisions about what they do. But to suggest that the reason for it being so is that there is a ‘potential for corruption’ is just ludicrous. Why not legislate the potential down to a minimal risk, like we do in every other regulated walk of life?

Posted in Australia, Regulation.

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One Response

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  1. Scott Ferguson says

    Possibly the biggest idiot in politics is Mr.Xenophon – big call, but he certainly deserves a nomination. His stance against pokies was admirable as they are the bane of Australian society, but beyond that, he doesn't have a clue what he is on about.

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