The NSW Greens have condemned special exemptions for the racing industry from new laws designed to reduce gambling harm in NSW.
In an attempt to crackdown on inappropriate gambling advertising, the Government made changes, which came into force last week, to ‘Inducement to gamble’ rules that would increase penalties in NSW from $5,500 to $55,000. However guidelines issued by the NSW regulator state the new inducement rules "are not intended to be enforced" on existing online platforms that deal solely with racing content.
Greens Gambling Harm Spokesperson Justin Field said, "This is a special carve out for the vested interests in the racing industry and another example of the undue influence of gambling interests in NSW.
"Gaming and Racing NSW have openly admitted that they don't intend to enforce the law in NSW when it comes to inducements to gamble for racing.
"The Minister needs to explain what direction he gave to Liquor and Gaming NSW and why they feel they have the power to ignore the laws set by the Parliament of this state”.
"It makes a mockery of the Racing Minister's public pronouncements around the introduction of the bill. The Minister gave no indication of these racing exemptions in his speech to Parliament when the law was changed and in fact stated that:
“These penalty increases recognise that offering inducements to gamble is a serious breach of the legislation, which is intended to protect problem gamblers and those who might be lured into gambling but who cannot afford to bet.”
Mr Field said, ”The NSW Government is protecting the financial interests of the racing industry over the public interest and rejects taking real action to reduce gambling harm. Once again we see this Liberal/National Government captured by the interests of Murdoch and friends in the racing industry.
"It is specifically through existing racing gambling websites and online platforms that people are often encouraged to make their next bet and feed their addiction”.