BETTING ON POLITICS
30th May, 2011 at 04:11:04
Aussie senator's new bill designed partly to discourage wagering on political outcomes
Australia's vehemently anti-gambling independent politician, Nick Xenophon, says that his new anti-micro gambling measure (see previous reports) is at least partly designed to counter political wagering on Australian elections.
In an interview with ABC TV reported Sunday, the senator warned that gambling has the potential to corrupt the political process.
Australia is currently being wracked by political manouevring on gambling clampdowns mainly associated with land activity but spilling over into promotional elements on the pastime (see previous reports).
The federal government is dependent on the support of independent politicians who are leveraging the situation to press initiatives that could have a serious impact on the bottom line of gambling companies.
Xenophon said he plans to introduce a bill into Parliament designed to prevent the corruption which could occur when political staffers with inside knowledge place bets on electoral outcomes such as election results in a particular seat.
''I think micro-betting gives macro opportunity for corruption,'' he told the television station. ''And I think at the last election there was speculation that some party insiders were betting against their own party. And if they are privy to information, confidential information, polling, if they know what's about to break, that could influence the odds.
''And I think that we need to clamp down on micro-betting because the potential for harm, the potential for corrupting outcomes is just enormous.''
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