Gambling Lobby in South Australia Splashes Cash to Stop Xenophon

SA Best leader Nick Xenophon is seen at the SA Press Club for the leaders' public debate in Adelaide, Friday, February 2, 2018. (AAP Image/Roy Vandervegt) NO ARCHIVING

South Australia’s very powerful gambling lobby has contributed in excess of $100,000 to the Labor, Liberal and Australian Conservatives parties as the Australian Hotels Association seeks to stop the looming influence of Nick Xenophon’s SA Best on the forthcoming state election.

In all honesty, Xenophon has been singularly ineffective in getting any kind of gambling reform done in either the federal or state parliaments. But I’m still backing him! Remember, it took William Wilberforce nearly 20 years to end Britain’s involvement in the slave trade. He has changed his rhetoric from a blanket ban to harm minimization, but hopefully that is a ruse, and Xenophon will go apocalyptic on the pokies if elected.

The gambling lobby, through the pubs and clubs association, plus the on-line betting lobby group “responsible wagering,” are a cur, a cancer, and I hope that Xenophon gets to cure them.

But it won’t happen until gambling money is treated like tobacco money, and all political parties avoid it like the plague.