Australian Pokies Reform PM Too Hard Basket? by Greg Tingle - 3rd May 2010

The Australian Prime Minister is under a lot of pressure at the moment.

Gambling, health, education, hospital system revamp, censorship, tax, human rights, broadband network roll out, work - life pressures, and it seems apparent to numerous media and political commentators... who go on record, that the internet filter censorship, related to the bigger picture that is the Australian gaming and gambling landscape, is getting the better of the PM. Mind you, the word is that Senator Stephen Conroy's mishandling and delays regarding internet censorship and policy pertaining to online gambling is getting the better of PM Rudd. Our friends in the Oval Office... downtown Washington USA haven't been so impressed with Rudd's current internet policy, and we're a step or ten behind the U.S, Canada and France on gaming and gambling experts say. Reporters Without Boarders and Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance are not too impressed either. Media Man and Gambling911 take the probe to Aussie PM Rudd...

PM Rudd hasn't delivered in cracking down on pokies, rejecting a Henry Review call for an end to gaming tax concessions for clubs, pubs and hotels.

The review for reforms...gaming taxation system, stating that if governments believe clubs need financial support, they should help them with "direct payments" (not by using the existing concessions on pokies tax).

The Henry Review...

"Governments should eliminate gambling tax concessions for particular types of gambling businesses, such as clubs".

When he was in opposition PM Rudd stated he was "uncomfortable" with the amount of pokies and wanted to explore ways in which the commonwealth could help get the government states governments off strong reliance on the massive revenue generated by the "one armed bandits".

The Aussie Productivity Commission in gaming has come out, with a strong focus on poker machines, but it seems the PM is yet to act (unless there's secret meetings... which is possible, giving the stealth nature of the current government... exampled in online censorship matters, blacklist - great Australian Firewall and the like).

The Henry Review recommendations tabled yesterday highlight poker machine recommendations.

Media Man, Gambling911, friends and associates reckon the PM could so better, and maybe its time to shuffle around a few chairs in Parliament to get the job done. Shuffling a few chairs ala board of directors at PBL a few years ago sure worked wonders for Aussie casino king, James Packer. Packer was able to mount a comeback of the decade worthy of a Mickey Rourke effect, wrestling back control and return to positive numbers... and public opinion to boot).

If things don't improve soon (and Rudd stops pandering to the god squad and bible bashers), it might be his head on the platter sooner, rather than later.

The smart money says Rudd is even odds to loose the upcoming election, triggered by the internet censorship and human rights concerns, and recently the "sin tax", punters having to pay another $2 per packed of cigarettes. Targeting vice and citizens addictions historically has been proved to be a good way to loose an election.

Media Man believes that Australia's gaming system needs a compete overhaul... online, offline, clubs, casinos, the works. Too many more delays and the PM's luck will run out. Speaking of luck... and gambling... know the odds (PM's are 50% or so), and keep it fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company

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