Australian Green Party vs Green Field Betting

The Party in drive against online betting on club football

Downunder politicians' attention has been nowadays focused on the expanding business of online betting on football, and the admission by several Australian football clubs that they did not have policies in place to handle gambling and possible corruption of the sport.

In fact, the Green Party has launched an initiative to ban online betting on local football matches, claiming that it would corrupt sports.

Richard Di Natale, Greens gambling spokesman and a former footballer, said that the party would use the recently released review of the Interactive Gambling Act to push for a ban on local football gambling.

''It's difficult enough for the AFL with its immense resources to pick up bets from players who stand to gain from insider knowledge, but suburban footy leagues stand little or no chance,'' said Natale.

Australia's biggest sports betting operator, TAB Sportsbet which takes bets on AFL and VFL matches but not local games, has warned that if left unregulated, betting on suburban football presented a serious risk to the sport. Their spokesman Craig Nugent said betting on competitions involving small clubs that had no processes in place to ensure the integrity of the sport was dangerous.

Sports Minister spokewoman Kate Lundy said the government was committed to working collaboratively with sports in order to ensure online betting was regulated, as well as to appropriately protect and preserve the integrity of sport. ''This type of betting concerns the government and we will be looking into it further,'' she said.

A member of the coalition federal government's gambling taskforce, Liberal MP Alan Tudge, said the industry was moving so fast that codes and policies were struggling to keep up: ''At the very least, players or someone acting on their behalf shouldn't be allowed to place bets.''

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