Politicians rattle anti-gambling cages as state elections loom

Upcoming elections in South Australia and Tasmania are providing another opportunity for anti-gambling crusaders to target the industry, prompting concern a hostile operating environment will restrict growth. Voters in both states will go to the polls this month, with political parties in each pushing for a ban on pokies in bars and clubs to alleviate problem gambling. South Australia is of particular concern, where the minority party of a prominent anti-gambling crusader, is giving the major groups a run for their money. “First, in South Australia, Nick Xenophon, who has long been a strong anti-gambling advocate, has a real chance to share power with one of the major parties after the forthcoming State election,” said David Green, founder of Newpage Consulting. Xenophon was an Upper House independent who started a “No Pokies” party in South Australia in the 1990s, before becoming a Federal Senator and moving to Canberra. “The fact that he is...

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