John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    State Government stands by its Betting Exchange Legislation

    30/01/2007 4:00 PM

    The Carpenter Government will not be pressured into relenting on its betting exchange legislation which came into effect yesterday.

    Racing and Gaming Minister John Bowler said it was BetFair’s right to pursue a High Court Challenge, but the Government believed its legislation was sound.

    “This is not an attack on BetFair as an organisation. It is about the risks associated with establishing a betting service that allows punters to profit from backing losers.

    “Western Australia will not be bullied or pressured into relenting on its Betting Exchange legislation,” Mr Bowler said.

    “We are proud of our record on poker machines and will continue to ensure the racing and gaming industry is not detrimentally impacted upon.”

    The Minister said the State currently banned gaming machines outside the casino, unlike any other state, and maintained its right to legislate to control how Western Australians gamble.

    “We are proud of our record on poker machines,” he said.

    “WA’s gambling policy has never been revenue driven and we will not be bullied into compromising this stance.

    “The racing industry in our State in growing strongly and providing employment opportunities for stablehands, strappers, and jockeys. Why should we gamble with their futures?”

    Mr Bowler said the State Government had resisted the financial windfall of community based gaming machines, even though it could bring more than $300million in estimated taxation revenue.

    “We would hope that those in the East respect the Western Australian Government’s sovereign right to make laws to protect and service the interests of all Western Australians,” he said.

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