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Time to honour Peta Murphy and commit to real gambling reforms - Australian voters want end to the carnage caused by gambling that adds to cost of living pain

3 Mar 2024

The voters of Dunkley have honoured Peta Murphy’s legacy by electing a Labor candidate, now it’s time for the Albanese Government to do the same and accept all of the recommendations of the online gambling inquiry that she fought so hard to deliver, even in her last days.


“Certainly, the cost of living was a critical issue in this by-election but so was the white-hot anger in the community about the unchecked power of the gambling industry and the damage it is causing families, especially those doing it tough who are so cynically targeted by gambling companies,” the Alliance for Gambling Reform chief advocate Tim Costello.
“I live in this electorate and I have spoken to many people who want gambling reform, including a ban on the tsunami of gambling advertising. I was in contact with Peta in the last days of her battle with cancer and I know she wanted gambling reform to be a big part of her legacy,” he said.
“Peta stood up for the protecting our children from immersion in an addictive adult gambling product. Australian parents and families cheered. She was their champion. Powerful vested interests like betting companies, broadcasters and the AFL and NRL have opposed reform. The real question now is: Who will Labor back?” 

As the Chair of the Federal Inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm, her determination to get to the bottom of the critical issues and harm experienced by the community shone through.


Mr Costello said the government has had the recommendations of the Murphy Inquiry - including a reasoned and phased-in ban on all gambling advertising over three years - for eight months now. It is time to act.


Australians lose over $25 billion each year to gambling, the highest per capita spend in the world.


Mr Costello said gambling harm was a massive public health issue, linked to poor physical and mental health, poverty and homelessness, criminal activity, family violence, and suicide. 

“We are extremely concerned about the rapidly increasing harms caused by online gambling, and by the massive advertising of online gambling through a range of media including digital/social media channels,” he said. 

Studies show that 7 in 10 Australians believe there are too many betting advertisements, and that gambling advertising on television should be banned; and parents in particular are concerned about their children’s vulnerability to gambling advertising.

Tim Costello is available for interview.

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

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