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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 458 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

regardless of when demerit points are recorded on the register, the principle remains that the effective date of demerit points is the date of the offence.

The bill ensures that nationally agreed principles for demerit points continue to apply in the ACT. I move that the Assembly agree in principle to this bill.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Cross ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Race and Sports Bookmaking Act 2001

Partial disallowance of Instrument No 262 of 2001

MS TUCKER (10.53): I move:

Noting the role that access to credit can play in problem gambling, that regarding Instrument Number 262 of 2001 in Part A, the following sections and subsections be disallowed:

6.6.2-the words 'unless' and subclauses (i) and (ii);

6.7.3 (c) and (d)



section 7 (including all subsections).

Mr Speaker, I have moved to disallow certain parts of this instrument that relate to how sports bookmakers may offer credit to punters, particularly in relation to spread betting. Before I commence I advise members that it is my understanding that this debate will be adjourned following my speech.

The Race and Sports Bookmaking Act allows bookmakers to be credit providers. This instrument, made under that act, establishes, among other things, the rules sports bookmakers must follow when providing credit. I have great concerns about the fundamental question of any gambling agent being allowed to give credit to someone who is gambling with them. That seems to be asking for trouble, which is why in other forms of gambling it is not permitted.

In the ACT it seems we have a fairly tolerant approach, also permitting TABs to provide credit to gamblers. In New South Wales gamblers may establish accounts using credit cards but not bet with TABs on credit. This instrument, and hence this motion, goes to how credit is provided rather than whether it should ever be provided. But I would like to make a brief comment on the latter topic because it is closely related to the discussions we will have on this matter.

A common argument we hear in defence of provision of credit by bookmakers is that is a tradition to gamble on the horses "on the nod". That may be so but is not in itself a good reason to continue the practice. Today, sports and race bookmaking is provided over the Net and over the phone. It is a different experience, a potentially more isolated experience compared to being at the track, which may include socialising-although that is not without its own problems.

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