How Jenny McAllister voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase restrictions on the gambling industry in order to address the issue of problem gambling

Division Jenny McAllister Supporters vote Division outcome

29th Jul 2019, 4:03 PM – Senate Motions - Gambling - A new inquiry

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by SA Senator Stirling Griff (Centre Alliance), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) this month marks the 25th anniversary since the introduction of poker machines in pubs and clubs in South Australia,

(ii) despite numerous recommendations by the Commonwealth Productivity Commission (PC) and other inquiries, there has been no meaningful poker machine reform in terms of harm minimisation,

(iii) according to the PC's 2010 report into gambling, 15% of regular poker machine players are so-called 'problem gamblers' with approximately 40-60% of spending on poker machines coming from 'problem gamblers',

(iv) the PC's 2010 report highlighted the significant social cost of gambling–estimated at that time to be at least $4 billion,

(v) despite having only 0.3% of the world's population, Australia reportedly has 6% of the world's conventional gaming machines and 18% of its poker machines, and

(vi) Australians lose approximately $24 billion per year on gambling, a figure which is more than any other nation; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) recognise the ongoing harm gambling causes, which varies from emotional to financial costs, and commit to meaningful harm minimisation, and

(ii) instruct the Commonwealth Productivity Commission to conduct a new inquiry to provide an updated perspective on gambling and propose relevant recommendations.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

13th Feb 2019, 4:20 PM – Senate Motions - Gambling - Introduced restrictions

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Qld Senator Larissa Waters, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the gambling industry donated almost $3 million dollars to the Liberal, Labor and Australian Conservatives political parties in 2017-18,

(ii) these donations came from sports betting companies, casinos and poker machine operators,

(iii) the Australian Hotels Association was the second largest political donor in the country for the 2017-18 year, with declared political gifts leaping from $153,000 in 2016-17 to $1.1 million last financial year,

(iv) Australia has the world's worst per-capita gambling losses of $1,000 a head,

(v) there are at least 115,000 Australians at the moment who are directly and seriously harmed by gambling, and another 280,000 experiencing significant risk,

(vi) for every person directly harmed by gambling, between 5 and 10 friends, family and others, including employers, are also affected – this means that up to 5 million Australians could be negatively affected,

(vii) online wagering is the fastest growing gambling segment, with over $1.4 billion gambled online each year,

(viii) pokies cause the most harm, with three out of four people being harmed by gambling, principally using poker machines, and

(ix) enormous donations from the gambling lobby to the major political parties has resulted in consecutive Australian governments failing to support harm-minimisation reforms that would help protect people from predatory gambling; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) ban corporate donations from the gambling industry,

(ii) introduce evidence-based harm-minimisation and product safety measures to reduce the development of problem gambling, and to assist gamblers to limit their expenditure,

(iii) phase out poker machines, and, in the meantime, implement $1 maximum bets per spin, $20 machine load-up limits, and $500 jackpot limits, and mandatory pre-commitment for pokies and sports betting, and

(iv) ban sports betting advertisements during the broadcast of sporting events and children's viewing times.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

27th Mar 2018, 12:06 PM – Senate Communications Legislation Amendment (Online Content Services and Other Measures) Bill 2017 - in Committee - Gambling ads

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The majority voted against the amendments moved by Nick Xenophon Senator Stirling Griff, which means they failed.

Amendment text

Senator Griff explained that his amendments:

"These amendments fit within the regulatory framework proposed by the government in the bill and have the effect of a prohibition on all gambling ads during the hours of 5 am to 8.30 pm during G-rated programs and any live sporting events across platforms, regardless of whether the event is live or not. In instances where a sporting event has started but not finished before 8.30 pm, the NXT amendments will also extend the prohibition of gambling ads to 30 minutes after the conclusion of the sporting event."

Main idea of the bill

The bill was introduced to:

  • enable the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to make online content service provider rules which impose gambling promotions restrictions on online content service providers;
  • provide the ACMA with the power to determine program standards about gambling promotional content which apply to certain broadcasters and subscriptions providers; and
  • require the ACMA to monitor compliance with online content service provider rules.
absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

26th Mar 2018, 8:51 PM – Senate Communications Legislation Amendment (Online Content Services and Other Measures) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Prohibit betting on lottery outcome

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The majority voted in favour of an amendment to the usual second reading motion ("That this bill be read a second time").

Reading a bill for a second time is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Amendment text

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate is of the opinion that the Government should legislate to prohibit betting on the outcome of a lottery."

Main idea of the bill

The bill was introduced to:

  • enable the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to make online content service provider rules which impose gambling promotions restrictions on online content service providers;
  • provide the ACMA with the power to determine program standards about gambling promotional content which apply to certain broadcasters and subscriptions providers; and
  • require the ACMA to monitor compliance with online content service provider rules.
No Yes Passed by a small majority

14th Feb 2018, 4:15 PM – Senate Motions - Gambling - Phase out poker machines

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The majority voted against this motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australia is home to 0.3 per cent of the world's population, but 18 per cent of the world's poker machines,

(ii) Australians lose more money to poker machines than anywhere else in the world per capita,

(iii) most countries around the world, 226 out of 238, have no poker machines in pubs and clubs,

(iv) a 2010 study by the Productivity Commission found that problem gamblers account for 40 per cent of losses on poker machines,

(v) suicide rates among problem gamblers are twice the rate of other addictions, and

(vi) problem gamblers are far more vulnerable to depression, relationships breakdown, job loss, lowered work productivity, bankruptcy and crime;

(b) acknowledges that:

(i) poker machines have caused a significant degree of social and economic dislocation in the community, and

(ii) the regulation of poker machines is a litmus test of good government; and

(c) calls on the Government to support states in phasing out poker machines in pubs, because the fewer poker machines, the better.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

29th Mar 2017, 4:24 PM – Senate Motions - Gambling - Apply the National Consumer Protection Framework

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Nick Xenophon Team Skye Kakoschke-Moore that called for "the Government to develop and apply the National Consumer Protection Framework to land-based betting, as well as online gambling", which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the National Consumer Protection Framework, in relation to interactive gambling, is currently being developed,

(ii) Commonwealth, state and territory gambling ministers are meeting regarding the Framework on 31 March 2017,

(iii) the Framework is being developed as a response to the O'Farrell Review and that gaming ministers are aiming to develop a better harm–minimisation strategy around online services,

(iv) currently, harm–minimisation strategies are a matter for states and territories, despite the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (IGA) regulating electronic gambling,

(v) there is no national gambling regulator and the Nick Xenophon Team's amendment to the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, to establish a national regulator, was rejected by the Government,

(vi) the Framework will not apply to land-based betting,

(vii) land-based betting includes electronic betting terminals (EBTs) which are permitted under the IGA but harm–minimisation strategies are regulated by states and territories,

(viii) statistics show at least 400,000 Australians either have a significant gambling addiction or are showing signs of developing a problem – the Productivity Commission has also stated that every problem gambler impacts on average on seven other people, and

(ix) the harm caused by gambling, such as financial hardship, relationship breakdown and emotional harm is the same, regardless of what form of gambling the harm arises from; and

(b) calls on the Government to develop and apply the National Consumer Protection Framework to land-based betting, as well as online gambling.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

12th Sep 2016, 3:59 PM – Senate Motions - Gambling - Against gambling advertising

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The majority voted against a motion, which means it was unsuccessful.

The motion was introduced by Nick Xenophon Team Senator Stirling Griff. It asked for gambling advertising to be banned during children's viewing times and to be reduced on SBS.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) more than $800 million was lost by Australians on legal sports betting in the 2014-15 financial year, an increase of more than 30 per cent from 2013-14,

(ii) while some restrictions on gambling advertising exist, there is an exemption that allows gambling advertising during televised sporting events at children's viewing times,

(iii) research shows that children are especially susceptible to such advertising, and

(iv) there is a pressing need to ban gambling advertising particularly during children's viewing times;

(b) calls on the Government to amend the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to ban gambling advertising during sporting broadcasts during children's viewing times; and

(c) further notes community concern about the recent increased level of gambling advertising on the Special Broadcasting Service, and calls on the Minister for Communications to issue a directive under section 11 of the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 to limit the amount of such advertising.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 2 0 100
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 3 3 6
Total: 28 166

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 28 / 166 = 17%.

And then