How George Brandis 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 George Brandis Supporters vote Division outcome

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.

absent 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.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

22nd Sep 2014, 6:08 PM – Senate Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Interactive Gambling Act and ACMA

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The majority voted in favour of a motion that items 17 to 23 of schedule 2 "stand as printed", which means that they remain unchanged. These items relate to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 and the discretion of the Australian Communications and Media Authority ('ACMA').

This motion was put in response to an amendment introduced by Independent Senator Nick Xenophon that those items should be opposed. Senator Xenophon explained that he was concerned that "[t]his omnibus bill, under the pretext of ensuring less red tape, will actually ... make it less likely that there will be an investigation into breaches of the Interactive Gambling Act by ACMA" (see Senator Xenophon' full explanation here).

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to "reduce regulatory burden for business, individuals and the community sector" (see the explanatory memorandum) and to repeal redundant provisions that are either duplications or have ceased to have effect. The provisions of the bill that make material changes have been identified and discussed in the bills digest.

absent No Passed by a modest majority

5th Mar 2014, 12:27 PM – Senate Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 — In Committee — Keep schedule 1 (on gambling) unchanged

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The majority voted in favour of a motion that schedule 1 stand as printed.(The wording of schedule 1 is available here under the heading "Text of bill". ) In other words, the majority wanted the schedule to remain unchanged. The motion was put in response to a Green amendment to oppose that schedule.

Schedule 1: "repeals the position and functions of the National Gambling Regulator, along with provisions relating to the supervisory and gaming machine regulation levies, the automatic teller machine withdrawal limit, dynamic warning messages on gaming machines, the trial of mandatory pre-commitment, and matters for Productivity Commission review".(Read more about Schedule 1 in the revised explanatory memorandum. )

Because the majority wanted the schedule to remain unchanged, this Greens amendment was rejected.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to make a number of key changes. These include:

There are several other measures introduced by this bill that can be explored in its bills digest.

Most of the measures are savings measures that had been announced by the previous Labor Government in the 2013–14 Budget, the 2012–13 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) or the 2012–13 Budget. However, the gambling reform measures, the Cape York Welfare Reform measures and the changes to Paid Parental Leave arrangements(Read about the changes to Paid Parental Leave arrangements in the bills digest.) are newly proposed by the current Government.

absent No Passed by a modest majority

9th Feb 2012, 12:55 PM – Senate Documents — Gambling; Order for the Production of Documents

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Senator Richard Di Natale, and also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, moved:

That there be laid on the table by 27 February 2012 by the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Senator Evans) any advice or documentation received by the Government regarding the cost of implementing $1 bet limits on poker machines, particularly in relation to the $1.5 billion figure referred to by the Minister in public comments.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case George Brandis was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.