In this Fifth Estate discussion, series host Sally Warhaft is joined by anti-gambling campaigner and independent Senator Nick Xenophon and author Michaela McGuire, whose new book Last Bets examines the gaps between ethics and the law.
Australians have always loved a punt – on the horses, card games, two up or the lotto – but in recent decades the prolific increase of poker machines, casinos and online betting has given us the sad ranking of number one in the world for per capita gambling losses. Problem gambling and addiction has had devastating consequences for thousands of people. For everyone else, betting has changed our social landscape and intruded in many areas of our lives we cannot control.
Why do Australians love to gamble? What limits should there be on betting and advertising? What can governments and communities do to counter its ill-effects?