ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Local Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has come under fire this week for repeatedly being unable to resist the urge to be wined and dined by a dreadful, parasitic industry that she’s allegedly trying to reform.

Most recently, Responsible Wagering Australia (which represents Ladbrokes, Bet365, and SportsBet) took Ms. Rowland out for lunch in Melbourne to celebrate her birthday. The Minister says it’s completely normal, and those who don’t think this type of thing should happen “need to stop being so naive about Canberra” and “wake up to themselves.”

The Minister is responsible for the impending shake-up of sports betting advertising but says being treated to dinners that cost more than normal people spend on a car is normal.

“I can be trusted to reform the sports betting industry, in particular, with regard to how it’s advertised,” the Minister explained.

“Being taken to dinner by these companies is normal. You don’t see people getting in a flap when Lockheed Martin takes Richard Marles out for gelato to showcase their latest products. Products that are designed to kill people, I might add. Sports betting products don’t kill people. Well, uh, actually, I don’t want to answer that [laughs] No seriously, I’m sick of watching a game of sports and seeing nothing but gambling ads,”

“And like Lockheed Martin, these sports betting agencies siphon all the money that Australians lose each year to overseas bank accounts, and we see very little of it. They don’t pay much tax on it, either. In the scheme of things, they’re so damaging to society. They ruin lives, destroy families, and paint people into corners they can’t get themselves out of. You know, it’s like vaping. People never used to smoke when they took a shit, but now they vape. Same as with gambling. People couldn’t gamble when they pinched off some colon loaf; you had to go to the pub or a TAB. Now, you can gamble from anywhere,”

“Also, people should look at themselves in the mirror and ask if it’s problematic or sexist to ask me to resign when there’s so much other stuff in this place that needs to go before the Federal ICAC before this! Taxpayers deserve better.”

The Advocate reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office for comment but were told to wait until tomorrow’s weekly briefing meeting where Mr. Albanese would cover it for us. He’s yet to make a decision on whether the Minister can ride this one out as Mr. Murdoch hasn’t woken up yet.

More to come.


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