- »Katter Wants Online Gambling to Benefit First Australians
Katter Wants Online Gambling to Benefit First Australians
Few people in the Australian government speak of online gambling unless it is to decry Australians who play casino games on offshore sites. But Federal MP Bob Katter wants Australia to oversee a new online gambling industry. And he wants the revenue to benefit First Australians.
Benefits of Taxing Online Gambling
Since the Australian government forced online gambling and poker sites from its market several years ago, the offshore industry has grown. With no regulated options for internet casino games or online poker, Aussies flock to the offshore casinos for their favorite games.
Australian politicians knew that by prohibiting the games and offering no licensing options within Australia, all potential tax revenue was thrown away. And while a regulated industry would bring those tax dollars back to Australia, few politicians have even been willing to discuss the option of regulating online gambling for Aussie players.
Federal MP Bob Katter of North Queensland isn’t afraid to broach the subject, however. He spoke to Sky News just last month to discuss legal online gambling to benefit First Australians and returned members of the military.
Sky News interviewed Katter about the proposal, and he had more than a few things to say about it.
He started by saying that it is the First Australians who devised the proposal. “This is coming from the real communities themselves, not the do-gooder class in the cities who claim to be black and really aren’t. This is coming from the heartland itself.”
The plan has a specific purpose. “It’ll return money to us so we can look after ourselves. The government is sowing about ten thousand million dollars a year and it’s all ending up in white pockets.”
Katter said that some supporters of the proposal have been to the United States to speak with Native Americans who have worked out gambling compacts with the US government. “The boys have been over to talk to the Red Indians, the aboriginal peoples of the United States, and gambling has been enormously successful there.”
He clarified that First Australians don’t want to establish new gambling centers. “Gambling is already taking place, and the gambling money is going overseas.” Instead, Katter said, it should be going to the place that most needs it.
Katter also noted that returning service members have a suicide rate that is not being addressed by the Australian government. Much-needed funding could address their needs.
Timeframe for Action
When the show host asked Katter about a timeframe for the proposal to establish the regulatory movement for online casinos, Katter responded, “I think it could be set up within two or three months if there’s a willingness by government.”
Then, Katter displayed some pessimism about the government actually addressing the issue. “I’ve found that over the last 20 or 30 years, my 50 years in Parliament, that government just doesn’t function much. It’s not that they’re bad people or that they’re lazy people or even that they’re political people, it’s just they’ve lost the ability to function, and that’s got a lot to do with the politicization and sycophancy involved in the public service.”
And despite it seeming unlikely, the interview went off the rails from there to Katter talking about sacrificing humans to the gods. The question pertained to the recent fires in Australia.
Billions of Untapped Dollars
Conversations with Katter may stray into unchartered waters, but he seems to be serious about the online gambling issue. He even issued a press release about it last month.
The announcement came from Katter’s Australian Party, which noted that the proposal for online gambling revenue collection originated with the leaders of the Aboriginal Development Benefit Trust and several RSL clubs.
Katter was quoted as saying, “Up to $2 billion in potential taxes are being lost every year.” The press release stated $4 billion.
With regard to gambling harm, Katter said, “There can’t be controversy. I don’t see it as harmful; it can be for some people, but I don’t believe the argument exists.”
Further, Katter vowed to work throughout 2020 to make the vision into a reality. He noted that First Australians dedicate themselves to their work by noting, “Fred Pascoe worked on cattle stations in the Gulf, is a former mayor and has thrived for 50 years.”
Having been inspired by the Native American gambling compacts in America, Katter wants First Australians to find similar success with an industry like online gambling that the main government doesn’t want to regulate.
The bottom line seems to be finding a revenue stream to benefit First Australians and assisting military veterans, especially those returning from combat. Katter noted that the suicide rates for those soldiers had been increasing, and funding may be able to combat the trend and help struggling soldiers.