10 October 2022

POLL: Bicycle lanes and banning gambling ads

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Gambling via phone

Online gambling has increased significantly, but should we ban television ads? Photo: File.

As Canberra grows and our traffic problems do too, are more on-road bicycle lanes a way to get people out of their cars for the commute? According to last week’s poll, most of you disagree.

The Inner South Canberra Community Council says the increasing volume of traffic along the Cotter Road/Adelaide Avenue corridor to Canberra Avenue as the Molonglo Valley grows poses safety issues for those wanting to cycle to and from the city and Inner South.

They want Cotter Road to be prioritised for active travelling upgrades and is asking the Government to review active travel routes to ensure they connect key locations such as shops and schools, are being used, can be separated from road traffic, and have priority at crossings.

We asked: Should the Government build more on-road bicycle lanes?

Some 911 readers responded. Your choices were to vote No, they’re too dangerous for everyone – which received 72 per cent of the total, or 660 votes. Alternatively, you could choose to vote Yes, they’re the easiest way to ensure active travel. This received 28 per cent of the total, or 251 votes.

This week we’re wondering whether gambling ads should be banned. Labor MLA Dr Marisa Paterson has made the call, arguing that just like alcohol and tobacco, gambling is a public danger and promoting it during sports contests with high viewer numbers is irresponsible.

READ ALSO Should gambling ads be banned from sport on TV?

Dr Paterson, formerly a gambling researcher at the ANU, has launched the Bets Off, Game On campaign and is encouraging the community to sign a petition calling on the Federal Government to block gambling advertisements on television.

“Sport should not be synonymous with gambling. Kids in Australia should not grow up knowing the betting companies as much as they know the teams in their favourite sport,” she said.

“These international betting companies contribute nothing to our community, yet they extract billions of dollars a year and cause countless harm to Australian families.”

Online gambling increased during 2020 and 2021 as COVID-19-induced lockdowns closed pubs and clubs, where many people accessed gaming machines.

It’s estimated about 44,000 people are impacted by either first or second-hand gambling harm in the ACT.

Malcolm Roxburgh said: “Yes! There is too much opportunity to gamble nowadays. I am not a prude or spoil sport, I used to have the occasional bet on the GGs, dogs or trots when I was younger but now with poker machines in hotels and you can bet on anything in a football match or other sports.”

And Catherine Ransom added: “Absolutely. Kids are learning that watching sport and gambling are inextricably linked. Gambling is an adult choice sure, but it is deeply problematic for a lot of people. Ads should be at least restricted to times with majority adult viewers.”

“Streaming services, just so this isn’t an issue”, Marc Edwards said, while David Warner took a stronger stance, saying “no – ban the sport instead”.

Should we ban gambling ads on television?

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I hope they can get rid of the gambling ads. They profit off the misery of people who are addicted to gambling. Tobacco and alcohol have been banned. Now they need to ban these. If only for the sole purpose of getting Shaq off our screens!

This site needs a like button.

I agree. I would have clicked on a like for you but there’s no button for it.

The government is very good at picking the low hanging fruit.

So are Canberra residents – they’ve been voting in low-hanging fruit for over two decades.

Oh Gary you’re so funny! An authority on low hanging fruits!!

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