Australian PM backs communications minister over Sportsbet donations
Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese says Michelle Rowland has his “absolute and total confidence.”
Australia.- Prime minister Anthony Albanese has backed communications minister Michelle Rowland after crossbench calls for her to resign or be fired following allegations that she accepted donations from a gambling firm before the federal election. Albanese said he has “absolute and total confidence.” in the minister.
The Prime Minister confirmed Rowland’s commitment to delivering a national self-exclusion register, BetStop, which would enable individuals to exclude themselves from all licensed interactive wagering services.
He said the minister is also working on developing messaging guidelines for gambling ads, regulations for video games with gambling-like features, and responding to a parliamentary inquiry on the use of credit cards in online gambling. He also highlighted the opening of an inquiry into the impact of gambling advertising on children.
According to Nine Newspapers, Sportsbet paid AU$8,960 for a dinner in support of Rowland’s election campaign last March and made another contribution of AU$10,000 just before the May poll.
The donations, which took place while Rowland was shadow communications minister, did not have to be disclosed to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) since they were below AU$14,500. However, according to The Canberra Times, Sportsbet did declare them to the AEC.