YspeopleExplore tab

Losing bet: When money comes before morality




About DJC

The older I get, the less I know and the more inquisitive I get.

Unfortunately, despite a lifelong search, most of the answers elude me. That said, I love to ask the questions and fuel the debates that will ultimately lead us all to a better understanding of the big issues in life, the universe and everything.

They say that we spend 98% of our lives in our head. I for one would like to use that time as effectively as possible.


Shouldn't we be having the moral debates, irrespective of the outcome, well before the economic ones?

I was intrigued and pleasantly surprised to hear during an ABC breakfast news broadcast last week that the Federal Government was proposing legislation to limit, or restrict, gambling advertising.

Isn't debating the safety of our children more important than the one about profits for big gaming businesses? Picture: iStock .

Isn't debating the safety of our children more important than the one about profits for big gaming businesses? Picture: iStock

I was not alone. Many people on social media, a range of social advocates and a number of politicians from all sides of the divide expressed approval at suggestions that gaming advertising, especially on television during sport, would be limited.

Of course, there were those who voiced disapproval. Not surprisingly, they were representatives of businesses that stood to lose money as a result. These sectors of the community included betting agencies, sporting associations such as the AFL and NRL, and media outlets including channels 7 and 9.

All of these sectors, and the people representing them, have a vested interest in the non-restriction of gaming advertising. All of them earn a great deal of money directly by way of media rights payments from gaming advertising. Gambling is big business.

I admit to being a critic of gambling and the people who build their fortunes from the agony caused by it. In my view, only the lowest type of human being would ever seek to profit from the misery of gambling. I believe that among the few people with lower levels of morality and decency are those that make their money from gambling - and then try to rationalise it while donating paltry sums to organisations that seek to help the addicted.

I will also be up front and say that I view online gambling, the primary focus of the proposed legislation, the most evil of all because it is so accessible, addictive, constant and often targets children, whether this is admitted or not.

But it is not my intention to debate the hazards of gambling here. I want to address a much bigger issue.

When the groups complaining about gaming advertising restrictions came out in the media, not one objected for any kind of moral reason. No one said that it was restricting hard-earned liberties, or that advertising a legal product was a tenant of any democracy – or whatever.

Every one of these complainants addressed one issue – loss of income and profits.

In other words, as seems to happen all too often in Australia, they were having the economic argument before they were prepared to have the moral one. They were more concerned about the profits of television stations, payments to sportsmen and women, and a drop in revenue for international gaming companies than they were about any moral implication of advertising this addictive habit on television to children.

For me, this is a repeat of what happened when the farmers and slaughter yards complained about the cessation of live cattle exports to Indonesia. They immediately set aside any moral arguments and focused on the economic argument first.

This is increasingly becoming the way in Australia and around the world. We have the economic debate before we have the moral debate.

It may well be that live cattle exports are entirely moral, as it may be that gaming advertising is entirely moral and ethical, but how would we know with these debates being avoided all together. There is a reluctance to have moral debates wherever there is the potential for an economic cost.

We have moral debates about same-sex marriage because there is no economic imperative. We have moral debates about education programs in schools because there are no economic ramifications. We have moral debates about the environments in which children should be raised, because there are no economic winners and losers.

But we are reluctant to have moral debates where money is involved, a la gambling and live cattle exports.

I am not suggesting that economics are not important. They are. I am simply suggesting that the moral debate, no matter what the outcome, should be held before the economic debate.

  • Else>>>om D.John Carlson: What can we learn from JD Salinger?
  • Banner 2
    | Your rating
    No ratings yet


    Related stories

    Australian tennis hotshot Nick Kyrgios is just one of many sporting 'bad boys' out there (Image: Shutterstock).

    What is with sport's 'bad boy' culture?

    Why can't our sporting heroes be just that, heroes?

    Sport Community Social Issues
    Expand
    10 months ago
    (Sport & Leisure)
    Roger Federer is all class (Image: Shutterstock).

    Roger Federer: Pure Class

    What it's like to watch the greatest of all time.

    Culture Sports
    Expand
    11 months ago
    (Sport & Leisure)
    Roger Federer - a gentleman and a thinker.

    Roger Federer proves that wisdom aces youth

    Age takes much away, but it also gives much back.

    Ageing Tennis Sport Celebrities
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Sport & Leisure)
    Sports help inspire, build relationships, community and teach valuable life lessons to boot.

    How loving sports can keep you young

    Sports may seem like they are only for the young and fit. But here's how they can keep everyone connected and young at heart.

    Family Ageing Sport Health
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Sport & Leisure)
    Amir now owns his own Malaysian celebrity football team, Suka Suka N.

    Celeb Malaysian soccer team eyes off boys in blue

    Promoting racial harmony is the goal of a friendly football match between a celeb Malaysian football team and Australian police.

    TV Music Sport Kindness Western Australia
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Sport & Leisure)
    The appeal of the TV sporting event is deep-seated.

    Why men go catatonic in front of TV sport

    The game can light us up like Manhattan and put our incessant mind chatter to bed.

    TV Sport Hobbies
    Expand
    Almost 2 years ago
    (Sport & Leisure)

    Message board

    Derek, 5 months ago:
    I am great
    George, 5 months ago:
    What's up Thomas?
    George, 5 months ago:
    Messages are now updated in real time on other browsers.
    Thomas, 5 months ago:
    Hello
    Thomas, 6 months ago:
    Great!
    DJC, 6 months ago:
    Groovy!
    George, 6 months ago:
    Message board active from June 2018

    Have your say!

    Your Great Australians

    Trending stories
    Blue Moraine Lake in Banff, Canada.

    Some stunning Earth porn to brighten your day

    A reminder of how...

    (Travel) 10 months ago
    When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

    20 mature bloggers worth following

    Looking for Australian...

    (Entertainment & Culture) Over 1 year ago
    Suzuki's cute little Ignis SUV has a lot going for it.

    Review: 2017 Suzuki Ignis GL and GLX

    Japanese car maker Suzuki,...

    (Pastimes) Over 1 year ago
    They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

    Is your toby jug worth a fortune?

    Did you know that some of...

    (Nostalgia) 5 months ago
    Putting your phone away while eating with someone is basic etiquette (Image: Shutterstock).

    We should all embrace basic etiquette

    They are the social rules...

    (Entertainment & Culture) 10 months ago
    Weekly Poll
    Photographic memories
    Hizgg0vzzqvwc9xicknk
    It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.