JEFF Kennett has defended his position on the board of Seven West Media, despite its impending reliance on corporate bookmaker advertising via its racing channel, 78.
Kennett, chairman of depression help group beyond-blue, last August described corporate bookies as a “cancer on society’’.
The former premier said the encroachment of corporates would have a devastating effect on racing “not only in prizemoney but every other aspect of the game’’.
Referring to the community effect and “substantially less fee’’ corporates were paying the industry for race fields compared to the TAB, Kennett said: “We can’t be blind to what corporate bookmakers are trying to do.
“They are a cancer and they are destroying your industry and are destroying most sports.”
Back in August, he demanded federal government intervention to outlaw advertising from corporates.
Kennett said on Wednesday he did not back away from those comments but he might be better able to express his views “from within the tent than outside it”.
He also said he had not yet been “fully briefed’’ about his role on the board and would analyse it more closely in the next few weeks.
“I have not changed my views,’’ he said. “As a citizen I am very concerned about the impact of increased sports betting advertising, which in my opinion sells to a generation of Australians the concept that life goals are achieved only through gambling.
“I am not opposed to poker machines and (gambling at) casinos, but I would be opposed to them if they advertised.’’
Without the assured millions that would have been guaranteed had Racing Victoria signed with TAB/Sky Channel for its media rights, Channel 78’s profitability will be determined largely by advertising from corporate bookmakers.
Seven West Media and RVL are this week expected to reveal the talent line-up for the launch of the free-to-air coverage on 78 on August 29.
Seven is believed to be interested in former TVN host Jason Richardson and Seven’s respected all-rounder Michael Felgate as the main hosts.
In the interim, Channel 78 is taking an internet feed from industry station Racing.com.
STORY VIA http://www.news.com.au/sport/superracing/jeff-kennetts-each-way-bet-on-stance-against-corporate-bookmakers/story-fndprusm-1227423976289