The Fifth Estate: Last Bets
In this Fifth Estate discussion, series host Sally Warhaft is joined by anti-gambling campaigner and independent Senator Nick Xenophon and author Michaela McGuire, whose new book Last Bets examines the gaps between ethics and the law.
Australians have always loved a punt – on the horses, card games, two up or the lotto – but in recent decades the prolific increase of poker machines, casinos and online betting has given us the sad ranking of number one in the world for per capita gambling losses. Problem gambling and addiction has had devastating consequences for thousands of people. For everyone else, betting has changed our social landscape and intruded in many areas of our lives we cannot control.
Why do Australians love to gamble? What limits should there be on betting and advertising? What can governments and communities do to counter its ill-effects?
Nick Xenophon is an Independent Senator. Before entering Federal politics, he served as a Senator in South Australia’s parliament.
Michaela McGuire is the Director of the Emerging Writers Festival. She is the author of Last Bets: A true story of gambling, morality, and the law, the Penguin Special A Story of Grief and Apply Within: Stories of Career Sabotage. Her journalism has appeared in the Monthly, the Saturday Paper and Good Weekend and she has worked as a columnist for the Saturday Age and QWeekend. She co-curates and hosts the bestselling literary salon Women of Letters.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.