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Last Bets

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?

On the next Fifth Estate, 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.

Who?

Portrait of Nick Xenophon

Nick Xenophon

Nick Xenophon is an Independent Senator. Before entering Federal politics, he served as a Senator in South Australia’s parliament.

Portrait of Michaela McGuire

Michaela McGuire

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. 

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. 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.

The Fifth Estate

Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor since 2012. In 2018 – over 100 episodes in – the anthropologist, broadcaster and intrepid interviewer’s fortnightly live series continues, as she responds to the most important debates of the day and reignites stories that have fallen off the front pages.

Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. It’s an event series and a live podcast taping rolled into one. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to events: keep an eye on our website (or in the Wheeler Weekly) for updates.

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