No one could accuse Australia of not being a progressive country.
Well, perhaps some could.
One the one hand, the government has jumped into the private sector and said that none of the poor, honest, hardworking corporate bookies can no longer entice the unsuspecting wagering public with the promise of sign-up bonuses.
On the other, concertgoers interested in ascertaining the ingredients of the illicitly purchased mind altering substances can have their pills tested without fear of criminal repercussions.
If only those attending sports competitions could receive the same consideration, the government could congratulate itself on a job well done.
The athletes are tested, why not the spectators?
Did we really just see the Gold Coast Suns beat the Brisbane Lions in the 2018 AFL Grand Final, or were we merely hallucinating?
Those OTC hangover pills we popped must have had some foreign substance in them. The beer alone, even though present in large quantities, could not have produced any effect anywhere close.
The testing policy could be extended to Thoroughbred racing. The gallopers could submit their feed and supplements to a testing facility on the grounds at Flemington, and then race with the assurance that if their urine was collected post-race, elevated cobalt levels would be no concern.
The pilot for the black-market substance testing was the 2018 Groovin’ the Moo music festival, held, where else, in Canberra.
The focus has apparently switched from prevention to testing.
How is it possible to have such an enlightened approach in one area, an area with massive implications, yet have such a Draconian approach to punting?
Before we come down from our soapboxes, how about trying a similar approach to punting?
We could submit our betting slips before clicking the confirmation box and learn if we were on the right course, or more likely, be told that our punt for Brisbane to bet Richmond by 40 points at MCG was not what we thought it was.