LOTTOLAND faces being banned under new state laws that take aim at exotic overseas betting schemes.
And gambling advertising near schools, or on road and rail infrastructure, will go in a bid to shield children from betting promotions.
A 150m safety net will be thrown around all Victorian schools as part of the scheme, which was first flagged more than a year ago.
Outdoor billboards, train stations, bridges and even noise walls will also be no-go zones for gaming giants.
The state government’s decision allow for the banning of exotic wagering, such as “betting on lotteries”, will deal with concerns about plunging tax revenue from local lotteries — which must be spent on hospitals and charities.
Gibraltar-based Lottoland, in which people effectively bet on the outcomes of lotteries worldwide, has had a rapid rise in Victoria.
A $548 million “US MegaMillions” draw is among lotteries customers can bet on.
Under proposed changes, the gaming minister would be able to ban or restrict companies that offer services such as betting on lotteries, or prevent other forms of wagering that “present a higher risk of harm to the community or create consumer protection issues”.
New online lotteries may still be able to operate in Victoria if they meet certain conditions.
The government says the laws will build on other initiatives aimed at tackling problem gambling.
Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Marlene Kairouz said: “Kids should be able to go to school and get home without being bombarded by betting advertising.
“This Bill will restrict gambling advertising in public spaces, protecting problem gamblers and other vulnerable groups in our community.”
Gambling harm prevention groups are likely to urge the government to go even further in its advertising crackdown. CHARLIE Scholten is a one-of-a-kind child. After years of being poked and prodded, and puzzling doctors, the Melbourne toddler is the first person in the world to be diagnosed with a unique medical condition.
His parents, Anna and Leigh Scholten, had no reason to suspect their second son was anything but a healthy sibling for their eldest child, Oliver.
It was only at eight months of age when they noticed Charlie’s eye was turning inward and he was starting to shake his head most unusually.
He was eventually diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder of the brain which can trigger a major seizure — rendering him unresponsive.
More than six different medical specialists investigated the little boy from “top to toe”. Then, last year Charlie’s symptoms took a troubling turn.
“He had a small fall on to the carpet and we thought he had concussion,” Ms Scholten said. “He went white as a sheet, he became distressed and started violently vomiting.
“Since then, he has suffered attacks every two months on average, usually
induced by a superficial bump to the head or when he becomes upset.”
During the episodes, lasting for five hours, Charlie becomes unresponsive, and one attack was so severe he was put in intensive care.
A light bulb moment came last year when neurologists at the Royal Children’s Hospital got him tested for a calcium mutation of the brain. In March this year, the test results from overseas confirmed their suspicions.
Charlie’s mutation was detected in the CACNA1A gene. The report said it was a novel sequence that was not in any available medical literature or mutation databases globally. It’s possible that other people may have it, but are yet to be diagnosed.
The mutation causes Charlie’s brain to produce calcium in an unusual way that disrupts the electrical signals.
“I was relieved to get a diagnosis and we didn’t have to keep putting him through all those tests,” Ms Scholten said. “But my heart sank because we don’t have a way to fix it.”
The diagnosis has enabled them to start trialling calcium channel-blocking drugs to reduce symptoms. And Charlie attends the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC), with occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech therapists.
It’s helping him improve his speech, fine and gross motor skills and severe ataxia, which makes it hard to control his muscles and balance.
While his prognosis is unclear, his parents h hope th the treatments and therapy will help him control his tremors, enjoy having a conversation and walk independently.
“We are positive and determined to support, encourage and drive Charlie to be the best he possibly can be with this condition,” Ms Scholten said.
It costs $32,000 each year for CPEC to provide a child with care. email@example.com melbournemarathon2017.everyday hero.com/au/charlie-s-mission-to-walk
TALK about flush with cash.
A Geneva official has confirmed a newspaper report that said wads of cutup 500-euro notes (about $600 each) mysteriously turned up jammed into the toilets of three restaurants and a bank in recent months.
One bunch caused the toilet to overflow.
Prosecutor’s office spokesman Henri Della Casa said the shredded notes were once worth tens of thousands of euros in total.
The origins of the cash were unknown. Charlie, 3, on the swing and with his brother, Oliver, 6. Pictures: JASON EDWARDS