Latest Breaking News & Hot Updates Around USA OR All Over World

Anthony Albanese is criticized for using gambling ambassador Shaquille O’Neil to promote the vote

0 111

Shaquille O’Neal’s meeting with Anthony Albanese to promote The Voice to parliament was especially inappropriate as he was in Australia to support gambling, which Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe said is disproportionately impacting Aboriginal communities.

The former NBA superstar, who is estimated to be worth $400 million, gave a press conference with Mr. Albanian on Saturday in Sydney, where he was believed to be The Vote instead muttered a few words about God and love for Australia.

Senator Thorpe rejected O’Neal’s attempt to promote The Voice, as he is foreign and has ties to the gambling industry, which particularly severely affects Aboriginal communities.

“I mean, he’s here on a speaking tour, good for him, and he’s here for PointsBet too, which is about gambling, that’s about destroying families,” Ms Thorpe told 3AW radio on Monday.

“He sticks his nose into things that have nothing to do with him.

“He doesn’t understand what’s going on in this country and he’s not allowed to comment.”

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal (center) pictured with Indigenous Australian minister Linda Burney (left) and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right)

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe (pictured) said it was inappropriate for O'Neal to promote The Voice as he is foreign and linked to the gambling industry, which particularly affects Aboriginal communities hard.

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe (pictured) said it was inappropriate for O’Neal to promote The Voice as he is foreign and linked to the gambling industry, which particularly affects Aboriginal communities hard.

O’Neal was in the country for meet-and-greets with fans, two of which were sponsored by asset manager La Trobe Financial, and a charity basketball competition sponsored by Pointsbet.

Fans paid a whopping $500 each to meet the LA Lakers legend at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena on Thursday and The Star Sydney on Friday.

Though his meeting with the prime minister was free, an industry source said O’Neal would have made at least $200,000 from the weekend visit, based on similar deals for shoots, meet-and-greets and Instagram posts.

“He paid himself this week because everyone finally knows who PointsBet is,” the source said.

The 50-year-old American became an ambassador for little-known Australian gambling company Pointsbet in January 2021, taking a stake in the companies as part of the deal and also representing US gambling company WynnBet.

He was featured in several Pointsbet TV ads in Australia, including one where he bets online while getting a massage, repairing a car and playing golf.

Last year, O’Neal boasted of betting $1 million on an MMA fight and winning.

The former NBA superstar, estimated to be worth $400 million, is pictured meeting Big Brother winner Reggie Bird and her son while in Australia

The former NBA superstar, estimated to be worth $400 million, is pictured meeting Big Brother winner Reggie Bird and her son while in Australia

O'Neal was featured in several Pointsbet TV ads in Australia, including one where he bet online while getting a massage, repairing a car and playing golf.

O’Neal was featured in several Pointsbet TV ads in Australia, including one where he bets online while getting a massage, fixing a car and playing golf.

A paper published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, a government agency, found that gambling rates are much higher among Indigenous Australians than the wider population – especially on ‘slots’ – and ‘problem gambling’ is also much more common.

The paper cited research showing that up to a fifth of Indigenous Australians have a problem with gambling.

Mr. Albanese insisted that O’Neal contact him to discuss the proposal for The Voice, a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who would have an as yet undefined level of power to pass proposed legislation that would affect is to influence and modify indigenous people.

The prime minister wants to enshrine the body in the Constitution, which may require a referendum at the end of next year.

Mr Albanese’s meeting with O’Neal has been criticized by all sides of politics, with many arguing that it “cheaper” the debate and “beneficial” voters.

But the prime minister dismissed criticism on Tuesday morning, telling critics to ‘rest’.

“He approached me and I think people should really relax a little bit. The fact is that the appearance of Shaq meant that people are talking about it,” he told radio 2SM.

“And one of the things we need to do is make the community aware that this referendum is coming up, that it needs a debate.

“Shaq speaks to a whole group of people, many of whom would have heard about the Voice to Parliament for the first time, and that’s a good thing.

“So I make no apologies for saying that I will talk about these issues with anyone, anywhere, anytime. And anything we can do to raise awareness about this topic is a good thing.”

Last year O'Neal Last year O'Neal boasted of betting $1 million on an MMA fight and winning boasted of betting $1 million on an MMA fight and winning

Last year, O’Neal (pictured in a Pointsbet ad) boasted about betting $1 million on an MMA fight and winning

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.