Australian anti-gambling senator leaving federal politics

One of Australia's most vocal opponents of gambling, independent Sen. Nick Xenophon, is leaving the federal political scene to focus on his SA Best Party and South Australian provincial politics, according to local media reports Friday.

Despite his departure from Canberra, Xenophon will continue to wield influence in the federal parliament through his political party, he told reporters.

“The difference with nine years ago, when I got into the Senate, is that I now have colleagues with me that are very capable and very passionate and will continue to raise and fight the issue of poker machines and the damage of online gambling in the federal parliament,” Senator Xenophon told ABC radio.

“Stirling Griff, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, Rebekha Sharkie, all of them will continue to take a very strong interest and advocate passionately for this.

“There will still be three of my colleagues in the Senate, Rebekha Sharkie in the lower house … my colleagues get on extremely well, we have a very good working relationship and there will be this great synergy between the state and federal party.”

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