Council continues to advocate for gambling reform
Council aims to minimise harm in our community caused by gambling. Last year $134 million was lost on electronic gaming machines in Brimbank.
Brimbank Deputy Mayor Cr Daniel Allan said Council is continuing to campaign for a reduction in Brimbank’s current cap on gaming machines.
“Current research recognises that electronic gaming machines are not just harmful to problem gamblers, but pose significant risk to moderate and low-risk gamblers too,” Cr Allan said.
“Last year $134 million was lost on electronic gaming machines in Brimbank, money that our community cannot afford to lose.
Consistent High Losses from Gambling in Brimbank
“Brimbank consistently experiences the highest losses of any local government area in Victoria – with almost $1.4 billion lost since 2007.”
At the Council meeting Council voted unanimously to re-assess its approach to how it supports local clubs that generate an income from pokie machines as part of a review of the Electronic Gambling Policy.
In moving this Notice of Motion, Cr Lucinda Congreve said the review was needed to determine a way forward that minimised harm while also maximised community benefit.
“We need to consider if our current policy has gaps and ensure that we are providing fair and equitable support to our large number of clubs across Brimbank.
Council also unanimously passed a Notice of Motion, expressing Council’s deep disappointment at the State Government’s passing of new Gambling Legislation without amendment – the legislation extends electronic gaming machine licences from 10 to 20 years.
In moving this Notice of Motion, Cr John Hedditch said there was significant evidence that stronger policy and legislative changes were needed to curb the harm caused by electronic gaming machines.
“Brimbank suffers the greatest losses from poker machines of any local government area in Victoria – we are deeply disappointed that this Government has chosen to lock in another 20 years of gambling harm for Brimbank,” Cr Hedditch said.
Concerned About EFTPOS Limits
“We are also concerned by the $500 limit on EFTPOS withdrawals – this limit needs to be much lower if it is to have any real impact on problem gamblers who withdraw an average of $318 per gambling session.
“It is disappointing that some proposed amendments to the new legislation that would have helped minimise the harm caused by problem gambling did not get through.
“These include reducing the EFTPOS limit to $200 per day, a ban on cashless gambling, increasing the minimum closing period for venues from 4 hours to 8 hours , and lowering maximum bets from $5 to $1,” Cr Hedditch said.
Council will write to the Victorian Premier, the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, and Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Matthew Guy MP, to express Council’s disappointment: and seek a meeting with the Minister for Gaming, the Hon. Marlene Kairouz MP, to discuss future actions.