Brimbank,
23
November
2018
|
23:30
Australia/Melbourne

Speak up on plan to cut gambling harm

Summary

Brimbank Council wants your input on a plan to reduce the damage caused by a decade of electronic gambling losses the community cannot afford.

Brimbank Mayor Cr Lucinda Congreve said the Draft Brimbank Electronic Gambling Policy aimed to reduce the economic, social and health harms associated with Electronic Gambling Machines (EGMs) and other forms of electronic gambling in Brimbank.

“Brimbank is home to some of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged communities – and yet, year after year, Brimbank experiences the highest EGM losses in Victoria.

“Last financial year $139.5 million was lost on Brimbank EGMs – that’s $382,000 a day, enough to buy a unit to live in.

“We need to take action to reduce the harms that these losses bring to our community,” Cr Congreve said.

EGMs are regulated by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR); while other forms of electronic gambling are regulated by the Federal Government.

Brimbank's objectives

Brimbank’s draft policy sets out three objectives to reduce gambling harm:

  • identify gambling-related harms based on evidence
  • reduce the prevalence of gambling
  • increase community understanding of gambling-related harms and reduce reliance on gambling.

Within each objective are a number of actions – including opposing any licensing applications for new or transferred EGMs (currently capped at 953 in Brimbank), disallowing any new EGMs on Council-owned land, and working with current EGM operators to reduce community harm.

Also included are a range of actions including supporting advocacy, research, community education and harm minimisation.

Have Your Say

Cr Congreve invited community members to review the policy and provide feedback.

“Council recognises that gambling is a legal form of entertainment that many people enjoy responsibly, and many clubs that have electronic gambling machines also have an important social role in their communities.

“This draft policy seeks to balance this aspect of gambling with the need to minimise harm to those who may be vulnerable – and Council welcomes feedback from everyone in our community,” Cr Congreve said.

You can read the policy and have your say at our Have Your Say page until Friday 22 February 2019.