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Reducing the harms of poker machines

We have been working hard to minimise the devastating harm that poker machine gambling has on our community, especially disadvantaged communities.

Tasks

Our municipality is ranked the 7th highest among Victorian local government areas for poker machine losses:

  • $109 million was lost to poker machines in 2017/18 in the City of Whittlesea.
  • $299,940 was lost to poker machines each day in 2017/18 in the City of Whittlesea.

We are a lead partner of the Alliance for Gambling Reform and support the Pokies Play You campaign.

What we are seeking

We ask that the State Government take a long-term and public health approach to poker machine regulation through:

1. Poker machine redesign to reduce the harmful, misleading, deceptive and addictive nature of the machines:

a. $1 maximum bets per spin with maximum $120 losses per hour as recommended by the Productivity Commission.

b. Address losses disguised as wins, and linked jackpots and fake ‘near misses’

c. Reduce spin rates

2. A reduction in the operating hours of pokies venues from the current level of 20 hours a day.

3. Specific provisions regarding gambling venues in greenfield areas and in the preparation of Precinct Structure Plans, to ensure that gaming venues are not the first and /or only recreational/ entertainment venue in a newly developed estate.

4. A review of the criteria for the distribution of poker machines to minimise harm from gambling in growth areas reflecting with the intention of ‘sinking caps’ to protect communities that are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of gambling.

5. Amending the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Vic)

• Remove ‘fostering competition’ as a reason for more machines and require the VCGLR to judge that an area already has enough EGMs (Section 3.1.1)

• Allow the Commission enough time to make the right decision (Section 3.3.8)

• Allow councils enough time to develop comprehensive submissions (Section 3.3.6)

• A stronger requirement for the Commission to take council submissions into account (Section 3.3.7(3))

• Make the applicant meet social and economic impact tests (Section 3.3.7(1))

• Only grant applications that benefit the community (Section 3.3.7(1)(c)).

You can take action

Add your name to The Pokies Play You campaign.

If you or someone you know is experiencing gambling harm, confidential, professional free advice and support is available 24/7 get the support that’s right for you:   

Call: 1800 858 858

Visit: Gambler's Help 

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