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Renewed Advocacy around Gambling Reform

Renewed Advocacy around Gambling Reform

28 March 2019

The City of Greater Dandenong is continuing its advocacy around gambling reform, this time calling on the State Government to strengthen its Code of Conduct around Responsible Gambling.

$121 million was lost to electronic gaming machines in Greater Dandenong in the 2017-18 financial year.

Sadly this figure puts Greater Dandenong ahead of every other Victorian municipality when it comes to rates of electronic gaming machine losses and puts a major strain on some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Greater Dandenong Mayor Councillor Roz Blades said the Victorian Government was currently reviewing the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct for EGM venues so it was the ideal time to advocate for change.

“Council is a huge supporter of this review and the need for reform in this space,” Mayor Blades said.

Some of the key changes Council would like to see introduced as part of the review include:

  • Venue staff should be prohibited  from engaging in activities aimed at increasing the amount of money people lose

  • The introduction of mandatory breaks and maximum daily limits on gambling time

  • The giving of gifts or inducements by the venue to people gambling be prohibited

  • Free drinks (excluding water) be prohibited in the pokies area of venues so patrons are encouraged to purchase food and drink from other areas of the venue and take a break

  • All venue staff be required to monitor people gambling to identify signs of gambling harm. In addition venue staff should be required to offer assistance to people displaying signs of gambling harm, including instructing anyone with significant signs of gambling harm to leave the venue and not return for at least 24 hours

Council is an active participant in the Alliance for Gambling Reform, a group also advocating for these changes.

The Alliance was established to advocate for gambling reform to reduce the burden of gambling losses upon vulnerable individuals and communities.

Members of the Alliance include councils, community organisations such as the Salvation Army, and respected gambling reform campaigner Tim Costello.

“Continuing to advocate on this issue is one way we can continue to publically support vulnerable members of our community,” Mayor Blades said.

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