8 March 2023, 12:51
Victoria Legislative Council, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan):

My constituency question is for the Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation.

My constituent is a resident of Brimbank, and she is concerned about the impact of pokies in her neighbourhood. In contacting my office she highlighted the 2021–22 study showing that Brimbank has the unenviable record of attracting the highest losses on electronic gaming machines of any local government area in Victoria over the last decade. There are 15 pokies venues, representing over 950 machines on which over $350,000 a day is being lost. It is so overtly and negatively impacting families in this area, and so my constituent asks: how will the minister intervene to curb further losses in this community?

Written Answer
Received: 22 March 2023
Hon Melissa Horne MP
(Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Ports and Freight, Minister for Roads and Road Safety)

The Victorian Government recognises the importance of placing measures to address gambling-related harm.

On 1 January 2022, the government established the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) to provide stronger, more focused regulation of Victoria’s gambling industry. It has oversight of all gambling and gaming activities within Victoria – from pubs and clubs through to the casino.  The VGCCC is required to undertake activities to minimise gambling harm, and harm minimisation considerations are central to its work.

In the 2019-20 Budget, the government provided the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (the Foundation) with $153 million over the next four years. This represents the nation’s largest commitment to address problem gambling.

Other government reforms to reduce gambling-related harm include:

  • introducing Australia’s first state-wide networked pre-commitment scheme, YourPlay, which allows Victorians to set limits on how much time and money they spend on gaming machines. Through this, players are assisted to identify and change their playing behaviours
  • prohibiting ATMs in gaming venues and imposing $200 transaction and $500 daily EFTPOS withdrawal limits. Victoria is the only Australian mainland jurisdiction without ATMs in gaming venues. Further prohibitions apply on cash advanced from a credit account and on cashing cheques at gaming venues
  • capping the total number of gaming machines in the State until 2042 and setting regional caps and municipal limits on gaming machine entitlements. The caps and limits help to ensure that Victoria remains the Australian jurisdiction with the lowest density of gaming machines, except for Western Australia (which does not permit gaming machines outside the casino)
  • improving Responsible Gambling Codes of Conduct (codes) for venue operators from September 2020. The new codes improve harm minimisation and must include a statement that a venue operator has a duty to take all reasonable steps to prevent and minimise harm from the operation of gaming machines.

We will continue to monitor the gaming arrangements for hotels and clubs across the state to ensure we have the appropriate regulatory settings.


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