18 May 2023, 12:05
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan):

My question is for the minister for gaming, represented by Minister Blandthorn in this chamber. The City of Brimbank in my region
holds the unenviable record of the highest poker machine losses of any local government area in Victoria – over $1.29 billion over the last decade.

The Gambling Regulation Act requires gaming machines in hotels and clubs to be shut down for 4 hours each day. This mandatory break is aimed at protecting vulnerable people from gambling-related harm. However, venues in Brimbank are seemingly colluding to circumvent the law by staggering their opening and closing times to ensure that people can keep gambling 24 hours a day by simply moving between proximate venues. So my question is: what does the minister propose to do to address this loophole and prevent this type of exploitation of vulnerable problem gamblers?

Lizzie BLANDTHORN (Western Metropolitan – Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Minister for Child Protection and Family Services):

Thank you, Mr Ettershank, for yo question. I will pass it to the minister for gaming and ensure that she provides you with an answer.


I thank the minister for her response. The Alliance for Gambling Reform recommends mandatory poker machine closing hours of midnight to 10 am. Has the minister considered this type of law reform as a solution to the issues I highlighted?


Thank you again, Mr Ettershank, and I will again pass your supplementary question to the minister and ask that she provide you with an
answer in accordance with the standing orders

Written Answer
Received: 12 July 2023
The 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 government is aware that some gaming venue operators stagger their opening hours.

The Minister has asked the Department of Justice and Community Safety to undertake analysis with the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission on this issue. 

This analysis will be used to assess whether we have the appropriate regulatory arrangements across Victoria’s gaming venue operators.

The Victorian Government is serious about reducing gambling harm.

Victoria was the first state in Australia to implement pre-commitment, which allows Victorians to set limits on how much time and money they spend on gaming machines. It is mandatory to have YourPlay installed and available on all gaming machines in the state.

The government has also prohibited ATMs in gaming venues and imposed $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.

Finally, the government has capped the total number of gaming machines in the State until 2042 and sets regional caps and municipal limits on the number of gaming machine entitlements permitted in certain areas. 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).


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