Victorian Local Governance Association
Responsible Gambling

Responsible Gambling

The negative impacts of gambling are a great concern for local governments. The VLGA's work in this area aims to develop and share knowledge on how to implement responsible gambling policies across local communities.

VLGA Approach

Local governments and communities are concerned about the explosion in poker machine numbers, their concentration in disadvantaged areas, the rise in problem gambling, the lack of council planning control over pokies venues, the negative economic impacts and the lack of independent research into the impacts of gambling.

The VLGA works with local governments and community organisations, with support from the Local Government Working Group on Gambling (LGWGOG), to address the negative impacts of gambling.

Supporting Local Governments on Gaming Policy Project

Changing State and Australian government regulatory environments mean that now more than ever is the time to strengthen local government policy and statutory responses to gaming machines. The VLGA undertook the Supporting Local Governments on Gaming Policy Project in order to increase the capacity of local governments to address Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) gambling related issues. The project by has developed a ‘how-to’ guide on EGM assessments, engaged the University of Ballarat to undertake a significant research project on the impact of new gambling venues on communities and distributes regular news bulletins. 

The final research project report provides accessible knowledge of the multiple, interconnected, direct and indirect, and often hidden ways that poker machines are affecting the health and wellbeing of communities. These impacts – social, cultural, political and moral – challenge the dominant conceptions of gambling as an individual pathology affecting only the minority of problem gamblers. Our conclusions strengthen the call for gambling to be recognised as a public issue rather than exclusively a personal trouble.

Community projects to prevent harm from gambling

The Program funds 15 diverse projects, delivered by health and community organisations across Victoria. Projects are working at the local community level with at-risk groups, including young people, international students, prisoners and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups to prevent and reduce gambling related harm.

Download an information poster on the Program (3.5mb PDF)
Download a poster encouraging non-gambling activities for community groups - translated to six languages (1mb PDF)

Gambling advocacy pack

The VLGA has launched a gambling advocacy pack which provides local governments with fact sheets, key contacts and a presentation template.

Social Impacts of Pokies

Social Impacts of is an online evidence base and data book for local government staff, community members and applicants to build their own social impact assessments.

Social and Economic Impact Assessments (SEIAs) for gaming applications are complex.  This Framework identifies indicators that may be considered within an SEIA, the evidence that supports these indicators and links to the data source to for each indicator.

The Framework was developed by the Inner Northern Working Group on Gambling.