VLGA's Ongoing Efforts in Reducing Gambling Harm

Friday, 28 July 2023

The VLGA remains dedicated to supporting member Councils in their fight against gambling harm. We are pleased to report that recent Electronic Gaming Machine reforms announced by the State Government are aligned with our advocacy work and are positive move.

The key reforms include:

•            Mandatory pre-commitment in hotels and clubs, which includes forced daily loss limits. 
•            All gaming rooms to be closed between 4am-10am (excluding Crown)
•            Players limited to $100 per play (a reduction from $1,000)
•            Spin rates on pokies to change from 2.1 to 3 seconds.

These reforms will contribute to minimising gambling harm and enhancing the well-being of our communities. The VLGA has actively supported the Local Government sector in advocating for mandatory pre-commitment in local venues, following the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence.

We commend our member Councils and partners for their unwavering efforts in this space over many years. However, while these announcements are promising, we eagerly await more details on the timeline for implementation and the process of consulting with the gambling industry.

Our commitment to supporting Councils requesting additional measures to reduce gambling harm remains steadfast, especially through consultation with communities experiencing significant disadvantages.

The Local Government Working Group on Gambling (LGWGOG) continues to work closely together, providing participants with tools, updates and discussion. Recently, we received an insightful overview of the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission's new position statement.

The VLGA was also invited to give evidence at the Public Accounts and Estimate's Inquiry into the Victorian Auditor-General's Report: No. 99: Follow up of Regulating Gambling and Liquor (2019) and 
No. 213: Reducing the Harm Caused by Gambling (2021). Our formal written submission outlined our views, insights, and experiences, which reflected the valuable input from our members.