Monash Council has strengthened its commitment to reduce harm caused by gambling, endorsing a new Public Health Approach to Gambling Harm Policy.
The Policy recognises that the harms associated with gambling continue to be a major public health and economic issue both within the City of Monash and more broadly across Australia.
Monash is ranked among the top 10 local government areas in Victoria on Electronic Gambling Machines (EGM) losses. In 2021-2022, a COVID-19 affected year, $84.9 million was lost on EGMs in the City of Monash despite venues being closed for 89 days.
In response to the social and financial harm that gambling causes, the Policy articulates how Monash Council will:
- Support initiatives that aim to reduce gambling harm within the City of Monash through education and advocacy.
- Not provide support or resources to community groups or clubs which promote gambling, in particular EGM (pokie machine) venues, sports betting, and online gambling.
- Only allow access to Council-owned land and facilities for groups or clubs adhering to the policy.
- Advocate for regulatory reform of the gambling industry including reduced opening hours, maximum $1 bet limits (on pokies) and the elimination of sports betting advertising.
Mayor, Cr Tina Samardzija said councils across Melbourne can play a direct role in preventing gambling harm.
“Monash Council has a history of leading and advocating for gambling harm prevention,” Cr Samardzija said.
“We are committed to ongoing partnerships, advocacy, research and actions that will help to prevent harm from all forms of gambling in our communities,” said Cr Samardzija.
Monash Council is a founding member of the Alliance for Gambling Reform and work with them on key advocacy campaigns.
The updated Public Health Approach to Gambling Harm Policy incorporates the latest data and was shaped by extensive consultation with key stakeholders and the Monash community.