Ballarat City Council will respond to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) over a Robin Hood Hotel application for an extra eight gaming machines.
In this submission it is proposed the following be considered:
Vulnerable communities’ impact
Adherence to City of Ballarat Gaming Machine Community Policy intent
Applicant response feedback
Community, business and local organisation feedback
Conditions Council believes would improve the proposal’s anticipated impact including the venue adopts harm minimisation strategies
The City of Ballarat Gaming Machine Community Policy highlights there is substantial evidence that demonstrates problem gambling’s adverse consequences, including financial loss, relationship breakdown and reduced health and wealth being.
The City of Ballarat is concerned by Ballarat’s gaming machine prevalence. Gaming machine numbers and expenditure per adult is higher than in other regional Victorian municipalities and significantly higher than the state average.
Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, there was an average of $163,467 lost by players on poker machines per day and $57.5 million annually in the City of Ballarat.
Due to COVID-19 venue closures, there was a $13.8 million decrease in annual poker machine losses.
There is currently 637 poker machines across 14 Ballarat venues which is 96 per cent of the local 663 area cap. An extra eight machines would bring the cap to 97.3 per cent.
The estimated losses on Ballarat poker machines as a gross individual income is 12.1 per cent (2016).
Council’s current Gaming Machine Community Policy (2011) also needs to be reviewed and updated in coming months.