Victorian Councils Call for New Pokies Guidelines

ThestateofVictoriahastakentheleadwithregardstopokermachinereformsinAustralia。

Whilethefederalgovernmenthasbackeddownfromimposingnewpokierestrictions,Victoriahasimplementeditsownrulestohelpprotectfromgamblingharm。

Still,localVictoriacitycouncilsbelievethatmorecanbedonetoreduceproblemgamblingrates。

Recently,14councilsacrossVictoriahavecalledonthestategovernmenttoimposestricterrulesforpokermachineapplicants。

CitycouncilsincludingMonash,WhittleseaandYarrahavesuggestedthatanyclubsorvenuesrequestingnewpokiemustprovidemorecompellingevidencethatthegameswillnotbea‘detrimenttothecommunity’。

ThemovementcomesshortlyafterMonashCityCouncilwenthead-to-headwithahotelinClatonovernewpokies。

Thevenuewantedtoaddnewgamingmachinesandcouncilmembersopposedtheincreaseofgames。

Intheend,thecouncillostasthehotelwasgrantedpermissiontoinstallnewgames。

Now,localcouncilswanttomakeitunnecessaryforcouncilmemberstointerveneinpokermachineapplicationprocesses。

Theyplanonmakingthispossiblebyaskingthestatetoenforcestricterapplicationguidelines。

Assuch,thestatewouldhavetotakeacloserlookattheimpactthatnewpokieswouldhaveonthelocalcommunityanddeterminewhetherornotitwouldbeworthittoincreasegamingmachinenumbers。

Localgamingmanufacturersandclubownerhaveopposedtheplan,statingthatthereisenoughgamingregulationinthestatealready。

ItistruethatVictoriaimposessomeofthestrictestpokermachinelawsinAustralia,andclubownersdoubtthatanymoreguidelinesneedtobeintroduced。

ThelevelofregulationovergamingmachinesinVictoriaisthemostrigorousandstringentinAustraliabyamile,saysBrianKearneyoftheAustralianHotelsAssociation。