No advance on pokies loss

By Ewen McRae

Melton residents continue to plough millions of dollars into electronic gaming machines each month, according to the latest figures.
Data from the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation shows Melton residents are consistently spending about $6 million on gaming machines every month.
There are 523 gaming machines spread across seven venues in Melton.
In December 2019, $6.14 million was spent on gaming machines in the municipality, compared with $5.9 million in December 2018.

VCGLR figures reveal expenditure dropped to about $5.3 million in the cooler months.

Melton council community planning manager Matt Wilson said the council was working hard to reduce the harm of gambling in the community.
“We are committed to driving change in local gambling.,” Mr Wilson said

“Harm prevention for the whole community is a key consideration in council’s decision-making around gambling products.”
The council adopted a new Gambling Harm Prevention and Reduction Policy in November.
Mr Wilson said the policy aimed to prevent and reduce the harms of gambling products and the gambling industry by setting guidance around the location, design and placement of gambling products in the City of Melton.
“It particularly focuses on limiting exposure to minors and clearly separating gambling areas from other areas in venues,” he said.
“The policy is underpinned by recent Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation research which shows that to reduce harms, we need to focus on the design of gambling products and the way the gambling industry operates.”
Alliance for Gambling Reform chief advocate Reverend Tim Costello, said the increasing gambling losses in Victoria were having a wide-ranging impact.
“We cannot forget that poker machines lead to the loss of much more than money,” Rev Costello said. “In extreme cases, poker machines can cause the loss of lives through connections to some deaths by suicide.
“Then there is the loss of homes, families, relationships, jobs, cars and much more due to gambling harm.
“They are not in any way a healthy form of entertainment. We wouldn’t dream of saying that cigarettes are a healthy product, and pokies are no different.”