Local government action on pokies


April 9, 2018

Here are some links to local government bodies which have passed resolutions or motions related to poker machine reform.

Passed 8-1 at the Manningham council meeting held on June 28, 2011

That Council:

A. Endorses the Productivity Commission recommendation for a maximum bet limit on poker machines of $1 per ‘button push'.

B. Notes the Productivity Commission recommendation for a full pre-commitment scheme for electronic gaming machines in all States and Territories as a "strong, practicable and ultimately cost-effective option for harm minimisation".

C. Endorses the preferred option of the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform to impose a maximum $1 bet per button push, $120 hourly loss limit and maximum prize of $500.

D. For electronic gaming machines regarded as "high intensity" and not subjected to the limits described in C, Council supports the imposition of a full pre-commitment system so gamblers can set maximum loss limits.

E. Communicate Council's position to pokies venues in Manningham, the Prime Minister, the Premier of Victoria, relevant Federal and State
Ministers, local members of parliament, ALGA, MAV and VLGA.

See minutes.

Also see this story in The Manningham Leader pointing out how Kevin Andrews is out of line with this strongly supported motion by his local council.

Passed at the MAV state council meeting on May 26, 2011

That the MAV advocate to the Minister for Gaming to adopt the following recommendations from the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report on Gambling (February 2010):

 To lower the bet limit to $1 per ‘button push';

 That shut down periods for electronic gaming machines (EGMs) commence earlier and be of longer duration;

 To trigger the necessary process for the introduction of a mandatory full pre-commitment system to set binding limits on losses;

 Better warnings and prominent information in venues; and

 Continue and extend regional caps for EGMs. See this PDF of all resolutions passed.

Whittlesea

THAT Council:

1. Endorse the Productivity Commission recommendation for a mandatory precommitment scheme for electronic gaming machines in all States and Territories as a "strong, practicable and ultimately cost-effective option for harm minimisation". In doing so, Council recognises that any pre-commitment scheme that is not mandatory or allows a gambler to exit the system at any point of time would be ineffective.

2. Support the Gillard Government agreement to design and implement a best practice pre-commitment scheme for electronic gaming machines to be implemented by 2014.

3. Support the Federal and State Governments in pursuing the implementation of a range of effective harm minimisation strategies, recognising that precommitment is not, and should not be seen as the only mechanism that should be employed to minimise problem gambling behaviour.

4. Communicate Council's position to the Prime Minister, the Premier of Victoria, relevant Federal and State Ministers, local members of parliament, ALGA, MAV and VLGA.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

See page 476 and 477 from minutes of council meeting held on March 15, 2011.

Geelong

See the notice of motion which was passed at the council meeting held on March 8, 2011. It is on page 46 of these minutes.

The text was as follows:

That council:

1. writes to Hon. Michael O'Brien MP, Minister for Gaming, seeking support for a compulsory pre-commitment strategy;

2. makes available through its Customer Service Centres the printed postcards (jointly produced by the VLGA, the Victorian InterChurch Gambling Taskforce and the South Australian Heads of Christian Churches Gambling Taskforce) addressed to Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister;

3. uses existing communication networks to encourage residents to complete the printed postcards addressed to Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minster of Australia, and/or write to the Hon. Ted Baillieu MP, Premier of Victoria, encouraging them to continue with their efforts towards reducing problem gambling in the community.

Carried

Geelong has also established Gambling Advisory Committee - see minutes of council meeting held on April 12, 2011, starting at page 108.

Macedon Ranges

From the March 16, 2011 council meeting. See page 16 of the minutes.

It was moved by Cr Letchford seconded by Cr Manning

That Council:

1. writes to Hon. Michael O'Brien MP, Minister for Gaming, seeking support for a compulsory pre-commitment strategy;

2. makes available through its Customer Service Centres the printed postcards (jointly produced by the VLGA, the Victorian InterChurch Gambling Taskforce and the South Australian Heads of Christian Churches Gambling Taskforce) addressed to The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister;

3. uses existing communication networks to encourage residents to complete the printed postcards addressed to Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia, and/or write to the Hon. Ted Baillieu MP, Premier of Victoria, encouraging them to continue with their efforts towards reducing problem gambling in the community.

4. Council agrees to a composite motion on the issues covered in 1-3 is submitted to upcoming National Local Government (NLG) Conference.
5. Also recognises the current inadequacies of general gambling / gaming regulations, both State and Federal and that Council places a motion to the National Local Government Conference seeking to address the wider issue and facets of gambling/gaming in Australia.

CARRIED

Moreland

See this media statement by mayor Oscar Yildiz on March 25, 2011.

Also, this is from page 8 of the minutes for the May 11, 2001 council meeting:

CI24/11 RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING - MANDATORY PRE- COMMITMENT


Cr Stella Kariofyllidis

Cr Kariofyllidis advised Council that pre-commitment refers to a system for a gambler to set limits on how much they will spend or how long they will play on gaming machines – before they start gambling. Mandatory pre-commitment is a key recommendation of the Productivity Commission's inquiry into gambling (June 2010).

The aim of pre-commitment is for people to make informed decisions about their gambling. The system improves consumer protection of a relatively unsafe product. Decisions made while a gambler is in an impaired state (i.e. whilst engrossed in playing the machine) may mean they spend much more money or play for a longer period of time than they intended.

Mandatory pre-commitment is an effective way to reduce the amount of time and money spent by problem gamblers on gaming machines, whilst not restricting those who gamble responsibly for leisure. It does not require the collection of personal or biometric data by the government.

Both Federal and State Governments are supporting the introduction of a pre-commitment scheme. However, they differ with respect to how people opt into the scheme. The Federal Government wants a universal smart card system which will at a nominated limit (by the gambler), shut off a gambler's ability to continue gambling. The State Government are arguing that gamblers should only have to voluntarily opt into such a scheme, which would reduce the effectiveness of the system.

As a result I would like to put the following motion which is consistent with Councils Responsible Gambling Strategy.

Cr Kariofyllidis moved, Cr Pryor seconded that Council -

1. Writes to the Honourable Michael O'Brien MP, Minister for Gaming, seeking support for a mandatory pre-commitment system.

2. Uses existing communication networks to encourage residents to complete the printed postcards addressed to Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia (currently available at citizen's service centres in Moreland), and/or write to the Hon. Ted Baillieu MP, Premier of Victoria, encouraging them to continue with their efforts towards reducing problem gambling in the community.

3. Write to the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Victorian Local Governance Association advising them of this resolution.

Carried

Baw Baw Shire Council

A good summary of action on cyenne.com.au site run by Thomas Cummings.

Ballarat

In January the councillors voted unanimously to amend its gaming policy by reducing the pokies cap by 30% from the previous level of 663.

Yarra Ranges

Proposed a planning scheme amendment in 2010 which would have imposed a 1.5km buffer zone between any new pokies venues and existing community facilities such as schools and railway stations.