Manningham gambling motion at 2023 ALGA NGA

June 18, 2023

The following motion was unanimously endorsed at the February 28, 2023 City of Manningham council meeting and was debated at the 2023 National General Assembly of the Australian Local Government Association on June 15.

This National General Assembly calls on the Australian Government to address Australia's world-highest gambling losses per capita and the intolerable harm $25 billion of annual losses inflicts on Australians, local communities and local and regional health and municipal service providers by:

  1. Introducing a new dedicated Federal Gambling Regulator which includes a mandate to implement and oversee a broad tobacco-style ban on gambling advertising.

  2. Legislating for the complete removal of cash from Australia's fleet of 200,000 poker machine as a national anti money laundering measure in light of last year's NSW Crime Commission report revealing widespread money laundering across NSW poker machines where criminal money launderers can still load up to $10,000 in cash into a single machine.
  1. Establishing a national ACT-style buyback and retirement of poker machine licenses with an initial budget allocation of $500 million and make it conditional on the state and territory governments and the participating clubs, pubs and casinos agreeing to permanently retire the licenses and remove the attached machines from their venues.
  1. Negotiating a moratorium agreement with the Northern Territory government to cease issuing any new low tax digital bookmaking licenses to foreign-owned gambling operators such as Sportsbet, Bet365, Ladbrokes and Betr and instead transferring online gambling licensing and regulation to a new Federal Regulator.
  1. Legislating to the effect that Federally registered political parties are ineligible for Federal per-vote political funding if they, or any of their state affiliates, own and operate poker machine venues.
  1. Removing the DGR status of any church or charity which continues to directly own and operate licensed gambling entities, such as poker machine clubs.

It was motion 112 on a long agenda and we got to it at about 4.30pm on day 2 of the 3 day event.

There were 3 speakers in favour (Manningham, Darebin, Greater Dandenong) and two against (Broken Hill and Hawksbury) and when it went to the vote there was 153 of the 313 voting devices that had been issued which participated, with 109 votes in favour and 44 against, as can see on this photo published on Twitter.

Sincere thanks to the 109 councils across Australia which backed the backed most comprehensive political call for gambling reform ever put up. That was a stunning 71.2% majority.