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Monbulk Bowling Club seeks 10 new poker machines

Tue, May 21, 2:31pm by Staff Writer

The Monbulk Bowling Club has applied to the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation for 10 new poker machines in its venue in Monbulk.

According to the Yarra Ranges Council, The Bowling Club is situated in a recreation complex in Monbulk and has operated pokies since 1995.

They currently have 30 poker machines.

The public are being asked to make submissions regarding to the application via the VCGLR website.

The council has two roles relating to pokies according to its own clauses.

Clause 52.28 regarding the planning scheme in gaming instances requires a planning permit to install or use a gaming machine.

Council’s local planning policy under clause 22.08 provides guidance in relation to such applications, in relation to the location of venues.

It is also the shire’s responsibility to assess the potential net social and economic impacts of new gaming machines.

The council can make a submission on behalf of the community if it believes there will be a net social and economic detriment from an application for more pokies.

Mitchell Shire wants pokies warning messages

Mitchell Shire Council is calling on the state government to introduce warning signs on all poker machines in the state.

The Victorian council made a submission opposing Hogan’s Hotel’s application for an extra 20 poker machines at its Wallan premises.

The submission was unsuccessful, with Hogan’s Hotel increasing its gaming machines from 45 to 65 earlier this month.

As a condition of the new permit, Hogan’s Hotel must increase its community contributions to $100,000 a year for as long as any of the additional gaming machines are in operation.

If the contributions are not allocated, the operation of the gaming machines must cease until the outstanding contributions are paid.

Mitchell Shire is home to more than 40,000 residents and includes towns such as Broadford, Kilmore, Seymour and Wallan.

The North Central Review is reporting the council is calling for the change in a further stance against poker machines.

Deputy mayor David Atkinson moved the motion, which was seconded by Cr Annie Goble, and passed unanimously.

The stand comes after council made a submission to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation opposing the application for an additional 20 machines at Hogan’s Hotel in Wallan.

Cr Atkinson said pokies were the most addictive form of gambling and there was a fundamental issue with the product.

“Electronic gaming machines are designed to keep you playing and programmed to lose money. Stronger regulation is needed to make our community healthier,” he said.

“There are a lot of people, often the ones who can’t afford it, that get addicted to these machines. These people need to have in front of their face that the machines are designed to make them lose.”

Cr Atkinson likened the messages to those used on retail tobacco packaging in Australia.

“These warnings provide a clear message about harmful health consequences of tobacco products,” he said.

“Mandating public health product warning messages stating, ‘this machine is designed to keep you playing and programmed for you to lose money’, clearly visible on each machine to anyone who is using would ensure those using the machines are provided with evidence-based warning message.”

Cr Goble applauded the motion.

“Sadly, I believe the power of poker machine operators is too great and this outcome is highly unlikely,” she said.

“I think it will be fought against and we could possibly compromise with signs in venues or bathrooms,” she said.

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