No dice for gambling harm in Maribyrnong

Maribyrnong council has endorsed a new gambling policy to look at how to reduce gambling harm within the community.

By Matthew Sims

Maribyrnong council has put forward a plan to tackle gambling harm experienced throughout the area.

At its meeting on Tuesday, June 14, the council moved a motion to note the findings from stakeholder engagement for the Reducing Harm from Gambling Policy 2022-2030 document and endorse the document, as well as continue to liaise with local sporting clubs to implement and promote the Love the Game program and include annual reporting to council.

Stony Creek Ward councillor Bernadette Thomas said the council’s participation in the Alliance for Gambling Reform meant it could advocate for actions to reduce gambling harm in the area.

“We do have a duty of care to our community and our residents,” she said.

“We know that gambling doesn’t discriminate, gambling harm occurs across all parts of the community.”

The policy showed there was a net loss of $58,205,122 across Maribyrnong’s electronic gaming machines [EGM] or ‘pokie’ machines during 2019.

The Palms at the Yarraville Cricket Club had the highest EGM net losses of any venue in 2019 at $14 million or $185,000 per EGM.

Cr Thomas said the “out of sight” increase in online gambling over the past few years would continue to harm younger people.

“This is a space we absolutely need to be in,” she said.

“We need to be strong advocates.”