Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gambling - electronic gaming machines (pokies)

This is another motion that did not yield a seconder. Meanwhile Brimbank has reached number one in pokies losses in the state. Pokies (electronic gaming machines) continue to destry families and cause teerrible financial hardship. One mechanism Council can utilise to make running a pokies business for this sort of inhuman profit in Brimbank less attractive is to increase the taxes we demand from them.


To: Chief Executive Officer
Please note that it is my intention to propose the following motion at the Ordinary Meeting of the Council to be held on 24/2/09
Subject: Differential Rate

That council adopt a differential rate for commercial gaming
properties and that it be levied at twice the commercial industrial rate.

Council recognises that gambling is a legitimate form of leisure and entertainment. Council also acknowledges that gambling can have adverse consequences and seeks to encourage responsible gambling.

Council's Gambling Policy Statement and Gambling Action Plan 2006-2009, details Council's ongoing responses and direct actions that arise from the Gambling Policy.

Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) were introduced in Victoria in 1992.
According to the 2006 Action Plan Brimbank currently has 953 EGMs in various locations throughout the municipality. Over the past decade gambling expenditure has risen significantly and community attitudes towards gambling have changed.

Gaming is a significant community problem in Brimbank and affects the entire community, not just problem gamblers. Gambling related problems are mainly associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs). Brimbank is ranked third on the SEIFA scale of disadvantage in Victoria .Brimbank has more than 950 EGMs and despite a low density rank of 7.3 EGMs per 1000 adults, gaming losses are significantly higher than areas with higher machine densities and are now the most severe of any municipality in the state.

One of the key actions of Council's plan is to:

Integrate the Gambling Policy position into all key Council policies, plans and strategies.

A differential rate levied on this sort of antisocial activity would be one method of integrating Council’s policy position into our strategies and making it less attractive for venues to profit from EGM's in our municipality.

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