Electronic gaming machine policy
We play an active and important role in reducing the harm associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (pokies) gambling
If you’re worried about gambling, support is available:
- Gamblers Help phone: 1800 858 858, TTY 1800 777 706 – 24-hour telephone counselling service
- Gambling Help Online – 24/7 online support for problem gambling counselling and support.
Since pokies venues closed on 23 March 2020 due to COVID-19, the Darebin community saved $51 million from being spent on poker machines. That is $223,400 each day the pokies have been closed in Darebin alone.
Every dollar spent on poker machines is a dollar that could be supporting our local economy in its recovery. To get help, you can also contact Gamblers Help North and North West on 1300 133 445.
Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018—2022
On the 3 December 2018 Council endorsed the Darebin Electronic Gaming Machine Policy and Action Plan 2018—2022. The policy seeks to make the Darebin community free of the harm associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (pokies), with over $80 million lost in EGM gambling in Darebin every year. EGM gambling is a major driver of household debt, family breakdown and there is now consistent evidence that gambling is a contributing factor to family violence.
The Policy will be enacted through four priority areas:
- Legislation Regulation: To exercise the full extent of Council's regulatory and legislative mandate to minimise harm from EGMs.
- Advocacy: Council will continue to be recognised as a state wide leader in driving changes to reform those systems and structures that cause gambling-related harm to the Darebin community.
- Organisational Alignment: Council will take a whole of organisation approach to minimising harm, acknowledging that all our activities can contribute to minimising harm.
- Evidence Research Data: Council will develop a strong, robust and defensible evidence base that will enhance Council’s capacity to effectively influence the location, management and operation of EGMs in the municipality and contribute to the broader evidence base.
What will the policy mean for the community?
The policy contains a number of items that relate to the provision of Council funding and support, most notably that:
- Council will not fund community groups who meet in venues that have EGMs through any of its community funding programs.
- Any sporting club, community group, organisation or association that operate or own EGMs will be ineligible for community grants, financial assistance or in kind support from Council.
- Any sporting club, community group, organisation or association that receives sponsorship or grants (in-kind or cash) from poker machine revenue will have Council grants, in-kind support and funding reduced by the amount and level of funding and/or in-kind support received from EGM sources.
- Council will not provide sporting grounds, Council venues or use of Council property to any sporting clubs, community groups, organisations or associations who directly operate or own EGMs in Darebin or elsewhere.
It is Council’s intention through this policy to support clubs and groups to be independent of any reliance on EMG generated funding or support. We will work with organisations to develop tailored transition plans to ensure that they may continue to access Council facilities and resources and provide a benefit to their members.