On 31 January and 1 and 3 February 2022, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission heard an application by Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd for a new gaming venue with 50 pokies at The Silk Lounge, 388 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne (City of Melbourne).
On 14 February 2022, the commission approved the application with conditions.
The commission found the social and economic impact to the wellbeing of the City of Melbourne community, if the application was approved, will not be detrimental. Hence the 'no net detriment' test was met.
The commission's approval is subject to the following conditions:
- the approval does not take effect until:
- the commission has notified Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd in writing that the premises have been inspected and the commission is satisfied at that time that the premises are suitable for the management and operation of gaming machines;
- Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd satisfies the commission that it has obtained planning approval for the premises permitting the premises to be used for gaming on gaming machines
- the works have been completed to the satisfaction of the commission, substantially in accordance with the plans prepared by Insite Architects, which were submitted as part of the application and detailed in evidence at the hearing. The works must be completed by 31 December 2022
- Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd must make cash contributions of $75,000 each year (indexed to CPI) for as long as any of the 50 gaming machines are operational at the premises
- the contribution must be allocated each year to not-for-profit community groups and sporting organisations providing services and facilities to residents within the City of Melbourne
- the contribution must be distributed as determined by a Committee established by Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd comprising:
- two representatives of Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd; and
- one representative of Council, or in the event that Council is unwilling to provide a representative, a community representative nominated by Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd
- the Committee will advertise annually in a newspaper circulating in the City of Melbourne area for submissions from not-for-profit community and sporting organisations, providing services and facilities to residents within the City of Melbourne, regarding the distribution of the contribution to be made each year. The Committee will assess requests for cash contributions in accordance with guidelines to be established by the Committee
- if the contribution is not allocated in each full year in accordance with this condition, the operation of 50 gaming machines must cease immediately for as long as the contribution (or part thereof) remains outstanding
- a minimum of three members of staff must be rostered in the gaming room at all times the gaming room is open to members of the public. The cashier may be counted as one of the three members of staff provided the cashier is rostered to work either within the green line area or behind the cashier's desk
- the cashier's desk in the gaming room must not at any time be used for the sale, supply or service of food or drinks
- prior to the commencement of gaming at the premises, Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd must appoint a Responsible Gambling Officer (RGO). The RGO will be a full-time role. The RGO will:
- develop and manage the venue's self-excluson program (SEP);
- focus on implementation and maintenance of harm reduction measures and staff training; and
- establish and maintain relationships with community services operating within the City of Melbourne with the intent of safeguarding vulnerable community members impacted by gambling
- Bay Road Hotel Pty Ltd must make the meeting room at the premises available to community and sporting groups at no charge from opening to 12 noon daily and at other times by arrangement
- staff are prohibited from using gaming machines at the premises at any time.