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Minister issues guidelines for pokies venues at residential developments

The Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation has issued decision-making guidelines for the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to consider when determining an application for the approval of new pokies premises located in a building that includes permanent residential accommodation.

In making these guidelines, the minister states the main objectives of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (the Act) are to foster responsible gambling in order to minimise harm caused by problem gambling, to accommodate those who gamble without harming themselves or others, and to ensure that minors are neither encouraged to gamble nor allowed to do so.

Where a building includes permanent residential accommodation, locating gaming machines in that building can increase exposure to gambling for residents. This is of particular concern for children and people at risk of problem gambling. Research indicates that frequent exposure to gambling can leave people particularly vulnerable to developing problems with their gambling. Research also indicates that easy access to a gaming venue is a potential risk factor for problem gamblers in treatment.

In addition, the Victorian Government is concerned to ensure that provisions for the wellbeing of minors in relation to gaming venues remains adequate and support the adoption of measures to ensure children are not exposed to the sights or sounds of gaming machines.

The guidelines state that locating gaming machines in a building with permanent residential accommodation is inconsistent with the Act's responsible gambling objectives. When considering applications for the approval of premises as suitable for gaming, the commission must have regard to the Victorian Government's policy that any building that includes (or is planned to include) permanent residential accommodation should not be approved as premises suitable for gaming.

These guidelines apply to all applications decided after 14 February 2017.

Read the decison-making guidelines at Special Gazette Number S30 of 14 February 2017.

Media contact:
Fiona Skivington, Manager, Media & Communication
on +61428248931 or

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