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Commission refuses application for additional pokies at the Dromana Hotel

On 29 January 2015, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation heard an application from Molwin Pty Ltd to increase the number of pokies at the Dromana Hotel from 41 to 50.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council prepared a submission and appeared at the hearing in opposition to the application.

On 6 March 2015, the commission refused the application.

The commission found:

There would be a neutral economic impact on the community if the application were approved.There would be a marginal detrimental social impact on the community if the application were approved.

  • The commission accepted that in the first 12 months of operation, the Dromana Hotel would see an increase in gaming expenditure of between $125 thousand and $152 thousand.
  • The commission found this increased expenditure would likely include expenditure from responsible gaming which was considered a benefit, and problem gambling considered a disbenefit. The commission found increased expenditure would therefore hold little or no material economic benefit.
  • The commission found there was a small risk of an increase in problem gambling from this application.
  • The commission found the venue's community contributions would unlikely be affected by this application as they were built into the venue's business model.
  • The commission found the council does speak on behalf of the community as the council has legislative standing under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 to make a submission on the well-being of the community.
  • The commission found the venue did not 'have a thorough understanding of responsibilities required for the operation of a gaming venue' or 'appreciate the signifiance of appropriate responsible service of gaming measures.'
  • The commission found the area surrounding the hotel was of relative disadvantage, supporting the Council's submission regarding the risk this application would bring to convenience gambling and problem gambling.
  • The commission found there was an increased risk of problem gambling at the Hotel given the profile of the surrounding area.

Read the commission's decision

UPDATE: On 23 December 2015, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) set aside the decision of the commission and directed the commission to amend the applicant's venue operator's licence to vary the number of gaming machines at the Dromana Hotel from 41 to 50, subject to the conditions in the Appendix of the decision.

Read VCAT's decision and reasons for the decision

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