On 5 July 2016, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation heard an application from the Stawell Harness Racing Club Inc to increase the number of pokies at the Stawell Harness Racing Club in the Shire of Northern Grampians from 30 to 45.
The Shire of Northern Grampians supported the application.
On 8 August 2016, the commission granted the application.
The commission found there is likely to be a net positive social and economic impact to the community, and therefore no net detriment.
In making this determination, the commission weighed the following economic benefits and disbenefits.
Gaming expenditure not associated with problem gambling was given marginal weight.Community contributions was given marginal weight.Employment creation was given marginal weight.Capital improvements was given marginal weight.
- While gaming expenditure will increase by approximately $311,000 in the first 12 months following installation of the additional pokies, it is not considered significant in the context of the application.
- The club proposes to resume its previous levels of community contributions, as well as provide a further $15,000 each year.
- One new full-time equivalent position will be created at the club.
- The proposed improvement works to the race track and construction of a staff room will create complementary expenditure and supply contracts in the region.
New gaming expenditure attributable to problem gambling was given marginal to low weight.
- Good responsible service of gaming practices are in place at the club to mitigate this harm.
In making the detemination, the commission weighed the following social benefits and disbenefits.
The financial viability of the club was given marginal weight.Community contributions was given marginal weight.Increased gaming opportunities for those who enjoy gaming was given low weight.
- The increase in revenue will ensure the financial viability of the club and enable it to provide facilities and services to benefit the community.
- An additional $15,000 each year will be distributed to local community organisations.
- There is an increased demand for gaming at the club due to pokies being removed from the Town Hall Hotel. This has resulted in the club being the only pokies venue in Stawell.
The possibility of an increased incidence and potential impact of problem gambling on the community was given low weight.
- While social and economic indicators show elements of disadvantage in the Stawell community, the harm is mitigated by the responsible service of gaming practices in place at the club.
See our infographic on the Shire of Northern Grampians and compare its pokies statistics with other councils across Victoria.