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Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal review upholds decision to refuse Sporting Legends pokies application

On 22 August 2016, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) affirmed the decision made by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to refuse an application by the Sporting Legends Club in Sale to install an additional six pokies at its clubrooms. The application was opposed by the Shire of Wellington.

The original Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation hearing was held on 9 November 2015 and the commission made its decision on 23 December 2015.

The tribunal concluded there would be a small negative impact on the municipal community and thus the application did not pass the 'no net detriment' test.

Notable points made by VCAT members included:

  • the $30,000 donation offered by the club would not actually be going to those affected by gambling problems nor to the township of Sale
  • members were mindful that community contributions were a core aspect of the club's role and noted a previous tribunal comment regarding the Francis Hotel, that applicants should not be, or seen to be, buying approval
  • members noted the level of disadvantage in the community and did not accept the applicant's contention that additional problem gambling would be mitigated by the full service nature of the club and its ‘responsible gambling’ practices
  • there was uncertainty as to whether the using of tracking via loyalty cards would have any effect on problem gamblers.

More information

VCAT decision

See our infographic on the Shire of Wellington and compare its pokies statistics with other councils across Victoria.

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