Current pokies limit ‘excessive’ – mayor

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KINGSTON Council has called for the local cap on gaming machines to be slashed.

The mayor Steve Staikos called the impact of gambling on residents “catastrophic”, with more than $62 million lost in 2019/2020. “As councillors we are extremely concerned about the impact of gambling harm in our community and have said enough is enough, we need to stop more pokies being allowed in Kingston,” he said.

“Under our current cap levels, a further 268 licensed electronic gaming machines could be allowed in Kingston, this is excessive and will only lead to further harm for those families and individuals already suffering.”

Councillors are asking for the EGM cap to be lowered to 945, equivalent to the current number of licensed EGMs in the Kingston area.

“We know there are connections between gambling harm and mental ill-health, family violence, homelessness and other social and health issues that we care deeply about in Kingston,” Cr Staikos said. “Anything that we can do to reduce gambling harm is a good thing for the whole community.

“We are seeking interested community members to be a part of a community performance to hopefully destigmatise the issue of gambling and gambling harm, and challenge perceptions around blame, responsibility, choice, addiction and power.”

For more information on the anti-gambling performance visit kingstonarts.com.au/PUBLIC-PROGRAMS/Enough-is-Enough-Gambling-Harm-in-our-Community.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 7 April 2021

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