A PLAN to reduce the impact of gambling on the local community has been put out to consultation.
Kingston Council’s draft gambling action plan was approved by councillors at a meeting this week. The measures council are likely to advocate for include reducing the hours local gaming venues operate to 10am to midnight, reducing the local electronic gaming machine cap down to 945, calling on the state government to remove designs from machines that contribute to gambling harm like linked jackpots, and the introduction of a $1 bet limit per button push on pokies.
The reduction of the cap would mean that no more EGMs could be installed in Kingston, as there are currently 945 licensed in the municipality.
Kingston gamblers regularly rank among the biggest losers statewide. In the last financial year in which gaming venues operated year-round, Kingston gamblers lost nearly $86 million on EGMs (“Punters pour money into pokies” The News 7/8/19)
Kingston mayor Steve Staikos said that he had written to and met with gaming minister Melissa Horne to discuss the proposed changes. “Under our current cap levels, a further 268 licensed EGMs could be allowed in Kingston, this is excessive and will only lead to further harm for those families and individuals already suffering. We have asked the minister to support a reduction in the Kingston EGM cap to its current level of licensed EGMs of 945,” Cr Staikos said.
“In June I travelled to Canberra and met with MPs Michelle Rowland and Mark Dreyfus to raise concerns over the impact of gambling harm in our community.
“We are continuing to work through the minister for gaming’s office to lobby for a reduction in the number of licensed poker machines in Kingston.”