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Enough is Enough. City of Kingston calls for limits on pokies harm

5 February 2019

 With pokie machines costing residents $86 million a year, the City of Kingston has drawn a line in the sand and is saying ‘Enough is Enough’.

Kingston Mayor Georgina Oxley said that Kingston has some of the highest losses to pokie machines.

“Council is calling on the Victorian Government to introduce tougher measures on pokies.”

These include:

  • Limiting the number of pokies allowed in Kingston to 898 (the current number of licences). This would stop any new machines being introduced into the city.
  • Calling for the introduction of a $1 bet limit per push, to help stem the flow of big losses.
  • Reducing opening hours at gaming venues so that pokies venues must close between midnight and 10am, when vulnerable community members are likely to experience big losses.
  • Introducing stricter approvals on pokie machine designs, to exclude designs that contribute to gambling harm.

“Many machines are designed to masquerade losses as wins, put through multiple bets at once and to warp the sense of time spent on each machine. Council would like to see tougher approvals introduced to stop these tricks, along with other tighter restrictions on gaming.”

As part of its commitment to reduce the harm of gaming, Council will also run a campaign to raise public awareness of the real cost of pokies in our community and lobby for more support for anyone with a gambling addiction.

“Research has found that more than 70% of people who use pokie machines experience some level of harm, and that pokie machines are the cause of most gambling-related problems.”  

Kingston is keen to see problem gamblers and vulnerable communities offered positive alternatives to pokie machine venues to address issues of loneliness and boredom.

“Pokies are not your friend. Machines can’t talk, laugh and listen with you. Free and low-cost activities need to be made available to gamblers. For examples of community activities, visit mycommunitylife.com.au.”

Any locals seeking support with gambling for themselves or a loved one can contact Gambler’s Help Southern on 9575 5353 or visit gamblershelpsouthern.org.au  

 

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