Melton Council in Victoria has released a draft Gambling Harm Prevention and Reduction Policy developed as part of its commitment to creating safe environments for residents and mitigating the harms caused by electronic gaming machines.

According to the policy document it aims to:

  • identify Council’s gambling harm reduction commitments and provide specific guidance in relation to their application.
  • address gambling related harms for individuals and the community by defining Council’s harm prevention and reduction expectations associated with:
  • gambling product design, placement, access and availability
  • marketing, sponsorship and promotion
  • the appropriate location and design of new and redesigned gambling establishments
  • limiting the exposure of minors to gaming floors and other areas associated with gambling and the hours of operation where gambling products are available, and
  • demonstrating net community benefit.
  • recognise the potential harms that can be fuelled by incidental exposure to gambling products, as a result of the normalisation of gambling behaviours
  • support relevant Planning Scheme provisions in relation to the interpretation of siting, design, locational and net community benefit and associated aspects of gambling establishments
  • ensure harm reduction principles are incorporated in the design of new gambling establishments
  • establish an internal referral and advice process to assess gambling product related applications and decisions, and
  • assist Council in advocacy programs in relation to gambling harm reduction.

The Policy will apply to:

  • all gambling establishments within and adjoining the municipality
  • gambling related matters, associated with land uses and activities covered by the Melton Planning Scheme as well as the land within a 2.5km (5km in new growth areas) radius of Council’s municipal borders (falling within the Council’s referral or decision-making jurisdictions), and
  • all Council decisions, leases, licences, requests for hire and events where gambling products may be available or are to involve a gambling operator.

The Policy also recommends an eight-hour shut down of the gaming floor, either between:

  • 1am-9am, or
  • 3am-9am and 3pm-5pm daily.

Submissions are closing on 12 September 2019, 05:00 PM. To have your say and download the Draft: