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Latrobe Local News:
New rules on gaming are welcome says Mayor

Mayor welcomes new measures to combat problem gambling.

By Latrobe City Council - 5th February 2001 - Back to News

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Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Tony Hanning has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of new measures to combat problem gambling, saying that the new restrictions being introduced in Victoria endorsed Council’s stand and reflected the reality of problem gambling faced by many.

“The announcement that new regulations will apply to advertising, and that venues will have to install clocks and provide the equivalent of natural light in gaming rooms, recognises that many people lose a sense of time and perspective when using poker machines, and as a consequence forget what their limits and responsibilities are,” Cr Hanning said.

“Latrobe has recognised for some time that these are key factors for problem gamblers and through its Gaming Accreditation Charter, which insists on the provision of factors such as clocks and a standard of light, has moved to minimise the impact of gambling on the Latrobe community.

“The State Government’s new regulations are an endorsement of the policy we have been following for two years, and while we were prepared to go it alone in attempting to minimise the harm to the community caused by problem gambling, the Government’s new rules are a recognition that this is a state-wide problem that the community and government at all levels has to tackle,” Cr Hanning said.

“In Latrobe City, gaming venues are encouraged to seek five star accreditation from Council and are rated on a points system which takes into account such factors as clocks and lighting, the availability of information on responsible gambling and counselling services for problem gambling, the provision of a range of other recreational facilities by the premises, and the provision of an informal seating area with free tea and coffee as an alternative outside of the gambling area.

“Where a club obtains five-star accreditation, Latrobe City waives the normal Council rates that the club would pay, providing that the club instead makes a payment of 110% of what those rates would be, into a special Gambling Impact Fund,” Cr Hanning explained.

“All monies paid into this Gambling Impact fund are administered by the Latrobe City Trust, and grants from those funds provide support for a wide range of worthwhile community programs. It should be stressed that these programs are not directed at solving gamblers’ personal financial difficulties, or necessarily for counselling specific problem gamblers, but are used for promoting social and economic development in local communities through the funding of worthwhile programs and projects which provide alternatives to gambling.

“Three of the region’s top venues, the Yallourn Bowling Club, The Morwell Club, and the Morwell Bowling Club, have now embraced accreditation, but others have been slow to follow suit. The new State Government regulations will to some extent force the hand of venues which have not yet taken on that responsible role.

“As they now have to comply with some of the key issues in our accreditation system to meet the State Government regulations, the task of complying with the rest of our accreditation requirements will be a smaller step, and we would expect others to quickly fall into step, helping to minimise the impact of gambling on the Latrobe community,” Cr Hanning concluded.

Further information on the Gaming Accreditation Charter and the Gambling Impact Fund is available from Latrobe City Council on 1300 367 700.


Media Enquiries:

Cr. Tony Hanning, Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 373 577

Cr. Brendan Jenkins, Deputy Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 374 590

Ms. Penny Holloway, Chief Executive Officer,
tel. 5173 1401 or 0417 557 103

Jeremy Bein, Public Relations and Communications Officer,
tel. 5173 1468

Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: latrobecity@gippslander.com



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