Gambling can impact anyone in our community, not just the gambler.
Research shows that gambling affects lower-income and vulnerable groups more than others, and for every problem gambler there are six people affected.
There are nine gaming venues and 634 electronic gambling machines (EGM) in Banyule. In 2022/23, losses to EGMs in Banyule were $57.2 million, equivalent to $568 per adult. Gaming venues are regulated by the Victorian State Government.
While gambling is legal, Council has a role under the Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to take reasonable steps to prevent harm within the community, to advocate, to address gambling activities in Council-owned facilities and to educate and partner with local support agencies. We are one of many stakeholders with a role to play.
Draft Gambling Policy
The draft Gambling Policy 2024 - 2028 will guide Banyule City Council's approach to preventing people from being harmed by gambling.
The draft Policy looks at the big picture of how gambling affects people in our community, and was put together following research, looking at what other Councils are doing, and talking with key stakeholders inside and outside Council. Check out the Discussion Paper to delve deeper into what we found out.
It also talks about the the growing issue of online gambling. While Council does not have much influence in this area, the draft Policy will support Council to keep an eye on the impact of online gambling and to work with others on advocacy projects.
Council supports the changes proposed by the Commonwealth Government, which are detailed in the report ‘You win some, you lose more’, announced in July 2023. The delivery of these changes a central to the draft Policy, including making sure the changes happen on time and are effective.
The draft Policy has five guiding principles to help identify opportunities and future actions to address gambling and gambling harm in Banyule.
We will focus on prevention activities that reduce the likelihood of gambling harm. Instead of looking at individual gambling behaviours, we will shine a light on the responsibility of government, venues and the broader community to address harm.
We know that gambling is complex and that the powers of local government to act are limited. We will draw on what we know works and what our community wants to achieve to inform our future actions.
We need to integrate our approach with our other plans, strategies and frameworks. This includes the Resilient and Safe Banyule Framework, the Inclusive Banyule Plan and our Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan. We will aim to prevent gambling-related harm by building community resilience.
We know that gambling affects those who can least afford it the most. The draft policy reflects the social justice principles of access, equity, participation and rights to help prevent gambling-related harm.
Our policy recognises we can't act alone. We need to walk with our partners on this journey. We will partner with key agencies like Banyule Community Health, Gambler’s Help and the Alliance for Gambling Reform to implement the policy.
The draft policy has four (4) priority areas with commitments from Council to address gambling and gambling harm prevention in Banyule.
- Operational responsibility - What Council can influence to create positive change.
- Advocacy - Council will advocate to the State and Federal Governments on gambling-related reforms.
- Planning - Council is a responsible authority in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987. This priority is reflected in our role in this space.
- Health promotion and community support - Council will support partner organisations to promote education and raise awareness of gambling-related harm.