25 July 2023
State Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas MP, has welcomed the Victorian Government’s new reforms to reduce gambling related harm.
The new reforms come at the same time that the Electronic Gaming Machine Usage in Narre Warren South Parliamentary Internship Report has been released. Mr Maas commissioned the report which was authored by Melbourne University student Jack Keating during his internship with the MP.
The Report focuses on Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM), or ‘Pokies’, in a suburban and socio-economically disadvantaged context, the severity of issues associated with them and describes the strong public will for reform and review of EGM usage.
The Report explains the current government mechanisms in place to mitigate the impact of EGMs and barriers to effectiveness while also taking into consideration lessons from new cashless gaming trials and mandatory codes in New South Wales and Tasmania.
The Report’s findings include Narre Warren South having an above-average density of EGMs in comparison to the rest of Victoria as well as one of the highest annual player expenditures on EGMs, with many households experiencing at least $1,000 of gaming-losses per annum.
The Report recommendations include a trial expansion of YourPlay as a universal pre-commitment scheme, initiatives such as Libraries After Dark to incentivise diverse recreational activity, and further consultation with community leaders and councils on the effects of EGM usage.
Mr Maas is glad to see the new reforms announced by the Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne which will require all EGMs in Victoria to have mandatory pre-commitment limits and carded play with load up limits of $100 down from the current $1,000. These measures will be introduced subject to thorough consultation with industry through an implementation working group.
Reforms also include mandatory closure periods between 4am and 10am by mid-2024 and all new EMGs to spin at a rate of three seconds per game to limit the amount that can be lost.
This year’s Budget includes $71 million for the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) to take on a larger role in gambling harm minimisation.
Gary Maas MP is a strong advocate for gambling harm minimisation as he holds concerns for the further negative impact of gambling on individuals, families and the community in the outer south east.
The Electronic Gaming Machine Usage in Narre Warren South Parliamentary Internship Report can be accessed at garymaas.org.au and at https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:4115a195-171c-3526-913b-46ec26e94264
Quotes attributable to the Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas MP:
“I thank Jack Keating for his report and recommendations and have shared his findings with my parliamentary colleagues.”
“The State Government is continuously working on harm minimisation strategies but I know there is more to do. We need to keep working on supporting individuals and communities that need help dealing with the harmful effects of EGMs and gambling.”
Quotes attributable to author of the Electronic Gaming Machine Usage in Narre Warren South Parliamentary Internship Report, Jack Keating:
“I am very pleased to present this report which provides a comprehensive investigation of the mitigating factors to address the severity of EGM harm.”
“It was a fantastic experience to intern with Gary Maas MP and to provide this report which I know is of great value to him and the community in Narre Warren South.”
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews:
“These reforms will provide the strongest gambling harm preventions and anti-money laundering measures in Australia – we owe it to all Victorians to take this stance and help those experiencing harm turn their lives around.”
“I look forward to the implementation working group’s input and effort.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne:
“Everyone loses when it comes to gambling harm, and it’s not confined to money – people lose their relationships, their jobs and their wellbeing.”
“Our previous reforms have delivered stronger oversight of the gambling industry in Victoria with a regulator unafraid to hold venues to account – now we’re doing more important work to reduce gambling-related harm.”