Alongside that, some councils either start pre-consultation at the end of this year and roll over into 2019 or are due to go out for consultation early in the New Year.
So, what exactly does “being involved” mean? Advocacy is a big part of what we do, and gambling policy reviews provide the best opportunity for us to engage with local councils about Class 4 venues (pubs and clubs with pokies) and TABs in their communities. It’s also a chance to encourage others to have their say about pokies in their neighbourhoods and raise awareness about the harm pokies cause to individuals, families and communities.
with local councils about Class 4 venues (pubs and clubs with pokies) and TABs in their communities.
A sinking lid is the policy we advocate for; that just means if a venue closes the pokies can’t be moved to another pub or owner. We also advocate for no relocations or club mergers.
It was encouraging to see Hamilton City Council propose the ‘gold standard pokie policy’ this year: a sinking lid with no relocations or club mergers under any circumstances. Although the proposal was voted down by the council (due to pressure from sporting and community groups that receive funding from pokies), we applaud them for taking such a strong stance. We hope to see other councils follow their lead in the future.
to reduce the numbers of these addictive machines, particularly in our more deprived communities where the majority of pokies are situated.
Next year, we will continue to push for a reduction in numbers of pokie machines and work with local councils to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for the wellbeing of the community.
Andree Froude is the Marketing and Communications Director at PGF Group. She has worked in Communications and Public Relations for over eight years in both the public and private sector before joining the Problem Gambling Foundation in May 2009.
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