Sunday 15. May, 2016

Council Rejects Pokies Bid Despite Licensing Authority Approval

Despite having been approved in their application for more poker machines by the state licensing authority, the Glenroy RSL had their application rejected by the Moreland Council. Councillors voted against allowing the RSL to operate ten more machines than the current 40 they already operate.

The Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation approved a license for the RSL to install and operate ten additional machines, but without approval from the council, they will not be able to install them. There were 53 objections from the public on the application for the permit.

The councillors voted seven to four against the additional poker machines and eventually voted against the machines, but in favour of building extensions. The council did not approve the additional machines saying they were inconsistent with the Gaming Local Planning Policy, part of the Moreland Planning Scheme.

The councillors were split over the issue of the poker machines, disagreeing over whether they should be allowed or not. Some councillors, such as Cr Lita Gillies said the revenue from the poker machines allowed the club to give back to the community, such as subsidising meals to allow people to have a good night out.

Cr Oscar Yildiz agreed saying, “When you look at the big picture, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.”

On the other hand, some councillors disagreed with this viewpoint, with Cr Lambros Tapinos saying that poker machines are dangerous products that should not be introduced into the community. Cr Sue Bolton took this view one step further saying that the council has a duty to protect problem gamblers by not introducing more poker machines into the area.

“It’s nothing to do with personal failings….it’s not the individual, it’s the machine,” Cr Bolton insisted.

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