Wednesday 6. January, 2016

Greater Dandenong Offers Voluntary Pre-commitment Scheme for Gamblers

All gamblers in the Greater Dandenong area in Victoria will now have access to YourPlay, a voluntary pre-commitment scheme. The scheme has been rolled out on all electronic gaming machines at all venues.

Through YourPlay, gamblers will be able to track the amount of time they are spending gambling, limit how much they are spending and set personalised warning messages that will remind them to stop playing when they have reached their pre-set limits.

“In 2014-15, $117 million was lost to electronic gaming machines (EGMs or pokies) in Greater Dandenong, equivalent to $998 an adult – the highest rate of losses per adult in Victoria and nearly twice the metropolitan level,” commented Mark Doubleday, director of Greater Dandenong community services.

EGMs were introduced in Victoria 23 years ago and since that time, more than $2.7 billion has been lost in Greater Dandenong alone. This equals more than $50,000 per household – a significantly high figure compared to cumulative losses per adult in other areas of the state.

The Victorian government has been aware of the level of problem gambling in the state for some time. Victorian gamblers lost more than $2.57 billion on pokies last year, an increase of 2.7 percent on the previous year. At the Keysborough Hotel, south-east of Melbourne and in the Greater Dandenong region, more than $19.7 million was lost. The government collects more than $1 billion in poker machine taxes each year.

Mr Doubleday said that the council welcomed these reforms to help protect gamblers; however their Electronic Gaming Policy is advocating for a compulsory pre-commitment scheme that all gamblers would be required use.

“Council (hopes) a review of the voluntary pre-commitment….may prompt the state government to introduce a mandatory system of pre-commitment,” he stated.

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