Monday 16. May, 2016

VCGLR Comes Under Attack for High Number of Pokie Application Approvals

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has come under fire after it has been revealed how many license applications for poker machines the regulator is approving. Pokies venues appear to have been given a green light by the state’s gambling regulator and many are approved for additional machines despite numerous objections.

Dr Charles Livingstone and Louise Francis from Monash University released the results of a study they performed which indicated that the VCGLR approved 132 out of 142 applications – 94 percent – by pubs and clubs for additional poker machines between July 2007 and June 2014.

This information was highlighted last month after the VCGLR approved an application by Langwarrin Hotel to increase the number of their poker machines from 52 to 62. The decision was made after the pub’s owner suggested that without approval for the additional machines, they would nix plans to build a covered play area for children.

Frankston Council opposed the bid for more machines with a 40-page report to the VCGLR outlining the many problems that could arise, including the greater risk the machines would pose to problem gamblers in the area. However, in their decision, the regulator stated that the covered play area was “a significant reason” to approve the application.

“Council is very disappointed, though based on previous rulings from the gaming commission we are not surprised with the VCGLR’s recent decision to approve ten additional electronic gaming machines at Beretta’s Langwarrin Hotel,” said Mayor Cr James Dooley.

According to Cr Dooley, punters in the Frankston area lose more than $62 million each year on poker machines.

Dr Livingstone called on the state government to set concrete guidelines for determining the advantages and disadvantages of poker machines to help decide on pokies applications in the future.

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April 16, 2017

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