Celebrations amid Covid-19 crisis as Clyde North pokies development rejected - Alliance for Gambling Reform

Celebrations amid Covid-19 crisis as Clyde North pokies development rejected

Celebrations amid Covid-19 crisis as Clyde North pokies development rejected

8 April 2020

Victorians finally have something to celebrate amid the Covid-19 crisis with the welcome rejection of a new 100 poker machine development in the City of Casey.

Alliance for Gambling Reform Chief Advocate, the Rev Tim Costello, said the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation’s rejection of the Clyde North application was a big win, especially for the people of the City of Casey, and for all Victorians more broadly.

“People in Casey already lose $362,000 every day on the 913 poker machines currently in the municipality. This application would have taken the city to well over a staggering 1000 poker machines,” Rev Costello said.

“In an area that is already experiencing mortgage stress, that would have been a disaster.

“Gambling harm can have awful impacts on local communities and economies, especially in newer areas where there is not always a lot of sources of entertainment or infrastructure. The impacts of gambling harm takes many forms, not just the loss of money -- these can include mental ill-health, homelessness, family violence and even deaths by suicide in some cases.

“I would like to thank the Commission for demonstrating concern for gambling harm and listening to the written and verbal evidence provided by local residents. They are the people who know best what happens in their community and what impact gambling harm can have on themselves and their neighbours.

“I congratulate the people who took the time to make submissions -- they really do give the Commissioners an insight into the community’s perspective and are highly valuable.”

One of the residents to give both written and verbal evidence was ex-gambling addict and local resident Tom Cummings. Mr Cummings said he was overjoyed to learn the Castello Daisey’s Hotel application had been rejected.

"This is a fantastic result. With everything that's going on right now, it's a bright point that we can all be happy about," Mr Cummings said.

"As someone who has worked hard to overcome a gambling addiction, I couldn't stand the thought of another venue opening up on my doorstep. I know how many people this would have hurt.

"When I saw the application for 100 machines just down the road from where I live I thought, 'not again'. I’m so relieved it has been rejected.”

In its decision, the Commission concluded that “there is likely to be a net negative social and economic impact to the well-being of the community in the municipal district in which the Premises are located if the Application is approved.”

Media contact: Rebecca Thorpe on 0491 209 436 or rebecca.thorpe@agr.org.au