Gambling is a major public health concern in Australia, with approximately $25 billion lost each year on legal forms of gambling.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported in 2023 that half of these losses are due to Electronic Gaming Machines. Partnering with the Victorian Local Governance Association and Deakin University, we supported the delivery of an interactive workshop with councils across Victoria. The aim was to build the councils' capacity and understanding of evidence-based planning, drawing on our social and land use planning expertise to shape effective public policy.

The outcome of this workshop was to ensure councils:

  • Were well-placed to review existing gambling policies
  • Understood new research and best practice case studies
  • Understood the role of local government.

Councils can have various roles in ensuring that Electronic Gaming Machines are not located in areas that will negatively impact the community, including:

  • Policy development
  • Community development
  • Land use planning
  • Service delivery
  • Community infrastructure
  • Funding
  • Advocacy
  • Partnerships.

Additionally, Victorian councils can update their Planning Schemes to include evidence-based local policies preventing the placement of electronic gaming machines in areas that could harm the community.

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