Responsible Gambling


Enough Pokies Campaign

The City of Ballarat has joined with the majority of other Victorian councils, the Salvation Army and the Interchurch Taskforce on Gambling in a campaign for reform called ‘Enough Pokies in Vulnerable Communities’.

The campaign seeks to address the uneven playing field faced by Councils and communities when it comes to the consideration of electronic gaming machine applications by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).

Councils are saying enough to the burden of pokies gambling harm upon individuals and families, particularly in vulnerable communities. Per adult expenditure on poker machines in our municipality is significantly higher than both metropolitan and regional averages for Victoria.  Last year a total of $53 million was lost on Ballarat poker machines, that’s equivalent to $147,000 every day. Estimates from the Australian Productivity Commission (2010) attribute between 42 and 75 percent of pokies losses to people who experience moderate to severe gambling harm.

To stem the flow of pokies into vulnerable communities and lessen the extent of gambling losses, the campaign seeks urgent changes to the processes by which applications for pokies are considered and approved, including:

  • Extending the timeframes for Councils to respond to pokies applications
  • Reviewing the assessment of community benefit so that it no longer
    unfairly provides advantage to an applicant over a council or community
  • Greater emphasis on social effects of EGM applications, with particular
    scrutiny in disadvantaged communities and growth corridors
  • Reconsideration of the role of the VCGLR as a ‘specialist’ decision

These measures would enable councils to stand up for their community against the installation of pokies in disadvantaged communities, providing a fairer means for assessing applications and easing the burden of gambling losses for vulnerable residents.

The community is invited to support the campaign by speaking to local candidates about how they intend to help protect vulnerable communities from pokies gambling harm.

More information: 

Victorian EGM gambling data (VCGLR)

Gambling is not our Game

Ballarat's sporting clubs were the focus of the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW), 26 May to 1 June 2014,

These day's gambling's a whole new ball game. Exposure to gambling has increased dramatically, with spending on advertising of sports betting reportedly increasing 300 percent between 2010 and 2012. And now it's easier than ever to gamble anywhere, anytime.

Gambling's Not the Game is a social media campaign to get sporting clubs and the general community talking about the issue of gambling and considering that we all have a role to play in creating safer gambling environments.

As part of this initiative, Ballarat sporting clubs became the first in Victoria to sign up to a Responsible Gambling Charter, making a commitment to minimise the exposure of gambling activities and advertising to young people, and raising awareness about the potential risks of gambling in the club community.

Electronic Gaming Machines "Pokies" (EGMs)

In Victoria, regulation of the gaming industry and activities is the responsibility of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquour Regulation (VCGLR). The VCGLR came into operation on 6 February 2012, replacing the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation. The Gambling Regulation Act 2003 is a key piece of legislation designed to govern the conduct and licensing of gaming. Another important piece of legislation is the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Through this legislation,  Council's manage gambling issues in relation to planning approvals for venues and in minimising harm to communities from gambling

EGM Expenditure in the City of Ballarat

For a current listing of the EGM venues operating in Ballarat, gaming expenditure and the EGM density, visit the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation website.


Support Services and SitesTop of document.

Gambling Support Services

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation provides a link to the range of support options for people seeking help for gambling related problems including: phone, online, face to face and peer support. In addition the Foundation has produced  A self-help guide to overcoming gambling problems designed for people who like to have a self-help guide to work through.  

Gamblers Help Services in the Ballarat Region

Children and Family Services (CAFS) provides  counselling services for anyone who is affected by out-of-control gambling behaviour, including problem gamblers, their family members, friends and colleagues.

CAFS is located at 115 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat and can be contacted on 03 5337 3333.

The Responsible Gambling Guide

During Responsible Gambling Awareness Week the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation launched a new Responsible Gambling Guide. Designed as an easy to read resource that explores different kinds of gambling, dispels myths and provides tips for responsible gambling, the guide can be used by parents and educators. You can find more information, including the guide and associated fact sheets at Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation website.


Gambler's Help

Gambling Help Online

Children and Family Services (CAFS)

Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

Gambling Research Australia

National Centre for Regional Gambling

Know the odds of Winning

The Role of Local GovernmentTop of document.

The assessment of EGM applications is an important duty of local governments for a number of reasons. The issues, concepts, regulations and procedures involved around gaming machines are complex, interrelated, unclear and contradictory. Provision of local policies and decision guidelines guide Council, the community and applicants in decision making. Applicants and venues may be unclear or have difficulty providing the right type of data that is credible and rigorous enough to enable a sound assessment by the responsible authority. Without relevant and rigorous information it is not possible for Council to establish whether an application will provide, on balance, positive benefits - as per the Planning and Environment Act 1987 - or whether the application, on balance, will not be detrimental to the community - as per The Gambling Regulation Act 2033.

Ballarat Responsible Gambling Committee

The Ballarat Responsible Gambling Committee (BRGC) is a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas between stakeholders in the City of Ballarat, to identify issues and facilitate the development of strategies and initiatives to promote responsible gambling.

Membership is drawn from key representatives from agencies and organisations including community service organisations, local gaming venue representatives and community representatives.

The Committee meets four times per year to:

  • Encourage public discussion and debate which builds knowledge and understanding of local responsible gambling and problem gambling issues.
  • Facilitate and undertake local research to inform policy development and Council decision-making on gambling issues.
  • Collaboratively develop strategies and initiatives to minimise harm and to promote responsible gaming/customer care practices.
  • Facilitate linkages between gaming venues and community organisations to maximise community benefits from gambling.
  • Advocate for and recognise best practice in responsible gambling at venue level.

Download the BRGC Terms of Reference