Brimbank council is stepping up its fight against pokies losses across the municipality.
The council recently joined with the Alliance for Gambling reform to launch the ‘Pokies Play Brimbank’ campaign, outlining the staggering losses experienced within Brimbank to electronic gaming machines, and highlighting the effects on the community.
Brimbank councillor Virginia Tachos launched the campaign, which points out that Brimbank has the highest pokies losses of any municipality in the state with $139.5 million lost on electronic gambling machines in Brimbank in 2017-18 – $382,000 a day.
“When stated by themselves, statistics can hide the individual stories of all those who have suffered,” Cr Tachos said.
“The cost extends beyond the statistics and harms key aspects of life – relationships, work and study habits, as well as emotional and psychological health.
“Those affected are our family, friends, colleagues and neighbours, and by supporting them and raising awareness we make our community stronger.”
As part of the campaign, the council has launched a petition calling on the state government and opposition parties to commit to $1 maximum bets, reducing venue opening hours, and lowering the cap on the number of pokies machines in the community.
The campaign is being supported by a record number of Victorian councils, and Alliance spokesperson Reverend Tim Costello said it sent a clear message.
“Enough is enough. We need to stop the harm that pokies are having on our communities,” Mr Costello said. “We are sending a united message to all politicians that we need pokies reforms as part of the next state election.”