Wyndham residents are being given an opportunity to share their opinions on electronic gaming machines or ‘pokies’ and online gambling as part of a new community survey.
Wyndham City will be conducting the survey to find out what level of harm both forms of gambling may be causing as part of its health and wellbeing planning.
The Chair of Wyndham City’s Gambling Reference Group, Cr Josh Gilligan, said even residents who don’t gamble were being invited to take part in the survey.
“While research indicates that pokies gambling has a very negative impact on the community, less is known about the harm caused by online gambling, making this new survey vitally important”
“Pokies and online gambling are major issues that affect many Wyndham residents. This survey is a unique opportunity for residents to have a say on this issue and help us to reduce the amount of harm pokies and online gambling can have in the community,” Cr Gilligan said.
In Wyndham there are 13 licensed club and pub venues with 893 pokie machines, said the Councillor, adding that in the last financial year the losses on poker machines in Wyndham totalled $97.4 million. “This ranks Wyndham eighth out of 70 Local Government Areas for pokies losses in Victoria,” he said.
“While research indicates that pokies gambling has a very negative impact on the community, less is known about the harm caused by online gambling, making this new survey vitally important,” he added.
Cr Gilligan explained that the Council is in the process of developing an updated strategy to reduce the harm caused by pokies and other forms of gambling in the community. “A reference group has also been established to support the development of this strategy. This survey will help guide both of these processes,” he added.
The survey will be open from 20 September to 20 October. It can be completed online at www.wyndham.vic.gov.au. The survey is available in English, Mandarin and Karen. You can also call 9742 0777 if you would like a copy mailed to you.