At the risk of becoming obsessed with the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation, they’re just such a big target.
When VCAT and the Supreme Court upheld the wishes of the people of Romsey to remain pokie-free, Jim Hogan (who was behind the failed bid to put pokies in the Romsey Hotel) commented that this decision would make it harder, if not impossible for new venues to open in Victoria in the future. Jim, looks like you were wrong on that one.
In 2010, the VCGR has handed down 11 decisions on applications regarding poker machines. 6 were applications for licences for new poker machine venues, and 5 were applications to increase the number of machines in existing venues.
All were approved.
That’s right. The VCGR, who only recently made such a song and dance about the last financial year’s drop in Victorian poker machine numbers, has become a rubber stamp for anyone wanting pokies.
These 11 approved applications equate to 375 new poker machines across Victoria, including a new venue in the City of Whittlesea – an area which is currently in the top ten pokie-spending areas in the state, and where pokie spending actually went up in the last financial year, bucking the current trend.
Also included is a new venue for the City of Wyndham, home to the Werribee Plaza Tavern… Victoria’s highest earning pokie venue. Again, pokie spending went up last year in this area, which falls within the Federal electorate of Lalor – represented by none other than Julia Gillard.
Wonder if she knows?