Pokies application knocked back

Plans for twenty electronic gaming machines at Lynbrook Tavern have been knocked on the head by council.

Casey Council has successfully opposed an application for an additional 20 poker machines at the Lynbrook Tavern.

Council resolved to object to the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday 1 May, after undertaking an independent Social and Economic Impact Assessment and public consultation.

A successful application by the Lynbrook Tavern would have increased its electronic gaming machines (EGMs) from 55 to 75.

The application was officially refused following a hearing at the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation on Friday 14 July.

It is the first time Casey Council has successfully had a poker machine application refused; a rare achievement given the challenges faced by Councils in opposing applications for new or additional EGMs under current legislation.

Council received 12 submissions from the community surrounding the Lynbrook Tavern, 10 of which objected to the proposed extra EGMs.

City of Casey Mayor Cr Geoff Ablett said this was a fantastic feat for Council due to the detrimental effect EGMs can have on a local community.

“Lynbrook, Cranbourne and Hampton Park, which would have been most impacted by the application, have some of the highest levels of social and economic disadvantage in the Casey and south-east region,” he said.

“They are also classified as ‘capped areas’, which means they’re already more susceptible to gambling harm.”

Council was supported by the Casey Residents and Ratepayers Association and the Cranbourne Information Support Service, both who provided evidence at the hearing.

Cr Ablett said that Council has a responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of the local community.

“An assessment of the EGMs proposal against Council’s Electronic Gaming Machines Strategy 2015-2020 indicated that it would compromise the objectives of this, along with key objectives of Council’s Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021,” he said.

“The additional gaming machines would have caused a social detriment to the community surrounding the hotel.”

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