Gambling Harm


Role of Local Government

The Ballarat Strategy outlines the Council’s long-term direction in relation to minimising the harm caused by Electronic Gaming Machines. Initiative 2.9 of the Strategy is to “Continue to control where poker machines can be located, to minimise their impact on vulnerable communities,” With the key actions being to continue to utilise all relevant planning controls available to Local Government to minimise the harm caused by problem gambling.

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.

View the City of Ballarat Gaming Machine Policy.



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 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

Visit VCGLR for a current list of EGM venues operating in Ballarat, gaming expenditure and the EGM density.


Alliance for Gambling Reform

Council is a member of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, a newly-formed national collaboration of organisations with a shared concern about the harmful impacts of gambling in Australia.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform is a collective of organisations with a shared concern about the deeply harmful and unfair impacts of gambling and its normalisation in Australian culture. The Alliance campaign for reforms of the gambling industry that reduce the harm it causes.

Visit Alliance for Gambling Reform for more details.

Support ServicesTop 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.


Responsible Gambling Guide

The Responsible Gambling Guide is 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.


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 Your Odds