THE State Government recently announced it would not oppose the application for 500 additional gaming machines and 130 additional gaming tables to be phased into the Burswood casino over a five-year period.
Although this is subject to approval of the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia, locals in the community have expressed their concerns about the additional devices.
City of South Perth councillor Peter Howat said as a health professional who is aware of the effects of gambling, he personally supports the moves to stop the escalation of poker machines.
“Public health authorities and some members of our local community are very concerned about our State Government approving this escalation of machines.
“We understand they will be confined to the casino, but the reality is that the aggressive marketing by the Casino is bound to result in even more of the vulnerable members of our local communities wasting large sums of their limited money on the poker machines, and suffering inevitable social and health problems associated with such losses.
“Also as a local councillor I am amazed at the complete lack of consultation with the local communities, including the residents of the City of South Perth, about the large increase in poker machines in their neighbourhood.”
Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt said the extra gaming machines were designed for Western Australians to use.
“I dare say that the overseas visitors targeted by Crown will be on the high-end gambling tables and not the machines,” he said.
“This obviously concerns me as people who cannot control their gambling can have a devastating impact on their family and the broader community.
“I appreciate that there is some call for extra tables and machines with a growing population and I will only ever tolerate increasing the number of tables provided pokie machines are not allowed across the broader community.”
- Need urgent help?
In the past year, Gambling Help Western Australia held 1318 individual, and 34 group counselling sessions.
Problem Gambling Helpline answered 684 gambling related calls and 59 counselling sessions were conducted.
To speak to a professional immediately, call the Problem Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.