The Victorian town of Whittlesea has been attempting to decrease the number of pokie machines available in the municipality for some time, and now it seems that local government has received some support from residents. A recent survey conducted by Whittlesea officials aimed at improving livability in the area, determined that more than 61% of residents believe that there are too many pokie machines available.
Kris Pavlidis, the Mayor of Whittlesea, has commented on the survey, saying that the new data has increased the local council’s desire to take an aggressive stance on pokie machines. Pavlidis further stated that there are currently too many opportunities for gambling in Whittlesea and that this is having a negative effect on the health of the community.
Whittlesea Spends Record Numbers on Pokies
It really should be no surprise that Whittlesea residents seek to begin to reduce the number of opportunities to gamble in the area. There are currently almost 700 pokie machines operating in the municipality. One of the results of this has been four venues within the town being named in Victoria’s list of places that generate the most losses due to pokies.
A previous set of statistics released by the state’s primary gambling regulator, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor, revealed that Whittlesea residents lost over AU$60 million on pokies in 2017. The Epping Plaza Hotel and the Plough Hotel were named as the two venues which contributed the largest sums to this figure.
With the Victorian government set to issue another 199 pokie licenses within the area over the next year, residents of Whittlesea hope that the increased demonstrated dissatisfaction with the number of gambling machines in the area will prevent this from happening.
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