SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council wants to make people aware of the effects of gambling within our community.
In 2017/18 a total of $6.24 million or $17,100 per day was lost to the people of South Gippsland on pokies alone. This refers to the money that people pull from their pockets, put into a machine and never get back from locations in Foster, Korumburra and Leongatha.
While pubs are required to pay a health tax and clubs a community benefit contribution these are also small in comparison to losses experienced by the community.
South Gippsland Shire Council’s Social Planning Officer Vicki Bradley said it was important to consider the challenge gambling creates for the community.
“While gambling may not cause harm for everyone, those who are affected may suffer associated stress, damaged social and family connections and financial loss.
“With an average rate of 3.06 per cent of the adult population with a gambling problem or at risk, in South Gippsland we would have an equivalent of 870 people affected. This is the equivalent of more people than the whole Fish Creek population,” said Vicki. Those wanting more information on Council’s Community Champions Go Gambling Free project, which is adopting a whole of population approach to reduce gambling harm, can visit www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au/gamblingfree