Shamrock Hotel gaming machines opposed

AN additional 20 gaming machines at Shamrock Hotel have been opposed by the City of Greater Bendigo councillors, who hold fears for problem gamblers. 

While Crs Elise Champan and Helen Leach say the machines would not promote further gambling in the city, other councillors disagreed. 

Cr Rod Campbell said the council should be guided by the community, who noted concerns regarding the extra machines. 

"The majority of people don't want this and it will have a detrimental impact," he said. 

However Cr Leach said it was people's "democratic right" to gamble. 

"You can bet on anything nowadays and having these extra machines won't change that," she said. 

Cr Chapman agreed, saying the machines would not encourage more people to gamble.

"Our quote for gaming machines is 720 and we only have 640. You have to balance it up," she said. 

The matter will now go to the Victorian Commission on Gambling Regulation, that is expected to make a decision on Monday. 

The additional 20 electronic gaming machines would bring the total number of machines at the venue to 65.

The city bases its opposition on research and consultation, including an online survey where 86.4 per cent of respondents indicated they did not support additional electronic machines.

The application is also not supported by the City’s gaming policy, as the Shamrock Hotel is located in an area where additional gaming machines are prohibited.

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