There is ongoing concern regarding the City of Maroondah having the highest ratio of poker machines within Metropolitan Melbourne. The State Government recently auctioned poker machine licences, whereby bids could be submitted for entitlements to take effect from 2012.
While this process will see a reduction in poker machines from 860 to 770, there is still significant concern around the number of machines within the municipality. The Maroondah Leader has reported on this ongoing concern:
Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin, who spoke out against the city having the highest ratio of poker machines per adult in Metropolitan Melbourne said the council remained concerned about poker machine numbers.
“We would like to see a further reduction,” he said. “We have one of the higher levels of poker machines in the state.”
The Maroondah community lost $68 million over the past financial year to poker machines and this is excludes social and wellbeing issues that result from such losses. The State Government needs to further reduce problem gambling and the damaging effects it can have on our communities.