Building A Playground For More Pokie Machines In Langwarrin Hotel
Langwarrin Hotel Granted Permit For Building 10 More Pokie Machines
Langwarrin Hotel has been promised 10 more pokie machines by Victoria’s gaming regulator if it promises to build a playground for children worth $1 million.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is planning to allow the hotel to increase its slot machine numbers to 62 from 52, but this will only be possible if the hotel is able to build a play area for children within the next 12 months.
While the application from Langwarrin Hotel was opposed by Casey and Frankston city councils because of their concern about growing gambling problems in the area, the VCGLR awarded the additional 10 pokie machines to the hotel on the basis that the new children’s playground would represent wider benefits to the whole community.
The average expenditure for gaming in Frankston is approximately $585 per adult, which is nearly 5.8 percent higher than the average of the entire state of Victoria. Casey Council also feared that the pokie machine rise at the hotel would cause more Cranbourne gamblers to visit.
According to the commission, the children’s play area is the benefit for which the application was granted to the hotel. VCGLR also stated that the installation of more pokie machines in the hotel would doubtfully increase the risk of gambling addictions, but were quick to admit the possibility that recreational betting was likely to increase. The commission’s ruling was also based on the fact that the playground would benefit the hotel’s customers and bistro business and not pokie machine patrons.
Colleen Hartland, Greens MP, criticised the commission’s decision and appealed to the state government to reverse it. A Deakin University gambling expert, Samantha Thomas, also said that the decision of the commission was worrying because it exposed the hotel’s guest children to these addictive pokie machines.
Langwarrin Hotel, on the other hand, made the application to highlight the benefit for children. The VCGLR appeared to agree with this application, as they made the decision to grant the machines provided the playground was built. The commission believes that the proposed playground will bring more benefits rather than harm to the local community. According to them, the separate playground space creation will allow kids of all age groups to utilise the facility, which will encourage more families to spend time on the premises.
The introduction of the new pokie machines is expected to boost expenditure in Langwarrin Hotel by nearly $465,879 once the 10 new machines are set up, according to data from VCGLR.