Gaming funds benefit communities

The  two concerns that some Wellington Shire Council candidates have in relation to the installation and operation of 10 electronic gaming machines at the Commercial Hotel Motel, Yarram, are:

The question of responsible management by the hotel, which has gained its operator’s license from the VGLRC.and the level of financial community support.

The VGLRC is the responsible authority for the appropriate conduct of all gaming venues within Victoria. 

The gaming industry is highly populated, which assures the community of responsible management.

Failure to comply with the regulations result in severe consequences for the licence. The choice for the venue is simply to comply or close.

Hotels have been required to contribute 25 per cent of their share of the gaming pool to the community support fund through the state government.

 Most clubs are exempt.

Furthermore, established in 1991, the Community Support Fund (CSF) is a trust fund governed by the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 to direct a portion of gaming revenues back in the community.

In 2011 the CSF was transferred to the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) as part of the machinery of government changes following the state government election held in November 2010.

The fund receives 8.33 per cent of revenue from electronic gaming machines located in Victorian hotels.

 This constitutes about 10 per cent of the government’s revenue from gaming. 

The majority of gaming revenue is directed to other purposes, such as supporting hospitals and charities in the health sector.

Each financial year, $45 million from this revenue is provided to the Victorian government’s drug strategy, as outlined in the legislation.

The legislation also provides for the payment of one day’s revenue from he Community Support Fund to the Victorian Veterans Fund on September 1 each year.

The Victorian government then allocates the remaining funding to a range of portfolio departments.

Funded initiatives must be consistent with the purposes of the legislation described below:

Programs to tackle problem gambling are the first call on the fund; drug education, treatment and rehabilitation; financial counselling and support for families in crisis; youth programs; sport and recreation; arts and tourism; advancement of the community as determined by the minister; and costs associated with administering the CSF.

The funds provided to the departments are generally then used to provide grants to a wide range of community-based organisations and councils, supporting them to build strong and sustainable communities.

The Commercial Hotel Motel in Yarram will cheerfully contribute towards this program.