Historic change at Sunbury United Sporting Club combats gambling harm
Published on 13 February 2024
In a win for the Hume community and Council’s ongoing efforts to reduce gambling harm, an unprecedented change will see Sunbury United Sporting Club reduce its Electronic Gaming Machine licence capacity.
Through an application to the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), the Club will seek to reduce its gaming machine licence capacity from 50 to 40 machines.
A recent request from Sunbury United Sporting Club to Council to make extensions will see the Club add a new children’s play area and additional space for social gatherings and events.
“We are happy to support Sunbury United Sporting Club's plans to reduce their gaming machine licence capacity as it aligns with Council's objectives in minimising gambling harm,” says Hume City Mayor Cr. Naim Kurt.
Additionally, Cr. Kurt is pleased that this reduction, in conjunction with the Gambling Harm Minimisation Policy, will ensure that no additional machines can operate on Council-owned and/or managed land.
“Ideally, Council would like to see the reduction in EGMs go much further, but this is a positive first step and we thank the club for working with us in this space. The Club's upgrades will create positive recreational benefits for locals and a more family friendly environment.”
Council welcomes the proposed renovations and the benefits it will provide to the community in conjunction with the gaming machine licence decrease.
Research shows that with all the positive benefits that local sporting clubs provide, vulnerable community members must be protected from the harms associated with gambling and other products that are provided within these space
To Council’s knowledge, this initiative to reduce gaming machine licence capacity, via Section 3.4.17(1)(c) of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (the Act) is a state-wide first.
The initiative is a major step forward for sporting club culture, which club President Nat Perri says is their biggest drive in renovating the space.
“The new extension will allow the club to accommodate the ever-increasing number of new patrons attending and wanting to enjoy our facilities and what we have to offer”, he says.
“The addition of a New Kids Play Area for families, along with our enclosed Pergola Area and our W-Class Tram we will be able to cater to a variety of patrons, we want Sunbury United Sporting Club to become the first choice of hospitality venues for entertainment, functions and food in Sunbury.”
Council encourages Hume’s many Clubs and Hotels to similarly promote the many positive features of their facilities over gambling, which ultimately provide greater health and financial outcomes for our community.