About the Policy

The Draft Gambling Harm Minimisation Policy outlines Council’s position, responsibilities, commitments and approach to preventing gambling-related harm in Ballarat. It replaces the previous City of Ballarat Gaming Machine Community Policy (2011).

The draft policy responds to the growth and changing population demographics across Ballarat, the increased understanding we have about issues related to gambling, gendered impacts, and changes in language used by the industry. It will also guide the review of the gaming clauses within the Ballarat Planning Scheme.

This draft policy is informed by City of Ballarat’s Social Policy Framework (2018) and the Preventing Gambling Harm Social Policy Position Statement.

We are now seeking community feedback on the Draft Gambling Harm Minimisation Policy. A link to a short survey to gather feedback on the policy can be found below, or you can request a hard copy of the survey by contacting the City of Ballarat on (03) 5320 5500.  The survey will be open from 28 October to 25 November 2021.

Organisations and community groups are encouraged to make a submission by emailing hsplanning@ballarat.vic.gov.au.

Please read the draft policy linked to the right of this page, titled 'City of Ballarat- Draft Gambling Harm Minimisation Policy 2021' before completing the survey.

The City of Ballarat recognises that gambling is legal activity. However, unlike many other recreational activities, gambling has the potential to generate negative social and economic impacts for the player, their family and friends, and the wider community. Gambling-related harm can include financial loss, relationship breakdown, emotional or psychological distress, issues with work or study, criminal activity and reduced health and wellbeing.

Whilst there are many different forms of gambling, a significant source of financial loss and harm in Australia comes from Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs). It is also the form of gambling over which Council has greater influence through its statutory roles and decision-making processes. In 2018/19, $57,540,687 was lost to EGMS in Ballarat alone. With closures impacting gaming venues due to COVID-19, EGM expenditure was $43,713,216 in 2019/20 and $37,189,238 in the 2020/21 period.

Where to get help

Gambling may be a sensitive topic for some people. If you do experience any distress or feel you need any additional support regarding gambling, please contact one of the services listed below:

  • Gambler’s Help - For free confidential support or to make an appointment with a counsellor in your area. Call: 1800 858 858
  • Gambler’s Help Online - Go to http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/foronlineassi...
  • Lifeline - Lifeline provides free professional and confidential telephone counselling, support and information services. Call 13 11 14.


The survey has now concluded