Our Policy Statement was adopted in December 2023.

Download the engagement report to see how we responded to your feedback or complete the survey to tell us what you thought about the process.

Updating Council's Policy Statement

The Draft Gambling Harm Prevention Policy Statement 2023-2025 has been developed to guide Council’s ongoing efforts to prevent harm from gambling in Wyndham. It updates Council’s Gambling Harm Minimisation Policy and Action Plan 2018-2022.

The Draft Policy Statement has been developed through consideration of:

  • the specific social, economic and physical gambling context in the Wyndham municipality
  • relevant State and Commonwealth government legislation and policies, and local government policies in other jurisdictions
  • the broader policy context and gambling trends, including research findings and recommendations from academics, research bodies, and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF), a statutory authority that addresses the challenge of gambling harm in the Victorian community.

The Draft Policy Statement is underpinned by a public health approach and aims to guide Council's efforts to prevent gambling harm, addressing the complex issues related to gambling while at the same time promoting healthy communities.

  • Gambling

    Gambling includes Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs), casino games, race betting, and sports betting activities. Gambling/betting requires a player to risk losing something of value (usually money) and the chance of winning more.

  • Gambling harm

    A negative effect due to gambling that leads to reduced health or wellbeing of an individual, family, community, or population. Gambling related harms include financial harm, relationship disruption, emotional or psychological distress, poorer health, cultural harm, reduced work or study performance and criminal activity.

Some of the effects of gambling include:

  • Poverty and financial pressure

  • Personal distress

  • Family voilence

  • Family conflict and breakup

  • Homelessness

How to get involved

Provide your feedback below before 11:59PM Monday 30 October 2023.
  • What will you do with my feedback?

    Your feedback and lived experience expertise will be used to influence, drive and design this important work.


What is Council's role in preventing harm from gambling?

Governments at all levels have responsibility for gambling policy and strategy. As your local government we have an important role to play in promoting and protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents.

Wyndham City has been a leader in gambling harm prevention advocacy and initiatives. Council is involved in various gambling related policy and forums including:

  • The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) Local Government Working Group on Gambling.
  • Since 2017, Wyndham City has also been a member of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, showing further commitment in the role of harm prevention.
  • Wyndham City also regularly engages with academics and research bodies, including members of Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Council has a statutory obligation to:

1. Protect, improve and promote health and wellbeing under the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, and to apply the ‘precautionary principle’ to preventing and controlling public health risk.

2. Provide the best outcomes for the community regarding the long-term cumulative effects of decisions under the Victorian Local Government Act 2020. This includes seeking to protect communities from the risks and harms associated with gambling.

3. Assess the social and economic impacts of EGM applications through the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and the Gaming Policy at Clause 52.28 of the Wyndham Planning Scheme.

Further, Wyndham City is bound by the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 to act compatibly with human rights. Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities includes Section 17 – Right to the protection of families and children – whose welfare can be compromised by the impacts of gambling in the community.

The Policy Statement will take effect when it is adopted by Council. The Policy Statement will be reviewed within two years from the date of Council adoption to maintain relevance and currency.

The draft policy statement adopts a ‘health equity’ approach, consistent with Council’s Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2021-2025. We will focus our efforts using the public health model to achieve health equity and help people with fewer resources to improve their health and wellbeing. We will continue to promote a variety of non-gambling events, activities and programs that encourage residents to lead active and healthy lives. We will ensure no funding, grants or sponsorship be made available for activities that promote gambling. We will not run Council and community events, activities, programs and social outings in venues that have EGMs. Council will support initiatives that reduce gambling operator’s reliance on revenue from EGMs.

The decision-making criteria set out in the Wyndham Planning Scheme underpins decisions relating to EGM applications in the municipality (Clause 52.28 Gaming, a key achievement of the previous policy). The Draft Policy Statement works to prevent the social harms from gambling in Wyndham through a public health approach. Its primary focus is on EGMs, online gaming and sports betting, and identifies further harm prevention strategies for Council to support.

It highlights that the ripple effects of gambling need to be understood within the context of the whole community. It makes clear that gambling harm is not limited to financial harm, it includes harms to mental and physical health, family and relationships, work or study and cultural harm.

A range of ‘determinants’ include the nature of gambling products and promotions as well as the characteristics of gambling environments that may appeal to different age-specific cohorts. Evidence suggests there is an increased vulnerability for older adults experiencing gambling harm for example. Furthermore, research indicates a complex mix of individual, socio-cultural and commercial factors may be influencing young women’s engagement in gambling.

The Draft Policy Statement also reflects changes in contemporary language and emphasises gambling harm prevention in line with best practice public health policy.

With continuing focus on public health, Council continues to seek to address preventable harms in partnership with other stakeholders.

The public health approach recognises the importance of prevention, community awareness, education, partnerships, policy, research development and targeted advocacy to achieve positive outcomes.

This approach acknowledges a shared responsibility for improving the health of population groups and subgroups, rather than just the health of individuals. Two key principles underpin the public health approach to gambling related harms:

1. A range of social, economic, and environmental factors affect a person’s mental and physical health and wellbeing; and

2. It is important to implement an appropriate mix of actions with partners and the community to achieve improved health outcomes.

The Draft Policy Statement will be available for feedback for four weeks, from Monday 2 October to 5pm Monday 30 October 2023.

Previous Policy

Key Achievements

Find out about Council's key achievements in the previous Gambling harm Minimisation Policy and Action Plan 2018-2022.

Read the summary of Key Achievements here.