At the Northern Beaches Council meeting on Tuesday 26 March 2024, Councillors resolved to adopt an updated Gambling Harm Minimisation Policy, with the key change proposed by staff to strengthen the recognition of gambling harm as a public health issue.
Greens Councillor Cr Kristyn Glanville introduced two further additions, to strengthen the Council's commitments;

  • Host a roundtable discussion to be delivered by a third party, with local public health and gambling harm-related stakeholders and invite members of the local community.
  • When renewing or entering new leases and licences on Council-owned or managed land, the Chief Executive Officer use best endeavours to negotiate terms which would minimise or eliminate direct gambling advertising viewable from the public domain.

The additions reflected expert feedback from Wesley Mission, who deliver the NSW GamblingAware hotline, and provided a letter of thanks to Council for its strong leadership to adopt these initiatives.

Quotes attributable to Cr Kristyn Glanville:

"Our amendments strengthen the commitment by Council to work collaboratively with key community stakeholders and public health organisations to address gambling related harm, through a roundtable to discuss the issues at a local level. While there is an independent panel at a state level which is also looking at gambling harm minimisation, it's important we also have local services working together to help local families who are experiencing these challenges"
"When Council went to community consultation, 89% of community submissions on the draft policy supported a ban on gambling advertising on Council land. The community found it incredibly tasteless when Brookvale Oval - which is on Council land - was renamed Lottoland Stadium, given how much harm gambling does in our community. Council will now be seeking to eliminate or minimise gambling advertising on its land.

"Gambling advertising can form harmful cues to people experiencing gambling addiction, and also provides a form of normalisation and socialisation to children and young people to participate in gambling."

Background facts from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:

  • Estimates suggest that Australians lose approximately $25 billion on legal forms of gambling each year, representing the largest per capita losses in the world.
  • Research conducted in 2022 found that almost half (46%) of Australians aged 18 and over who gambled would be classified as being at-risk of, or already experiencing, gambling harm (low, moderate, or high-risk PGSI categories combined). Differences were observed by gender and age group, with a greater proportion of men who gambled being classified as at-risk of harm (53% for men and 38% for women). At-risk gambling was highest in 18–34-year-olds among both men (71%) and women (56%).
  • The National Gambling Trends Study identified an emerging trend of participants describing an increase in exposure to gambling marketing, including advertising (for example, television, social media), promotions and incentives (for example, multi-bets, bonus bets, cash back offers, bet with mates), and sponsorships (for example, promotion of sports, by celebrities or athletes