Romsey Hotel – Electronic Gaming Machine application

Council was recently notified of Romsey Football Netball Club’s intention to submit an application for 50 gaming machines at 90 Main Street in Romsey to the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).

The club also publicly advertised their intention in the Herald Sun on Tuesday 24 October. 

Though this application is not directly with Council, Council can make a submission to the VGCCC in response, however, within tight timeframes. Hence, Council agreed to an Urgent Business item at its October Council Meeting, to provide authorisation for officers to notify the VGCCC of its intention to prepare and submit a submission.

Members of the public can provide their own submissions directly to the VGCCC via this portal link and can also request to attend and speak at the hearing through the VGCCC.

Members of the public who don’t have access to email/internet are welcome to provide feedback to Council to inform Council’s submission. Written submissions can be dropped off at Council's customer service centres or sent to: Macedon Ranges Shire Council, PO Box 151, Kyneton VIC 3444.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the application process for a new gaming venue?

To establish a new gaming venue, an applicant must obtain a Venue Operator Licence from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).

How are applications decided by the VGCCC?

An application will be approved only if it meets the requirements of the Gaming Regulation Act 2003. Most importantly, the Commission cannot approve an application if the proposal would have a negative impact on the community. For more information, see Key factors in deciding gaming machine applications fact sheet (PDF, 279.68 KB).

The social and economic impacts associated with an application are considered by decision makers. Impacts may be positive (‘benefits’) or negative (‘disbenefits’) and are generally given different weights (e.g. low, moderate, high) to estimate the overall impact of the proposal. The relative importance of social and economic impacts within each assessment process is determined by the VGCCC, not by Council.

How do I make a submission (either for or against) this application?

Anyone with an interest in an application can make a submission to the VGCCC. The VGCCC recommends third parties make their submission through the established portal link for this application.

When making your submission, keep in mind that the Commission must assess the impact of the specific proposal, not the impact of gambling in general.   

Can I make an anonymous submission?

The VGCCC has advised that submitters names are not published, however commissioners at the hearing may read out the names of submitters.

Should submitters wish to remain completely anonymous, they should indicate that in the comments section of the submission template.

What is Council’s position?

Council has unanimously endorsed for officers to prepare a Social and Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) of the Romsey Hotel – electronic gaming machine application. The information and work delivered to complete the SEIA over the coming two months will support Councillors to make an informed decision.

Council has commissioned an independent consultant to deliver the SEIA report.

Under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and its amendments, the VGCCC is responsible for determining applications for a Venue Operator Licence at a public hearing. The Act allows Council to make a submission in respect to a Venue Operator Licence application and to appear at the public hearing to present evidence in support of its submission.

What are the next steps and timelines?

At time of writing Council is yet to be formally notified of the application. Below are the legislated timelines for this process:

  • Day 1: VGCCC formally notify Council of the electronic gaming machine application at Romsey Hotel.
  • Day 37: No later than day 37, Council must inform the VGCCC if it intends to submit a SEIA.
  • Day 60: No later than 60 days from notification, Council must submit the completed SEIA.
  • Day 120: within 60 days receiving the SEIA from Council, the commission must hold a hearing and make a decision on the application.

Does the applicant still have to submit a planning permit application to Council?

At this time, no planning permit application has been made for alterations to the Romsey Hotel building. Use and installation of the gaming machines may require a planning permit, subject to the controls of Clause 52.28 of the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme.

A planning permit would be required for buildings and works.

Has Council received a planning permit application?

Council has not received a planning permit application in relation to 90 Main Street in Romsey. Current and historical planning permit applications can be found via Council’s online planning portal.

Relevant Council reports, plans and policies

Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission

It should be noted that as of the 9 November 2023, Council has not been formally notified by the VGCCC, so the mandatory set timelines for submission are yet to commence. This information will be updated as soon as notification is received.