Kyneton residents call for ban on betting ads

Kyneton residents are taking a stand against gambling advertising in public places.

After successfully fighting for the removal of a betting sign on Campaspe Place, residents are calling on the council to ban gambling advertising on public land.

More than 300 people have signed a written petition calling for a blanket ban. Another 104 had backed an online petition for the removal of the Campaspe Place sign.

“We are concerned about the growing prevalence of gambling advertising everywhere you go,” resident spokeswoman Mary Reid said.

“Many children watching sport see so much gambling advertising that they think it’s part of the game.”

While the council does not have a policy on gambling advertising, mayor Jennifer Anderson said it was prepared to look at resident’s concerns.

The latest push to ban gambling advertising follows what Ms Reid describes as a “big victory for the public”.

She says the Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club withdrew a five by two-metre betting advertisement from the riverwalk to Kyneton racecourse following community objection.

She said a group of residents raised concerns about the ad with the racing club on March 14.

The club suggested changes to the ad’s design but a compromise couldn’t be reached.

Ms Reid said residents had planned to present a petition to Macedon Ranges councillors at a protest in front of the sign on May 6, but two days before the event the advertisement was replaced with a ‘Welcome to the Kyneton Racecourse’ sign.

Ms Reid said the residents used the May 6 event to thank the racing club and presented the petition to Cr Anderson and other councillors.

“The petition wasn’t actually to the racing club, it was to the Macedon Ranges council,” she said.

Cr Anderson said she plans to present the petition at the next council meeting on May 24.

“Councillors are considering the petition and looking at ways we can respond to our communities not wanting gambling advertising in public places, out of concern for the health and wellbeing of all residents,” she said.

Both the residents group and the council thanked the racing club for taking residents’ concerns on board and removing the ad.

A Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, saying that the club wanted to put the issue behind it and move on.