COUNCILS are probably unlikely to support a move that will give them greater power over poker machine locations and numbers, says Local Government Association of Tasmania president Barry Easther.
The Tasmanian Greens last year tabled a bill to amend the Local Government Act so poker machine licensees would have to gain planning approval from councils on the placement of poker machines and their numbers at a venue.
But Cr Easther said the association had not consulted over the bill before it was formed.
Bass Greens MHA Kim Booth, who brought the bill to Parliament, has since written to individual councils to gauge support.
Cr Easther, who is also West Tamar Mayor, said the council had responded to him by saying that gambling regulation was not a core function of councils.
"We share his concerns about gambling, and the effect that it has on family life, but we don't think that local government should be responsible about where they should be and how many there should be," Cr Easther said.
"As for LGAT, it is not something that we have discussed, but I would be surprised if councils would be willing to take on a responsibility which should be a state government responsibility."
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said he would soon discuss the issue with aldermen before it was discussed with the state government.
He said it was his personal opinion that gambling issues needed to be consistently dealt with over all government levels.
"This is a huge issue and it is very hard to come up with a quick response," Alderman van Zetten said.
Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis agreed that councils should have more input into gambling machine placement.
"I've seen some pretty sad experiences from gambling in the North-East, so more control for local government perhaps could help prevent that," Cr Jarvis said.
"There is also the economic side: the money spent through gaming machines takes money out of the retail sector.
"If a percentage of that was used in shops in Scottsdale and Bridport, it would create a more vibrant retail sector."