Gaming conference discusses community funding from pokies in NZ

Originally Posted on Sunday May 2 8:11:00 BST 2010

The New Zealand Gaming Expo met for a conference in the SkyCity Convention Centre recently, where one of the themes under discussion was community matters in relation to the gambling industry.

There are over 19,000 gaming machines in pubs and clubs throughout New Zealand and they have an important role in supporting the development of their communities.

In one of the keynote speeches to the conference it was noted that some community organisations have recently sought registration with the Charities Commission, but have been denied, apparently because they do not comply with the Commission legislation.

The reason they sought registration in the first place was because some local gaming trusts say they will only make donations to community organisations that are registered with the Commission.  This follows on from criticisms from politicians about some of their funding decisions, so they want to protect themselves by only funding legally registered charities.

This was never meant to be the outcome and it is having an effect on community development, and it must therefore stop so that community projects, whatever their size, are funded on merit and not on the legal status of the organisation requesting the funding.

Whilst the revenue from the 19,000 gaming/pokie machines in New Zealand has dropped slightly, one of the reasons for this may be because some punters have switched to playing similar games online. What is apparent is that the online gambling industry continues to grow worldwide.

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