According to MP Te Ururoa Flavell, local charities and community groups do not have anything to worry about when it comes to the new harm reduction bill that could see many poker machines across New Zealand removed. He assures them that they will not lose funding but rather are likely to see an increase.
The harm reduction bill would give city councillors the power to reduce the number of poker machines in their jurisdictions. Unlike sinking lid policies, the poker machines would have to be removed within 12 months.
Since poker machines generate a large portion of funding of local charities and community groups, many local groups have become worried that the bill will jeopardize their funding. However, Flavell states that this is not likely to happen. Instead, he claims that the bill will allow for more funding to be generated for charities and not-for-profit organizations.
As it stands, only a small portion (less than 20%) is donated from poker machine profits to local charities. Under the new legislation, the community could see up to 80% of poker machines’ profits as local funding.