Pokies Funding Must Change to Benefit Communities

When it comes to poker machine funding, it has been recommended that the New Zealand government revamp the whole system. The new Harm Reduction Bill seeks to change how funds are allocated, but some industry professionals believe that the whole system needs a makeover, so as to prevent favouritism in the market.

According to Francis Wevers, former head of the Community Gaming Association (CGA), the way poker machine funding is distributed is quite unfair. In fact, it seems that a wide range of individuals and pubs are using funds in ways that do not benefit the community.

“Stop it being funnelled into pub fishing trips, flatscreen TVs and expensive pub fit-outs,” he says.

Wever states that most pubs believe that they should do with their poker machine profits as they wish and have little regard for the community. Even though they are required by law to donate a portion of the funds, it does not often work out that way.

Some pubs are favoured when it comes to distributing funds, which allows them to use the funding for non-essential purposes. Charities and not-for-profit groups which benefit the community at large are the ones that truly need the money, and Wevers hopes that the new Harm Reduction Bill will make this a priority.

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