In New Zealand, many not-for-profit organizations rely on profits generated by poker machines in order to operator. So, it is no wonder that some groups are upset that the new Harm Reduction Bill aims to give local city councillors the power to decide where grant money goes – as it could leave plenty of sports clubs without funding.According to a new report, sports clubs seem to be so passionate about the Harm Reduction Bill as they have received more than $1 billion from pokies profits over the course of the past seven years. In 2011 alone, rugby clubs received $27 million while football groups were given $10 million.
“The bill doesn’t take away the right of any sports club or local community group to do what they want to,” says MP Te Ururoa Flavell, who authored the bill.
The Harm Reduction Bill is aimed at benefitting the local community; however , sports organizations are worried that it will interfere with their finances. It simply means that sports clubs will have to be less dependent on poker machine profits, finding funding from other resources – but clubs do not seem prepared to take that step.