Concerns are mounting over the Otago Rugby Football Union’s involvement in the poker machine market. The football club seems to be strapped for cash due to less funding from pokies revenue. While the club could search for other sources for funding, some experts wonder why it has become so reliant on pokies – and if this dependency is excesdue to less funding from pokies revenue. While the club could search for other sources for funding, some experts wonder why it has become so reliant on pokies – and if this dependency is excessive.
While pokies funding is used to help a wide range of organizations across the country, sports benefit the most. Of all donations made last year, sports received an impressive $800 million from poker machine revenue. Rugby received the most, getting $142 million while horseracing receive $99 million and football received $60 million.
However, an ethical dilemma arises when it is revealed that 40% of the money that goes to sports organizations is funded by problem gamblers. Pokies funding is very beneficial source for community organizations but it does come at a cost to the welfare of vulnerable individuals.
So – anti-gambling groups wonder if sports organizations should give up poker machine funding in order to help curb problem gambling rates? Or, is it out of the sports industry’s hands?