22 Aug 2016

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Greater fairness in allocation of profits from Class 4 gambling urged

Creative New Zealand recommends that gaming societies and clubs that allocate profits from pokie machines be required to engage more widely with their communities.

Submitting on the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) Discussion Document: Review of Class 4 Gambling (pokies), Creative New Zealand urged the DIA to take steps to ensure a wider range of community groups were aware of the grants available and eligible to apply.

The DIA called for submissions on how Class 4 gambling could be improved to increase support for community projects without driving a growth in gambling.

Creative New Zealand’s submission said a key issue with the current system was the narrow range of organisations which benefitted.

“The arts are severely underrepresented in the distribution of class 4 gambling proceeds having received only 4 percent of the total amount distributed in the past decade (under $100 million)…In comparison, sports receive 52 percent of class 4 gambling proceeds (more than $1.3 billion).”

The submission recommended a number of actions to make the distribution of the grants fairer including:

  • encouraging gaming societies and clubs to reach out more widely in their communities
  • introducing regulations allowing for grant opportunities to be advertised
  • amending the Gambling Act 2003 to require gaming societies to distribute funds in a way that reflects the diversity of the peoples and activities in that community.

“A push from gaming societies and clubs to engage with more diverse groups in their community will address some of the issues raised around money originating from low-income areas benefiting middle-to-high income communities.”

The submission also noted that the way clubs and gaming societies distributed grants varied greatly. “This variability produces much greater transaction costs for community organisations trying to navigate multiple sets of funding priorities.”

A consolidation of the sector would also potentially lower operational costs which would also result in more money being made available to the community without an increase in gambling.

“We would strongly support any reform or consolidation that would lower the operating and transaction costs of the sector as a whole,” the submission said.

Read the Creative New Zealand submission on the Review of Class 4 Gambling (pdf 237KB)