Across Australia and New Zealand, pokie grants provide generous donations to community organizations. While a generous portion of pokie profits are donated, New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs feels that there should be an increase.
Last month, New Zealand’s senate passed the Harm Minimisation Bill, which will introduce new responsible gambling measures that aim to reduce problem gambling rates. One provision of the bill will require pokie operators to donate more of their profits to charity, and Internal Affairs Minister Christ Tremain has thrown his support behind it.
“We want to be clear that at least in that range of 60 to 80% is going back into communities of interest,” he says.
Currently, the minimum amount that pokies must donate is 37% but most operators donate at least 42%. As the new Harm Minimisation Bill undergoes the submission process, Mr Tremain wants to double the amount.
The Department of Internal Affairs also wants to increase transparency for pokie grant donation. They would like to ensure that gaming trusts are sending funds to the appropriate groups and not misappropriating pokie grants.