Rooty Hill is the biggest RSL club in Australia, bringing in millions of dollars per year in pokie profits. The club donates plenty to local community organisations, but has recently come under fire for some suspicious activity over the course of the past year.
Large clubs across NSW are allowed to claim a 1.85% tax rebate on their pokie profits that exceed $1 million. The scheme is offered to clubs in the RSL, as a reward to RSL clubs for donating millions to the local community – but, it seems that Rooty Hill donations may not entitle the club to claim the rebate.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Rooty Hill donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to organisations that are associated with its directors. In fact, the club donated $494,361 to its own sub-branch for Anzac’s Centenary. This goes against ClubGrant guidelines which recommends that funding should be offered to organisations that concern family support, drug and alcohol services and Aboriginal health services.
In learning that this is how the money was spent, community members have expressed disappointment since it seems that Rooty Hill has used a loophole to exceed $1 million in donations. However, a spokesperson for the club has denied any wrongdoing. He has issued a statement, saying:
“The Club has disclosed the interests of directors in ClubGrants funding allocations as part of its reporting to the statutory bodies. The Club is not aware of any current breach or non-compliance from any statutory authorities in relation to its adherence to the ClubGrants guidelines or Category 1 funding allocations.”
The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority will investigate the matter. As this story develops, we will keep you updated.