The Harm Reduction Bill that has recently been introduced into the country’s legislation process has many local charities and not-for-profit groups worried. While the bill aims to aid the community at large by reducing problem gambling rates, it also means that charities could receive less funding from poker machine profits. However, local politicians assure organizations that there is nothing to worry about as poker machines will be donating more money to the local community.
The bill not only gives city councillors the power to reduce the number of poker machines; it also requires poker machine operators to donate 80% of their profits to local charities. Currently, poker machines only donate 40% of their profits, with the rest going to club owners and gaming operators. Now, pokies will serve to benefit the community more than those who have full pockets already.
The legislation also gives city councillors the power to decide who receives donations and how much. This provision helps to prevent any biases from manifesting and ensures that funding goes to the organizations that need it the most.
It is hoped that this news will put organizations’ minds at ease and stop them from lobbying against the new Harm Reduction Bill.