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Pokie trust backs horses, not needy kids

Media statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Turner appalled pokie trust backs horses, not needy kids

UnitedFuture deputy leader Judy Turner is appalled the Rotorua-based First Sovereign Trust, which distributes pokie machine funds from 21 bars in the region, is happy to give millions of dollars to the racing industry, but can’t find the money to send foster kids to holiday camps.

The Trust is currently under investigation by the Internal Affairs Department because it gave $3 million to the racing industry in the last half of last year for what its chairman described as ‘a marketing plan’.

The Gambling Act forbids gambling operators from receiving any benefits in the distribution of grants.

Mrs Turner said “I find it outrageous that this Trust is willing to splurge millions of dollars on promoting itself, but has turned down an application for a small amount of money from the Homes of Hope Charitable Trust to give foster kids a holiday ‘due to the heavy demands made on the Trust’.

“The evidence is clear that money was being spent on self-serving projects that surely fall outside the scope of the expenditure they oversee.

“I can't see how obtaining naming rights to prestigious race events in any way constitutes a charitable outcome and if necessary the rules need to be clarified to put a stop to this practise.

“This is shabby behaviour and it must end immediately,” said Mrs Turner.


ENDS

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