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Community Funds at Risk

9 November 2004

Community Funds at Risk

The Charity Gaming Association is seeking urgent relief from Parliament's Regulations Review Committee over recent changes in regulations governing gambling trusts which will result in a major cut in funding for New Zealand's community, sporting and charitable organisations, Charity Gaming Association Chairman Rt Hon Paul East QC said today.

"Worthwhile community organisations will receive much less funding if these new regulations devised by the Department of Internal Affairs are allowed to go unchallenged," said Mr East.

"The new regulations will severely restrict the amount that gaming trusts can pay hospitality venues to locate gaming machines on their premises. Hotel and bar owners will have fewer machines and/or cut their operating hours, reducing total revenue and net return to the community. Higher turnover sites which currently return the most to the community will be disproportionately affected," said Mr East.

"The Charity Gaming Association does not believe either the Minister or the Department intended to starve community organisations of funding. We believe the negative impact of the new rules is a mistake that Parliament's Regulations Review Committee now has the opportunity to put right."

It is in everybody's interests to maintain the level of funding that is presently paid to charities, sporting and community organisations and we believe that when the Regulations Review Select Committee is aware of the consequences of the new rules put forward by the Department of the Internal Affairs, they will intervene to ensure that these are not implemented."

"The overwhelming motivation for our Association is not to provide extra funding for hotel or bar owners, but to ensure that the maximum amount of funds available for the community continues to be available and to be paid to those very many worthwhile organisations that benefit from grants."

"There is hardly a charity, sporting organisation or community group that in some way does not benefit from the grants made by charity gaming trusts. The Charity Gaming Association acknowledges that gambling can create problems in the community but, we at least should be grateful that we have a model that is the envy of the rest of the world in that we have harnessed gaming machines so that the gambling revenue provides much good for our community," said Mr East

ENDS


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