New Zealand is one of a special group of countries where money made from pokies is ploughed back into the community on an annual basis to help charities and schools with funding. The issue is that in recent times these charities and schools are becoming too reliant on funding from pokie machines if you listen to the Problem Gambling Foundation.
The Problem Gambling Foundation has said that seventy percent of the gamblers who seek their help on an annual basis do so because of pokie machines. They say it is unethical for schools and charities to then receive funds from the profits of pokie machines as its coming at the detriment of addicted gamblers.
The CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation Graeme Ramsey said of the community funding from pokies:
“That’s because of the social cost that’s associated with pokies. It’s a little bit like how sports clubs used to be sponsored by tobacco companies.”
“The problem is a lot of schools and community organisations have become dependent on this funding and that’s the real addiction,”
“As times get tough and alternative funding sources decrease the dependency increases and that’s just not good.”
While some charities such as the Salvation Army and the Christchurch Methodist Mission have took the stance to not take funds from pokie profits, there are a great many that feel they have to as they don’t get enough funding from elsewhere. In fact Canteen and Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Alzheimers Auckland are two such charities that take many from the pokie profits to help their funding.
Many feel the issue is a double edged sword as while it is great that funds are being given to charities and funds it is being done so at the detriment of those who have a gambling habit. This being said it is better to go to a good cause than simply languish in a bank account and be used on a less noble cause.