The New Zealand Gambling Commission is looking at the charitable requirements for casinos in the country. According to estimates, some casinos donate less than 1% of their revenues to charity, whereas pub and club pokie owners are compelled to donate about 40% of their profits.
As part of its license agreement with the regulator, each of New Zealand’s six casinos must contribute a certain amount to charity. The plan was set in place in 2019, when Christchurch Casino was granted a 15-year license renewal with the stipulation that it contribute almost 3% of its net earnings or NZ$250,000 ($179,345) to its charity trust, whichever is larger.
Despite the low percentages, the casinos appear to be meeting the total charitable requirement. Some are even getting ready to submit submissions for evaluation.
Dunedin Casino gave $52,000 to problem gambling therapy and 1% of gaming machine profits to the community. SkyCity donated less than 1% of its profits to charity, yet it totaled NZ$500,000.
SkyCity Hamilton allegedly handed out over 2% of its income, while SkyCity Queenstown Casino reportedly gave away roughly 3% of its yearly net profit. According to reports, Wharf Casino went even farther, contributing 20% the year it debuted and increasing by 1% each year until it reached a total of 30%.
“Why is this the top priority when damage minimization and ensuring casinos offer excellent host responsibility programs should be?” The Problem Gambling Foundation’s spokesperson, Andree Froude, said
“No amount of charity will compensate for the suffering caused by gambling, and we must concentrate on where the money comes from, which is frequently the most disadvantaged in our society, rather than where it goes.”