Clubs in Canberra are donating large amounts of poker machine
revenue to themselves, new research has found.
Clubs are required to set aside 8 per cent of profit from
pokies to support communities, but the Foundation for Alcohol
Research and Education (FARE) asked gambling researcher Charles
Livingstone to find out where that money was going.
Dr Livingstone said the clubs said they contributed more than
$7 million in cash in 2014-15, but most of that appeared to be
the clubs donating to themselves.
“So about 70 per cent of the claims appear to be the clubs
basically making donations to themselves and much of that goes
to elite sportspeople, wages for coaches and that sort of
thing,” he said.
“Our research discovered the contributions they make to the
community are minuscule compared to the amount of harm they
inflict on the ACT community.”
The FARE report also found only $63,000 was given to problem
gambling, with only a few of Canberra’s 46 clubs making a
“The money only came from one or two clubs and most of the
money that was claimed as a contribution to problem gambling
was spent by a club on its staff training rather than on
providing services to gamblers,” Dr Livingstone said.
In a statement, a spokesperson from the ACT Government said it
would work with clubs and other interested stakeholders to
improve the community contributions process.
The ABC has approached the five biggest clubs in Canberra for a
A spokeswoman for the Labor Club said: “We don’t have a comment
for the media.”
The Tradies Club was also unavailable for comment.