The New South Wales Council of Social Services (NCOSS) has urged the state government to end a grants program supported by gambling revenue. One of Australia’s biggest grant programs, ClubGrants, lost the backing of New South Wales’s highest social services body.
You Won’t Work With ClubGrants
A study found that the grants system, which contributed over $1 billion, was flawed, full of chances for conflict of interest, and failed to implement the appropriate standards, hence NCOSS has decided to dissolve its 24-year partnership with ClubGrants.
Premier of New South Wales Dominic Perrottet is being opposed by bars, clubs, and the National Party over his position on obligatory cashless gaming cards, which are intended to combat problem gambling and money laundering.
Poker Machines Generate $3.8 Billion in Revenue
The ClubGrants initiative was created to redirect funds from the tax advantages received by large clubs from their poker machine income to charities that aid the underprivileged and disadvantaged. Record earnings of $3.8 billion were made in the first half of 2022 thanks to poker machine losses. NCOSS claims that by providing funds to local organizations, clubs may get a significant public relations boost.
Launched in 1998, ClubsNSW handles $103 million in awards in three categories in 2022. Over $1 billion has been donated by clubs since 1998.
Since ClubGrants’ inception in 1998, NCOSS has worked with them. The original involvement of the social services’ apex authority in supporting ClubGrants and defining its standards was critical to the program’s launch.
The Grants Program was severely criticized in NCOSS’s report.
According to NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty, “clubs can directly fund projects that either directly or indirectly benefit themselves, while getting an enormous public relations benefit out of being able to claim to be ‘giving back’ to the community,” a review issued by NCOSS last year and funded by the government found.
She claimed that the assessment found several instances when funds were not allocated to programs that specifically benefit low-income and disadvantaged people.
The government agreed to revise the ClubGrants rules after the NCOSS reviewed them, and they did so in conjunction with ClubsNSW and NCOSS.
ClubGrants’ spokesman noted that the program had been running smoothly for more than 20 years and had given away more than $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations. He continued, saying that all of the rules and regulations had been followed to the letter. Clubs that don’t follow the rules risk losing their tax rebate and will have to pay the NSW government the difference.