Gaming societies will be allowed to make multi-year grants from 15 September, the Minister of Internal Affairs Nathan Guy has announced today.
“Up until now, non-casino gaming machine (e.g. pokie machine) societies could only make annual grants to the community.
“This change will be welcomed by many sporting, cultural and charity groups. It will give them the confidence to focus on delivering longer-term projects for the benefit of local communities. It will be particularly helpful for major events and capital projects.
“The Gambling (Class 4 Net Proceeds) Regulations 2004 have now been amended so that societies can make commitments in-principle to multi-year grants. Commitments can only be in-principle because societies must still comply with the Gambling Act 2003 before grants can be made.
“This reflects the Government’s goal of maximising the returns to the community from the proceeds of gambling.
“There are currently 50 gaming machine societies operating in commercial venues, and in 2010/11 they raised around $250 million for community purposes.”
The Department of Internal Affairs will be providing further information to gaming machine societies and to community groups that are potential grant recipients.
What provisions will gaming societies have to meet to offer multi-year grants?
As well as complying with the Gambling Act 2003, under the amended regulations societies will need to:
• Limit multi-year grant commitments to a maximum term of 4 years.
• Advise grant applicants that future grant instalments are conditional on the society still having a licence, funds being available, and the grant still being lawful.
• Re-confirm each instalment of a grant before payment. This is so that the society can withdraw it if, for example, the conditions mentioned above are not satisfied, or the society's grant-making policies change.
• Receive documentary evidence from the grant applicant that any earlier grant instalments were spent as intended.
• Disclose multi-year grant commitments in their annual reports and with the information required to be published (e.g. on their website) about available funds, grants made (and declined), and grant criteria and policies.
How many years forward can grants be committed?
A multi-year grant is limited to a maximum term of four years. This fits in with the typical cycles for large sports and cultural events, and will also help to mitigate the risk of funding capture by a few grant recipients.
Where can I get a copy of the new regulations?
The regulations will be available on the Department of Internal Affairs website - www.dia.govt.nz.