Gambling clubs give Gladstone charities $150K, keep millions
IF ONE thing is clear, when it comes to playing the pokies the only real winners are the pubs and clubs that own them.
Since the start of the year the desperate, drunk and happy-go-lucky pokie punters in Gladstone have fed slightly more than $9.5 million dollars into 659 approved gaming machines at 25 venues around the region.
But, in what can be considered a consolation prize given the millions of dollars pokie machines take out of the community, six not-for-profit community organisations in Gladstone have joined in a share of more than $150,000 as part of the latest round of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund grants.
As a means of returning money received from taxes on gaming revenue, each year the Queensland Government reinvests a portion of this money into community organisations.
This round the lucky recipients included Boyne Island Tannum Sands Saints Aussie rules club ($30,000); Boyne Valley Canoe Association ($35,000); Canoe Point Outriggers ($32,000); Endeavour Foundation Gladstone in-home support ($1400); Gladstone Aussie rules club ($21,000); and, Gladstone Clay Target Club ($34,000).
The grant money will go towards constructing sheds, grandstands and purchasing equipment.
BITS Saints president Andrew McMahon said the money his club received will go towards putting in a new grandstand which he hopes will go a long way in helping the club secure the opportunity to host a grand final.
"Over the years we've built up a bit of war chest and we've been pretty smart with our money...and part of that is to keep knocking on doors," Mr McMahon said.
"What we're trying to do is provide seating and shade for our cricketing and footy families.
"It's about being a bit more sun smart but we're all volunteers here and everybody will be welcome to use the facilities," he said.
President of Canoe Point Outriggers Scott Lowry said he would use his grant money to build a brand new shed for all of the clubs gear.
At the moment the club uses a garden shed with a few poles attached to hang the canoes off.
Although Mr Lowry has never had anything stolen from his garden shed, he said it would be nice to have somewhere much more secure to house his expensive gear.
"Not much has changed in 15 years…and everything is old," he said.
"It'll be awesome because I had a look earlier and thought we missed out on the funding so when Glenn Butcher called it was pretty surprising."
The member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said it was fantastic to be able to offer grants to local clubs.
"No matter what happens people play the pokies, and you can call it tainted, but if we can give some of that money back then we are more than happy to do that," he said.
"Saving up $34,000 selling chook raffles isn't easy so this goes a long way to spending money where they really need it.
"Funding like this helps keep community groups afloat and strengthens the commitment of volunteers who run these groups," he said.
Month by month pokie winnings in Gladstone
January - $2.5
February - $2.3
March - $2.3
April - $2.3