Santa Parade paid for by pokies
Pressure from an anti-gambling lobby urging councils to stop using funding from pokies has not discouraged the Clutha District Council from applying for funding from gaming machines.
The Problem Gambling Foundation is calling on all territorial local authorities to follow the lead of the Hamilton City Council, which recently voted 8-3 to stop using money from pokies to fund projects.
According to the foundation’s data, the Clutha District Council has received $16,770.86 in direct pokie grants from 2014 to July 2017.
Council chief executive Steve Hill confirmed these funds had been used to pay for the annual Santa parade at Balclutha.
The council had ‘‘inherited’’ community-led event.
It also inherited the funding scheme, and would be applying for these funds again this year, otherwise such activities would come out of rates, Hill said.
The council had no policy governing use of funding from pokie machines/gambling, he said. the once-