The NSW Government has introduced a bill that seeks to outlaw political donations from clubs that house poker machines or are otherwise involved in wagering, betting or other gambling.
The proposed amendment to the Electoral Funding Act will extend the prohibited donors definition to include registered clubs if the business undertaken by the club includes wagering, betting or other gambling, regardless of their profit-making status.
Currently, the Electoral Funding Act 2018 makes it unlawful for a prohibited donor to make a political donation and for a person to accept a political donation made by a prohibited donor.
Prohibited donors include property developers, tobacco industry business entities and liquor or gambling industry business entities.
The definition of ‘liquor or gambling industry business entity’ in the Act applies to corporations engaged in business undertakings mainly concerned with the manufacture or sale of liquor products, or wagering, betting or other gambling, but only if it is for the ultimate purpose of making a profit.
Registered clubs who hold club licences are not currently included in this definition if they do not have the ultimate purpose of making a profit.
According to NSW Premier Chris Minns, “Our bill closes this political loophole. It is common-sense that, if other gambling entities are banned from making political donations, it should apply to all clubs”.
NSW Special Minister of State John Graham said, “The bill will ban political parties from accepting financial donations from clubs with gaming machines – it is another election commitment we are seeing through”.