Crackdown On Victorian Raffles
Monday, 22nd November 2004 at 12:11 pm
Tough controls will be placed on raffle organisers under new laws to be introduced by the Victorian Government.
The Minister for Gaming, John Pandazopoulos, says that the proposed changes to the Gambling Regulation Bill will ensure the community’s interests are better protected.
He says the new laws will stamp out unscrupulous practices by some raffle organisers and better protect those who buy raffle tickets and put an end to deceptive fundraising practices that have occurred in the past.
Some examples are raffles that have been marketed as for community benefit yet have funded a political party, while raffles sold as supporting underprivileged kids have been funding elite sports clubs.
The Minister says that under the proposed changes, where a political party is to benefit from the proceeds of a raffle, they must disclose that fact on the raffle ticket.
Pandazopoulos says the change would ensure ticket buyers were fully aware of who their money was benefiting.
He says this change has come about after complaints were lodged this year against the South Gippsland branch of the Liberal Party, which sold community raffle tickets without declaring itself as a beneficiary.
He says the community has a right to know who is benefiting from the proceeds of a raffle and this greater transparency will ensure they are fully aware of where their money is going and what it is being used for.
Pandazopoulos said the legislation would also ensure more stringent controls were applied to commercial raffle operators.
The practice of charities employing a commercial business to fundraise has become increasingly common over recent years.
The Government says it has acted because there has also been a number of complaints about the activities of some commercial raffle organisers.
The Minister says commercial raffle organisers would be subject to the same licensing scheme and banking and record keeping requirements that already apply to minor gaming permit holders and with financial and reporting requirements similar to those that apply to bingo centre operators.
He says the bill will reduce the risk of raffle organisers behaving negligently or fraudulently or applying poor accounting practices.
After consultation with the community the Government says it will set regulations imposing limits on the amount commercial raffle organisers can make from a raffle, to ensure charitable organisations are getting the maximum benefit.