10 Nov 2012

Mentor agency 'loses out' on pokie funding

7:22 am on 10 November 2012

A social agency says it no longer gets any funding from pokies because the racing industry now owns the machines.

Big Buddy was formed in 1997 to match male mentors with boys who don't have fathers.

The agency says it has received about $20,000 in funding in recent years for its Wellington branch from the former Trusts Charitable Foundation.

Chief executive Richard Aston says now the Racing Board owns the pokies his organisation no longer gets that funding, which is instead going back into the racing industry.

"It's an industry that's using gambling machines to feed another industry that's based on gambling as well. I'm not against gambling but some of it needs to come back into the community at some stage."

But the Racing Board says it has a mandate from the Department of Internal Affairs, which states about 80% of the proceeds goes into racing, with the rest distributed to local sports groups.