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Casino Operator Crown Resorts Creates Huge Charity Fund

It seems like thereís always been a debate here in Australia about pokies and casinos and about gambling in general. There are some pretty unreasonable people on both sides of that ongoing debate (though argument is probably a better way to describe it). And there doesnít seem to be an end in sight as far as the difference of opinion is concerned: probably because there are two very convincing and opposite points of view.

On the one hand, itís fair to say that there are problem gamblers out there Ė they need help and support, and they donít need to be aggressively targeted by gambling providers. On the other hand, casinos and even humble Online Pokies machines generate both revenue and taxes for wherever they happen to be placed.

But thereís another positive side to the casino industry Ė one that has been amply demonstrated this week. The Packer family (of Crown Resorts fame) have announced the creation of a National Philanthropic Fund that will invest as much as AU$200million into worthy charities over the next decade.

The focus of the investment will be in charities working in indigenous education, community welfare programs and in making the arts more accessible to more Australians. All incredibly positive causes, and all of them no doubt helped immeasurably by this recent injection of cash.

Itís great to see James Packer in the news for all the right reasons for a change. He has been seen of late in the press scrapping with his mate by the beach, and heís always on hand to talk up Crown Resortsí efforts to lure overseas tourists to Australia to enjoy our casinos.

But itís a refreshing change to see him in the news because heís part of a drive to help kids to read. Far be it for us to suggest that thereís any ulterior motive at work, but this is a news story that wonít hurt the public image of casinos in Australia, youíd think, and thatís no bad thing from the point of view of pokie and casino fans.

Itís perhaps just a part of the message that casinos, pokies and gambling in general can play a hugely positive role in the lives of Australians and Australian cities Ė and thatís a message we can get behind...

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