DONATIONS from clubs, hotels and casinos have jumped in the past decade to form about 5 per cent of all contributions to major political parties.The total amount has grown by more than 50 per cent at the same time as community pressure has increased on governments to tackle problem gambling.Independent senator Nick Xenophon said the rise in donations raised questions about the level of influence the gaming industry has over governments.”If you give someone $1000, you support them. If you give them $100,000, you own them,” Senator Xenophon said.He described the amounts given by clubs and hotels as ”chump change considering the millions of dollars they make”.The Australian Hotels Association and Clubs NSW are the two biggest donors, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars away each year to both the Labor and Liberal parties, a search of Australian Electoral Commission returns by The Sun-Herald shows.In the last financial year, clubs, hotels and casinos gave $529,096 to the state and national Labor parties, accounting for about 5 per cent of all the donations they received. The industry also contributed about 5 per cent – $289,308 – of the Liberal Party’s donations.Ten years ago, the total amount of money donated to all political parties was $511,940.In 2004 – an election year – donations passed $1 million for the first time. In that year, $1.183 million went to political parties with the lion’s share – $880,374 – going to the Labor parties.The figures do not include money donated by lobbying firms engaged by the industry.Senator Xenophon said the industry was betting against increasing community pressure for action on problem gambling.”This is a cheap form of insurance to keep their licences and businesses going as usual,” he said.He called on the federal government to release the Productivity Commission’s report on gambling which it received in February.
Nanjing Night Net