Gaming machines in clubs and pubs
Community benefit statement guidelines for licensed clubs
This page has guidelines for clubs in the Northern Territory (NT) on keeping records about, and reporting on, their contribution to their communities.
Clubs must report on their community contributions by submitting a community benefit statement twice a year.
The requirement for community contributions makes sure clubs return a reasonable level of gaming machine revenue to their communities. Contributions can range from cash contributions to in-kind support and assistance for community organisations.
Clubs must also pay a levy to the Community Benefit fund based on their gaming machine revenue. Read more about the Community Benefit Fund program on the Community Benefit Committee page.
Community benefit statements
Licensing NT sends clubs a gross profit statement every six months, showing the amount generated by the club’s gaming machines after the deduction of gaming machine tax and GST for the period.
The club must then provide a community benefit statement, listing the contributions they have made to the community during the preceding six months to cover the periods January to June and July to December.
The benefit statement must be returned to Licensing NT within a month of receiving the profit statement. An incomplete statement will be returned for more information and must be re-submitted by the revised date specified, or it will be considered overdue.
By law, the Community Benefit Committee is responsible for monitoring contributions made to the community by clubs.
Community contributions that can be claimed
Contributions may be in the form of money or providing in-kind goods, services or facilities. In-kind or non-financial assistance can include discounts on a range of goods or services provided by clubs, or the free or subsidised use of a club’s facilities or equipment.
By law, community contributions must do both of the following:
- develop or support the social fabric of the Territory community
- assist sport or other recreational activities, either conducted in the Territory or with participants predominantly based in the Territory.
You cannot claim contributions for activities that encourage gambling activity or the consumption of alcohol.
Read the Gaming Control Act 1993.
Clubs can claim for contributions in the following five categories.
1. Charitable organisations
The contribution must be made to an organisation with the primary purpose of undertaking charitable, benevolent or philanthropic works. The recipient organisation may or may not be incorporated. Examples of acceptable organisations include the Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul, Red Cross, World Vision and other public appeals.
2. Welfare, safety and social services
This incorporates assistance aimed at improving the living standards of people in the Territory, particularly those who are disadvantaged or with low incomes. Assistance can be provided either directly or through organisations that deal with the safety and welfare of the Territory community.
Examples of relevant services and activities include:
- youth support programs
- emergency or low cost accommodation
- drug, alcohol or problem gambling education
- counselling, including problem gambling support
- child care and aged care services
- school equipment or facilities for use by students
- hospital equipment or facilities for use by patients
- equipment for use in retirement villages or facilities for use by residents of such villages
- women’s support services
- safety house projects
- Neighbourhood Watch and other community-based crime prevention initiatives.
3. Sport and recreation activities
This category includes support or assistance provided for the development or maintenance of sport or other recreational facilities and activities that are available to the general public.
Eligible contributions for sport include the costs for junior coaching or skill seminars and payment to associated organisations for items such as player wages, coaching, player equipment and uniforms.
Financial support for recreational activities or events that are available to the public may be claimed. Examples are bushwalking or orienteering activities.
Allowing the use of a club’s sporting facilities may also be considered an eligible contribution. While the general public may have restricted access to a club’s sporting facilities, making facilities available to the public through hire or other access arrangements is recognised as making a contribution to the community. Any hiring fee would have to be deducted from such a contribution.
Contributions may be made directly by the club to the recipients, to affiliated clubs, associated organisations or independent organisations.
Contributions to affiliated clubs for development activities may be reported, such as any of the following:
- upgrade and maintenance of club facilities
- coaching programs
- membership fees
Funds may not be used for fundraising, social or entertainment activities.
4. Other non-profit activities
This category includes support for non-profit activities conducted in the interest of the community, such as community activities or functions that have public appeal or assist in developing a community spirit. The events or activities must be accessible to the general public and be non-political and non-religious.
Examples of relevant contributions are:
- direct donations to the public, including donations to individuals or target groups - e.g scholarships, the purchase of food or supplies for the poor / needy, aged or under privileged
- ethnic organisations and multicultural activities - including contributions to local organisations devoted to culturally based events or activities
- activities that might be supported include festivals, music, dance, art or language groups/events organised by various ethnic communities
- arts development and exhibition - support provided to nurture all forms of artistic expression or to assist the public display and presentation of artistic activities that will enhance the community
- special events - activities that develop community spirit or encourage greater community participation - e.g promotion of physical activity, clean-up of the community, volunteer environmental or land care groups, and local community events provided free of charge to participants)
- special services or celebrations - support for significant public memorial services, celebrations or ceremonies that are non-political and non-religious - e.g: ANZAC Day, Australia Day)
- volunteer organisations - including contributions to organisations like the Bush Fire Brigade, Rotary, the Lions Club and any other volunteer bodies that provide benevolent/community related services.
5. Community infrastructure and associated services
This category includes costs incurred in relation to the enhancement or maintenance of community assets or infrastructure that are accessed by the general public - e.g: museums, parks, playgrounds and art galleries).
Any entry fee or hiring fee will have to be taken into account in determining the net contribution made toward such facilities. Costs involved in training staff for duties or activities that deliver a direct benefit to the general community are allowable - e.g: responsible service of alcohol and first aid training courses. Travel, accommodation and organisational costs incurred in delivering training within the Territory are allowable, but costs associated with training outside the Territory are not.
Expenditure that cannot be claimed
Clubs cannot claim expenditure on any of the following activities or areas as community contributions:
- commercial activities, including overhead and operational costs
- anything done to fulfil legal obligations, such as meeting the conditions of a lease agreement or the requirements of any relevant Act or work health and safety provisions - e.g provision of smoke free areas
- activities to promote specific activities of the club
- donations collected by the club, or out of proceeds of any special fundraising activity conducted by the club
- support to a business association, registered political party, associated entity or trade union, or community government council or municipal council
- contributions made to another club under a reciprocal arrangement or agreement
- expenditure on alcoholic beverages
- expenditure that funds or subsidises gambling or gambling-related activities
- subsidised or free meals, snacks, other food or beverages for club patrons, members or guests
- expenditure to support holiday units or other facilities available to club members only.
With respect to the operations of a club, a club cannot claim costs for the following:
- providing professional entertainers or other entertainment for patrons of the club or used for the purpose of directly promoting activities associated with the commercial operation of the club
- social or entertainment occasions held for the primary purpose of providing enjoyment for the club’s members - e.g gatherings, amusements, exhibitions or performances such as singing, music, dancing, plays, films or shows.
What information to provide about contributions
Clubs must provide the following information about each monetary or non-monetary contribution they claim:
- the amount and form of each contribution
- the target group or recipient of the contribution
- the primary activity or purpose for which the contribution was made or what the contribution was spent on.
This information will assist the Community Benefit Committee to determine the eligibility of a contribution and help the government and the community recognise the range and nature of benefits provided by the contributions.
Where a hiring fee or other charge is made, that revenue must be clearly identified and subtracted from the expenditure incurred by providing the facility, activity or service.
What information to provide about non-monetary contributions
Each non-cash or in-kind contribution claimed must be give a dollar value, based on the standard market rate, the purchase price or the amount of administrative and operating expenses involved in providing the goods or services. An independent valuation will only be required if the Community Benefit Committee requests if after reviewing the club’s statement.
Keeping records of contributions
Full records of claimed contributions must be kept for five years, including information about how the value of any in-kind donation or gift was calculated. Estimates should be based on the market value of the goods or service provided.
The records must be made available to the Community Benefit Committee if requested.
How to submit a community benefit statement
Clubs can use the following template to prepare the report.
An officer of the club must sign and print their name on the completed statement. This person must be a member of the club’s executive and is responsible for confirming the accuracy and legitimacy of the information provided.
Clubs can submit their statement to Licensing NT by fax, email or in person. Get contact details for Licensing NT.
Organisations should receive written notification that their Statements have been received by Licencing NT within four weeks
For help submitting a community benefit statement, contact the Community Benefit Committee.
Get a copy of the Club Community Contributions Minister’s guidelines.
Last updated: 04 February 2020
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