Issues related to a PCANZ Church accepting funds from gaming activity

If you are a member church of the PCANZ then there are some things you need to be aware of in making an application to the Lottery Grants Board. Give 3d Words Background Generosity and Contribution Make a decision from the right framework This is an issue where members may have strong personal views.  These views will have been formed by personal experience (friends or family may have been harmed by a gambling addition), or information gained from the media and/or a philosophical stance for or against games of chance.  However when members consider this issue their personal opinions must be held in check as the question is not whether they approve of gambling;  but does accepting a grant from this source allow the church to resource mission to and with their local community? As funds cannot be used for “the regular functioning of the congregation” they will be directed to aspects of the project or building that are primarily provided to benefit the wider community.  This is why the question of mission is so important because the money, if accepted, is to benefit the community, not the church. When congregational leaders discuss this issue some of the things you might like to consider are:

  • What is the greater good vs greater harm?
  • Is it possible for money (other than illegally gained money) to be morally good or bad?
  • In the Bible Jesus’ comments about money concern the priorities it has in our lives – particularly around greed and giving.  This supports the interpretation that money or assets are neutral and what matters is what we do with them.  In Jesus’ day gambling was commonplace.

  • Is the church committed to delivering a service of greater good to the community or is it really about church facilities?  If it is about funding community facilities then it is appropriate to fund them with community raised money which is available for this purpose.

Facts about gambling The following was sourced from the Department of Internal Affairs which is the government department responsible for gaming legislation and compliance. Expenditure on gambling 2010-2014

2010 $m 2011 $m 2012 $m 2013 $m 2014 $m
NZ Racing Board (TAB) 278 273 283 294 311
NZ Lotteries Commission 347 404 419 432 463
Gaming machines (non Casino) 849 856 854 826 808
Casinos 454 471 509 520 509

Profits from Lotto New Zealand are transferred to NZ Lottery Grants Board.  In 2014/15 the Lottery Grants Board allocated $4231m to its 16 distribution committees.

  •  85-90% of the population engage in at least one gaming activity a year
  • 41% of those over 18 participated in gaming at least weekly
  • 1/3 of the adult population played Lotto on a weekly basis
  • 11% of the population participated in gaming activities (not Lotto) weekly

Legislation around mitigation of problem gambling and harm mitigation has been significantly increased in the last two years with new legislation in place. There is no question that for a small number of people participation in gaming activities is a negative influence in their lives.  Some of these people are addicted to gaming.  The impact of this on the family and community can be significant. However the funds distributed by NZ Lotteries are profits made from this activity.  Numerous organisations have made a philosophical decision not to seek or accept funds from this source.  This stance has not made any difference to the prevalence of the activity and the only negative impact resulting has been on the organisation which must fund its activity from a much smaller pool of fund sources.  A common quote is “the only thing wrong with tainted money, is that it ‘taint mine!” The reality is that Lotto profits are available for community purposes, if a church doesn’t use them someone else will.  If a church does not accept readily available gaming funds then the church decision-makers need to have an alternative.  In some cases I have seen church members who were influential in the decision not to seek gaming funds personally contribute the amount foregone as a result of the church’s decision. How does the Presbyterian Church view acceptance of gaming funds? PCANZ appreciates that there are a variety of views in this matter and the most relevant criteria is from 1998.  These conditions only relate to NZ Lotteries funding and are silent on funds which come from other gaming activities.  The conditions follow: Lottery Grants The Presbyterian Church Property Trustees Conditions to be met before making an application for a Lottery Board Grant The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, meeting in July 1998 determined that parishes could make applications for Lottery Board Grants subject to certain criteria –

  1. The beneficiaries of the grant must be wider than the congregation applying for the grant, for example community projects.
  2. The grant cannot be used for the regular functioning of the congregation such as for the provision of worship, ministry, a church officer, parish secretary, choirmaster, organist or other subordinate officials.
  3. Application for grants for property development including building alterations will only be considered when most of the use of the property will be for groups or organisations which are not part of the congregation.
  4. The congregation will be able to sustain the project financially during its future life.
  5. The congregation has sufficient realisable assets, either financial or in property, to cover the restitution of any grant which the Church Property Trustees are required to make in terms of the agreement with the Lottery Grants Board.
  6. The congregation has specifically agreed that should restitution be required it will be funded from these specified assets.
  7. The Presbytery has undertaken to ensure that the conditions of the grant are met and has processes in place to fulfil this.
  8. Applications to be approved by –
  • the Board of Managers or Deacons Court or Parish Council of the applicant parish
  • a meeting of the congregation
  • the Presbytery
  • the Church Property Trustees

Applications to apply for Lottery Grants must be approved by both the Presbytery and the Trustees. (In some cases churches can make application to Lottery for community purposes, seeking grants under $5,000, without the prior approval of the Trustees, but must still have congregational and Presbytery approval.) Applications for approval to apply for a Lottery Grant are available on request from the Trustees’s office on (04) 381 8290 or The Church Property Trustees have been delegated the ultimate responsibity to ensure that the criteria as determined by the General Assembly are met and require that –

  1. Before any expenditure is made from any Lottery Board grant that may be made, or any contract made which would require disbursement from the grant, that the Parish Council must first obtain the approval of the Presbytery’s Property and Finance Committee, and
  2. Should a grant be made by the Lottery Board, the parish is to set up a special account with four trustees (2 members of the Parish Council and 2 members of the Presbytery’s Property and Finance Committee) into which the grant must be paid, any disbursement from the special account to require the signature of two trustees, one of which must be one of the two Parish Council Trustees together with one of the two of the Presbytery’s Trustees.
  3. If these conditions are satisfied the Church Property Trustees may authorise a grant application on the basis that any restitution will be limited to the property specified above and the acceptance of the grant does not place any liability on any other property or fund.

Some key points are highlighted – but note particularly the requirements 1 and 2 around drawdown of funds and procedure for expenditure which are rather cumbersome.  This issue has been raised with CPT but no response has been received at this date. Key requirements for Lotteries application for funding (from Lotteries’ point of view) Applications for Lottery Community Facilities funding must be filed on line and the following additional information must be supplied: The information below provides additional details on the supporting documentation which is required to be provided with a grant request.  If an organisation is unable to provide the supporting documentation, the application will be considered to be incomplete and may not be funded.  Project budget  All grant requests need to be supported by a detailed project budget. This includes requests for feasibility study grants. The project budget should state the total cost of the project, all income and expenditure that relates to the project, as well as stating the level of contingencies held by the organisation.  This budget may be used to help determine the milestone dates and amounts for any grant approved. You will not be able to submit a grant request unless you upload and save a budget in the required supporting documentation section of the online request form.  Partnership funding  Organisations must have secured or raised at least one-third of the total cost of the project as partnership funding prior to submitting a grant request.  (Please note that you do not have to have secured one-third of the cost in partnership funding to apply for a grant towards a feasibility study.)  Evidence of secured partnership funding must be provided when submitting your online grant request . Funds already secured/raised can include the following:

  • cash donations;
  • confirmed sponsorships amounts;
  • grants made towards the project (with the exception of previous Lottery grants);
  • loans, provided they can be serviced by means other than the grant, and project completion will not be compromised;
  • internal funds tagged to the project;
  • the proven value of any work completed and paid for in relation to the project (e.g. resource consents) within two years of date of application; or
  • the value of any land acquired for the project, provided that: ##the applicant has title to the land and a current Certificate of Title is provided;
  • the land has been acquired (by purchase or donation) specifically for the project;
  • the deemed value of the land is the actual purchase price, or, for donated land, the value at the time of donation, but excludes the value of any debt secured against the land as at the application date. A registered valuer’s certificate, or a record of the rateable value, is evidence supporting the value at the time of donation; and
  • the Certificate of Title may record restrictions on use such as caveats and covenants. These are not taken into account in determining land value.

 Funds already secured/raised cannot include:

  • previous Lottery grant funding
  • unrealised pledges and debentures that include unrealised offers to donate labour and materials;
  • unconfirmed or promised funds;
  • the value of donated goods and services;
  • the value of any voluntary labour; or
  • the value of any discounts.

 Resource and/or building consents  All necessary resource consent approvals for the project must be approved prior to submitting a grant request. Providing the reference number, approving body and date of approval is required on the online request form.  Applicants are not required to have building consents in place when making the grant request online. However, if a grant is approved any payment of this grant will be conditional on building consents being obtained.  Evidence of the costs of the project  Applicants must supply evidence of the cost of the project they are applying for.

  • If you are applying for funding to undertake a feasibility study you must supply at least one written quote with your application.
  • If you application is for less than $250,000 you must supply three written quotes with your application.
  • If you are requesting more than $250,000 for your project, you must submit either a quantity surveyors report or signed contract or three written quotes.

 If three quotes are not available, you will need to discuss this with a Community Advisor on 0800 824 824 or email  All quotes must be dated, and must not be more than 12 months old on the closing date.. You will not be able to submit a grant request unless you upload and save quotes or a contract or a quantity surveyors report in the required supporting documentation section of the online request form.  Landownership  If the organisation making the request is not the landowner they must provide a letter from the legal owner stating that they support the project and that the general public will have ongoing access. (note:  the CPT letter of support will be useful here) Project plans  A detailed timeline and a project plan must be provided.  This project plan may be used to determine the milestone dates and amounts for any grant approved.


One thought on “Issues related to a PCANZ Church accepting funds from gaming activity

  1. Very good points Lisa, When Wanaka was looking for grants to extend its facilities the only time we experience serious tensions were over the Lotteries Grant. For exactly the reasons you mention.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s