The Australian state law gives the local government the authority to decide what happens to the unclaimed winnings from poker machines. However, whatever they choose to invest the money in has to be in the benefit of the community.
It has been recently revealed that the NSW government has offered to fund the Jackie Chan blockbuster movie Bleeding Steel. They donated a once-off amount of AU$850 000 from the Community Development Fund (CDP) which is managed by the Office of Responsible Gambling. The amount is considered to be the largest the government has ever granted to one project. It also amounts to a quarter of the CDP’s total funding.
Some activists were against the funding, and they claimed that the grant amount was too large to fund a movie.
Greens MLC’s Justin Field said that it was an unusual use of the money and why the big amount was used to fund a Jackie Chan movie. He went on to say that the money can be used to give gambling-related harm victims support and also towards important community projects.
To the government’s defence, the NSW Liquor and Gaming spokesperson said that they did a thorough benefit analysis of funding the film project. What’s more, the spokesperson said that the film has short- and long-term benefits which are significant for the economy and tourism.
The film was able to create over 1100 jobs such as crew members, extras and the cast for the movie. It also boosted the NSW economy with over AU$20 million.
The Bleeding Steel movie did not impress the critics, and it also has a 24% approval rating on the well-known website Rotten Tomatoes. South China Morning Post was also not impressed with the movie saying the Jackie Chan must be at a low since he decided to put his name on this film.
YouKu, a Chinese video streaming company, sent the NSW government an application for financial assistance. They were also going to shoot some scenes of the movie in Sydney. There are also Australian actors who feature in the film.