25 Aug

Pokies Funds grant $5k to Horse Therapy Ranch in NT

They say everyone deserves a second chance in life. Desert Song, a horse therapy and adventure training organization that operates on a cattle station in the Northern Territory of Australia, strives to deliver that chance to individuals with injuries, disabilities or other special needs. But this time around, it was Desert Song who was given a second lease on life, all thanks to the community group funding of area poker machines.

The NT government’s Community Benefit Fund (CBF) is generated by a levy on pokies throughout the region. When the CBF raises funds from poker machines at local casinos, it distributes them across accredited community groups.

The latest distribution included hundreds of thousands of dollars that was spread across 85 worthy groups. One such organization to benefit from the pokies funds was Desert Song, which received a $5,000 donation to continue its laudable work.


Desert Song gets $5k Grant from Pokies FundRestorative healing sessions take place at Ambalindum, a cattle station located northeast of Alice Spring, NT. According to Vivien Wilson, a representative of the horse therapy group, the latest sessions to take place at the facility were provided to “a group of young Indigenous people with disabilities.

“They were challenged to ‘the max’. Normally these kids are playing video games,” said Ms. Wilson. But at Desert Song, they were exposed to a whole new environment, where “out in the open, and out of the blue, seven brumbies turned up,” she said.

“The kids just watched the horse whisperer break in the brumbies and it was amazing to watch him in action,” extolled Ms. Wilson.

Adventure-based training, such as those children were exposed to, takes place at Ormiston Gorge, approximately 135km west of Alice Springs. Fix Antimalware Service Executable virus The participants were given the opportunity to learn reliance, responsibility and working together through special rugged training courses that included such experiences as leading a blindfolded partner through water and climbing exercises.

“They were learning about trust and teamwork,” said Ms. Wilson.

Taking the Good from the Bad

Not everyone is keen on the idea of the Community Benefit Fund being derived from the gambling habits of local residents. It’s no secret that Australia is home to the highest population of  Free Android emulator Bluestacks App Player lets you play popular mobile games and apps on your  bluestacks for laptop problem gamblers in the world. And while Ms. Wilson counts herself among the mournful populace that disdains the harmful effects of pokies on some individuals, she is glad that the results of such addictions are at least going to a good cause.

Ms. Wilson said that she is not a gambler, “But I think to myself, let’s put whatever has been bad into good use; make something good out of something bad… I actually feel ok with using the Community Benefit Fund.”

Community Benefits Fund

As of July 1, 2015, the CFB is funded by poker machine tax contributions from SkyCity and Lasseter’s casinos. Community groups are able to apply for funding in one of two ways, via a Small Grant or Major Community Grant.

The limit on Small Grants was increased to $10,000 earlier this year, while Major Community Grants can be requested at up to $200,000. More information on applying for a CFB grant can be obtained here.