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Charities push for a slice of Melbourne Cup revenue pie

Would you donate rather than gamble? Images: Getty

In 2018, the Melbourne Cup reported more than $312 million in domestic turnover, while Derby Day reported $153 million and Stakes Day soared to $109 million.

In 2016, Australians lost $23.7 billion to gambling, according to the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office Australian gambling snapshot – an average of $1,251 for every adult.

But imagine what that money could do if it was going to charity instead of gambling.

That’s the question charities are posing this Melbourne Cup Day through the ‘Give, Don’t Gamble’ campaign.

“If just a fraction of that money could be funnelled back [to charities] somehow... that's such a lot of money,” operations manager at charity The Beauty Bank Denise Dolan told Yahoo Finance.

“At the moment, we share premises with another group and it would just be lovely to have our own space where corporate groups could come in and then become aware of what we do.”

The Beauty Bank is a charity that collects items like toiletries, bags, small gifts and makeup to deliver to men, women and children in need.

“We work predominantly with domestic violence and poverty in Australia and it would just be wonderful to be able to educate people,” Dolan said.

“We're not greedy – $100,000 would be wonderful but we'd take more. It would just make such a difference – we're such a small charity and there's so many small charities out there doing good work that people don't know about.”

GiveNow is a platform that facilitates charitable giving. It launched the #GiveDontGamble campaign to raise awareness of the huge potential in charitable giving.

Charities including The Beauty Bank, Reverse Garbage in Sydney, Horse Rescue Australia, Marrickville Legal Centre, Black Swan Health and Animal Aid Abroad are all backing the campaign.

“Considering the enormous amount of money spent during the Melbourne Cup on gambling, drinking and fashion,” GiveNow general manager Jarred Slomoi said.

“We thought: this is a great opportunity to get Australians to pause and reflect on their own priorities and where they are spending their disposable income.

“While we aren’t necessarily here to comment on the ethics of horse racing and the culture that surrounds it, we can’t help but think that if just a fraction of this money was spent on building stronger communities, it would have a profound impact,” he said.

“Through #GiveDontGamble, we’re encouraging people to think about the impact they can make if, instead of gambling this Spring racing carnival, they supported a community organisation with a donation.”

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