What Happens to Unclaimed Gambling Winnings?

The above question is actually quite pertinent. Where do unclaimed gambling winnings go? Well, the New South Wales (NSW) government has a Community Development Fund (CDF) in which all unclaimed wins go. This fund is managed by the Office of Responsible Gambling. State law is not pedantic about how exactly the funds should be used, it only requires that the fund be used for “community benefit”. The NSW CDF has funded a number of community projects including some that were considered questionable. We will briefly look at some of the projects that the NSW CDF has helped make possible.


Projects Funded by Unclaimed Gambling Winnings in NSW

Earlier in July this year, the CDF funded the Million Dollar Chase greyhound races to the tune of almost AU$1Million using the unclaimed gambling winnings. This move raised a lot of eyebrows because of the history between the government and the greyhound race. In 2016 the NSW government was lobbying for the ban of the Million Dollar Chase races.

Between 2014 and 2016, over AU$3million was allocated out of the CDF towards 52 community projects which included new schools and refurbishing cultural monuments. Then, in 2017, the CDF funded its most expensive and most controversial project, Bleeding Steel, a Jackie Chan movie which was partly filmed in Sydney, Australia. One of the scenes was shot atop the Sydney Opera house where Jackie Chan fights a villain while teetering dangerously along the sails of the roof. The film was funded from the unclaimed gambling winnings fund. This was mostly met with disapproval; however, the government defended the move as a worthwhile investment.

Why do Gambling Winnings Go Unclaimed?

It’s likely the inconvenience of land-based gambling where one has to physically go and collect their winnings that makes this happen. If you don’t want to be one of the many who, for some reasons, don’t claim their gambling winnings, play at one of the top Australian casino sites and get your winnings automatically deposited into your account.

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