Bleeding Steel, the 2017 sci-fi/thriller movie starring Jackie Chan was funded using unclaimed gambling winnings by the government of New South Wales.
The New South Wales government recently revealed that AU $850,000.00 of unclaimed gambling winnings was given to a Chinese video streaming company YouKu that applied to a local production company seeking for help to fund the shooting of the Jackie Chan movie scenes in Sydney.
The Legitimate Reason Behind the Funds
The government has the right to fund community projects according to the law that exists since 2001. The Gaming Machines Act 2001 states that the local government is allowed to give the money to fund different community project, as the Secretary considers appropriate.
In fact, the Department of Industry’s policies in charge of Liquor and Gaming state that the unclaimed gambling winnings are to be given to the Secretary of the Department of Industry, which should transfer the winnings to the Community Development Fund.
The spokesman of Liquor and Gaming shared that prior to approving the funds for the Jackie Chan movie, extensive research and thorough analysis were made to conclude whether the movie will provide benefits for the community. Following positive results, they approved the funds.
Soon after the public found out about the funds, many expressed their concerns regarding the amount of money given for funding a movie. So far, the Community Development Fund has funded over 52 community project, but none of those projects was funded with that big of an amount of money. The most they have given was half a million dollars to the Million Dollar greyhound race series. They insisted that the funds could have been given for a more significant community project or, since the money comes from unclaimed gambling winnings, for providing an improved support and help to those who have gambling-related problems.
The Outcome for the Community
Even though the opposing views are reasonable, the spokesman stated that the Jackie Chan movie was seen as a great opportunity, since it created over 1,100 part-time job openings over a period of several months for all the crew, cast, extras, and staff members. In fact, as part of the cast that worked along Jackie Chan were Australian actors Kym Gyngell, Tess Haubrich and Gallan Mulvey.
In addition, it gave economic and touristic benefits to the state in the short and long term. The movie brought to the community over AU $20million.