Many superannuation investors are unaware their super is supporting Australia’s gambling habit by investing money into gambling firms, according to Australian Ethical Investment.
Australians were the biggest gamblers in the world per capita and each year lost $23 billion, of which $14 billion was lost via the pokies. As well as financial loss, gambling could also lead to mental illness and domestic violence.
The organisation said a lack of transparency meant many investors were unaware this was the case and did not know where their super money was invested.
As a result, it launched a campaign to highlight how Australians can ensure their superannuation money is not supporting the gambling sector and instead focused on positive companies.
This encouraged investors to ask where their fund invested, what sectors, how these sectors were contributing to society and how it was making a positive difference to business behaviour.
Nearly 90 per cent of investors believe fund managers should ‘police’ the companies they invest in to ensure they are acting responsibly, according to research from the Responsible Investment Association of Australia, and 86 per cent of millennials want their money invested in responsible companies.
Dr Stuart Palmer, head of ethics research at Australian Ethical, said: “Superannuation contributions are mandatory but every Australian has the choice to decide where this money is invested.
“Gambling is a big social issue and Australian Ethical strongly questions why the savings of hardworking Australians are being funnelled into industries such as gambling that are responsible for the erosion of savings and general welfare.”