VOLUNTEERING AND CHARITABLE GIVING
Aristocrat encourages employees to volunteer and get engaged in their communities in ways that are meaningful to them. Most of our giving – whether that’s in terms of time given to volunteering or financial support – is led by employees and teams at the regional and local level, rather than being determined centrally. One day of paid leave annually is given to each employee to encourage participation in volunteering, and employees are empowered through the AristocratCARES program and Engagement teams to nominate and select charities for this purpose.
Although COVID-19 impacted our ability to physically participate in many events in 2020, it did not curtail employees’ enthusiasm. Many continued to participate in community events virtually or in new ways, and we are proud of their generosity and creativity.
GLOBAL VOLUNTEER MONTH
July is Global Volunteer Month at Aristocrat, which unites employees around the world in expressing our value of ‘Good Business, Good Citizen’. While social distancing requirements meant that we were unable to offer volunteering in person, our teams were quick to identify alternative ways to contribute to our communities through remote volunteering and provision of financial assistance.
ARISTOCRAT CARES AND ENGAGEMENT TEAM
Aristocrat facilitates regional fundraising and volunteer initiatives throughout the year under the banner of “AristocratCARES”. Teams in each region are comprised of local employees who are passionate about contributing to their community. These teams are provided with a budget, and they take the lead in identifying and supporting causes and charities under the guidance of our Community Involvement Committees (CIC).
During 2020, Aristocrat and our global employees directed more than AUD989,0004 in donations to a wide range of charities.
4 Conversion to AUD based on FX Average Annual Rates applicable for year ending 30/09/2020
Aristocrat was proud to be awarded a Congressional Commendation by US Congresswoman Dina Titus for our support of Teacher Exchange, an initiative of the Public Education Foundation in Las Vegas. Teacher Exchange brings much-needed resources to schools in the Clark County School District while helping the environment through its collection and repurposing of office supplies, books, and other materials originally headed for landfill. Our AristocratCARES team in Las Vegas was recognised for its sponsorship, which helped provide school supplies to 400 local teachers.
While most community giving at Aristocrat is employee-led, our businesses also actively support worthy causes, including cause related marketing initiatives, long-term partnership agreements or simply giving in the context of special events. Below are examples of business-led giving initiatives championed by Aristocrat in 2020.
BUSHFIRE AND DROUGHT RELIEF SUPPORT
2020 was a difficult year for Australian communities impacted by bushfires and drought. In support of bushfire recovery efforts, Aristocrat made a AUD250,000 donation to bushfire and drought relief in partnership with Clubs NSW, a key customer body that represents over 1200 local clubs in our largest Australian market. Australian employees also raised funds and made additional donations of AUD20,000 to Foodbank and AUD20,000 to the Country Women’s Association, with the business contributing a further AUD10,000 in recognition of our employees’ generosity.
We also supported farming families in drought and those in bushfire affected areas through a Christmas food drive run by employees.
Our Aristocrat team in the US also got involved, by adopting 18 koalas through the Koala Preservation Society of NSW Inc. Our Koala Class of 2020 can be seen in this video
“This has been a challenging time for the communities affected by catastrophic bushfires and drought, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland where the majority of our people and customers live and work. We are proud to be partnering with a major customer organisation in Clubs NSW, and joining with our local employees and other charities, to make a contribution and help those affected.”
– David Ronson Managing Director of Aristocrat Asia Pacific
BROTHERS OSBORNE MUSIC EVENT (US)
A first-of-its-kind collaborative initiative between our US Gaming and video games businesses, this special live-streamed entertainment event featured the Grammy-nominated country duo Brothers Osborne. The event was hosted by Aristocrat and presented under the banner of our popular game brand, Lightning Link. The event was free to watch, but attendees were invited to donate to ACM Lifting Lives. This organisation is the charitable arm of the US Academy of Country Music, which supports good causes including those in the industry who have been impacted by COVID-19. Thousands of fans tuned in to watch9, with USD 20,000 raised for ACM Lifting Lives.
9More than 15,000 YouTube views were recorded.
COVID-19 AND COMMUNITY CARE (ASIA)
In response to the demand for PPE in Macau in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aristocrat donated 50,000 surgical masks to the Macau SAR government to help alleviate the shortage. The masks were presented to Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ms. Ao Ieong U, and were allocated to the Health Bureau, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, and the Higher Education Bureau for distribution to frontline staff and schools in need.
Media coverage of this initiative can be viewed here:
Aristocrat donates surgical masks to Macau SAR government
Aristocrat donates 50,000 face masks to Macau community
Aristocrat Macau donates surgical masks to government
In the Philippines, Aristocrat partnered with the City of Dreams Casino to donate 1,700 food packages to medical sites across ten hospitals and medical centres. These were distributed to staff, families and the local communities in the area of Paranaque, Manila, providing essentials such as pasta, rice, canned fish and meat during the country-wide lockdown. Aristocrat’s Good Business, Good Citizen value was also highlighted in an article published in Inside Asian Gaming (IAG).
GUARDIAN ANGEL (INDIA)
Guardian Angel is Aristocrat India’s local sponsorship program. In 2020, Guardian Angel partnered with Literacy India to sponsor the education of 76 underprivileged children – including by funding teacher support, textbooks, stationery, uniforms and classroom consumables.
CEREBRAL PALSY ALLIANCE (AUSTRALIA AND ISRAEL)
Aristocrat has supported Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) for over a decade through donations, fundraising and employee volunteering. Since 2009 Aristocrat has contributed more than AUD2,500,000 to support the vital work of CPA.
COVID-19 has presented new challenges to services being offered by CPA, including the need to suspend all face-to-face therapy services, pivoting these to an online Telepractice platform. Aristocrat responded to an urgent appeal to provide Telepractice Starter Kits to families in need by making a financial donation of AUD10,000. Each kit contained a tablet, data pack, specialist equipment such as adaptive toys, as well as training and support resources. More information on this initiative can be found here
The annual CPA STEPtember fundraiser is an event supported by Aristocrat for many years. This year, 488 employees across our US, India, UK and Australia businesses stepped up to raise funds for children and adults living with cerebral palsy, walking 10,000 steps for 28 days and raising AUD 20,894. We were honoured once again to sponsor and host a themed CPA Christmas Party for the children and families of CPA Australia.
In Israel, the Plarium team again supported Beit Hagalalim, a local charity that supports people living with cerebral palsy. Plarium is proud to have sponsored Beit Hagalalim for four years.
NATIONAL BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION (US)
Our Big Fish business supported the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) with its “play for a cause” campaign again this year, with special NBCF-branded in-game events being created across several of Big Fish’s most popular free-to-play titles. Additionally, employees rallied together to assemble Hope Kits for 300 breast cancer patients, accompanied by handwritten cards with employees’ messages, giving hope and heart to the recipients.
Watch this video to learn more about this campaign:
Aristocrat is proud to be a member of the Nevada Resort Association’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Coalition, working together with other industry members to contribute to the community, including in the areas of homelessness, human trafficking and food insecurity/reducing food waste. In 2020, Aristocrat employees served on the Homelessness Working Group and the Anti-trafficking Working Group.