The Shane Warne Foundation is under investigation from the consumer watchdog, Consumer Affairs Victoria after studies revealed only 16 cents in every dollar is handed to sick and underprivileged children.
Poker and charity have been tied at the hip these past seven days.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) Foundation raised $700,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; the Rational Group ploughed more money, resources and support for Right to Play; Jennifer Harman held a charity poker tournament in support of the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and Daniel Negreanu and co-raised a ton of cash for the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital this weekend.
That’s what I call a lot of energy, passion and hard work applied to philanthropic endeavours, but where does all of the money go? That common charity question has once again reared its ugly head after The Sunday Age revealed that consumer watchdogs are taking a close look underneath the hood of The Shane Warne Foundation.
Warne is a legend of cricket and former sponsored player for 888Poker. During his time with the online giants, he got together with Australian Poker Hall of Famer Joe Hachem to host the Joe Hachem & Shane Warne Celebrity Poker Tournament. The seventh iteration of which took place in 2014.
It seems the celebrity poker tournament is one of a host of events that is casting a dark cloud over the handling of funds produced by the foundation. Investigations by The Sunday Age has revealed that despite raising $1.8m in the past three years, only 16 cents of every dollar has gone towards the care of underprivileged and sick children.
According to The Sunday Age, the foundation spent more than $300,000 on catering, alcohol and prizes for fundraisers held between 2011-2013. During this time, Shane’s brother Jason was placed in charge of the fund and drew an annual salary close to $80,000.
Transparency of the flow of money should be the staple diet of any non-profit, but at the Shane Warne Foundation it is off the menu. The foundation does not have an open book policy in its financial dealings, and the organization isn’t listed with the national regulator.
Consumer affairs watchdog, Consumer Affairs Victoria, confirmed with probonoaustralia.com that they were investigating the association over some ‘inconsistencies in reporting and accounting practices’. The foundation’s general manager, Emma Coleman, told the same site that they couldn’t provide a public response because a triumvirate of board members were in different countries.
The man with his name slapped all over the foundation is currently taking strolls along the beaches of Malibu, and setting gossip mongers on fire after a spot of flirting with his old flame Elizabeth Hurley during an All Stars cricket match in LA.
Just finished an awesome 2 hour walk / chat in the beautiful hills of Malibu with a great mate. Simple things are the best, feel great !
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) November 16, 2015
Hurley has been an ambassador for the foundation, as has Hollywood actor Russell Crowe.