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Pokie operator loses licence

Pokie operator loses licence

The Bay Foundation of Paihia has lost its licence to operate gaming machines under the Gambling Act 2003.

The Department of Internal Affairs declined to renew the licence after identifying several failings in a recent audit. This week the Gambling Commission dismissed the Foundation’s appeal against that decision.

The Foundation is the third society to lose its licence since the Gambling Act took full effect in July 2004. It operated gaming machines at three venues in Rotorua, Mount Maunganui and Waipapakauri. Reasons for not renewing the licence included:

  • Returning less than 23 per cent of gaming machine proceeds to authorised purposes – substantially below the statutory minimum of 37.12 per cent

  • Paying too much in venue costs

  • Paying excessive amounts in management company fees and failing to supply supporting documentation

  • The precarious nature of the Foundation’s finances

The Department’s Director of Gambling Compliance, Mike Hill, said the loss of licence is a reminder to all societies about their responsibilities under the Gambling Act.

“The societies exist to raise money for the community, benefiting a range of activities identified as authorised purposes under their licence conditions,” Mike Hill said. “The law states what minimums they must meet in terms of returns to the community and how much can be claimed as expenses for their operations. These must be actual, reasonable and necessary and we scrutinise them carefully during audits.”

ENDS

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