8 People Charged After DIA Uncover Corrupt Network In Hawke’s Bay Gambling Sector
Eight people Have been charged with a range of offences under the Gambling Act 2003 and Crimes Act 1961, after a Department of Internal Affairs investigation found a network of corruption in the Hawke’s Bay region, involving collusion between class 4 venue operators, corporate societies and grant recipients.
The charges relate to the misappropriation of Class 4 (Gambling) grant funds, theft of gaming machine proceeds and offering benefits to secure Class 4 (pokie) venues with improper conditions. The prosecution follows an investigation by Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).
Three of the Eight people charged appeared at the Napier district court today, one pleading not guilty and two were remanded without plea, after being charged with a range of offences under the Gambling Act 2003 and Crimes Act 1961.
The charges allege that the defendants, who were in management positions at several community organisations and within the Class 4 gambling sector, abused their positions to fraudulently obtain or misappropriate hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding and other benefits.
“Criminal networks that operate in a regulated environment such as class 4 gambling, commit this type of offending with full knowledge of the law. They ultimately take away grants from compliant and honest organisations and give the Gambling Sector a bad name.” said Vicki Scott, Director Gambling, Department of Internal Affairs.
“Prosecutions of this kind help us ensure the integrity and fairness of the gambling system.”
The three defendants have been remanded and are due to appear in court over the coming months. Five defendants have had their matters adjourned until February.
For more information on New Zealand gambling regulation visit dia.govt.nz/Gambling.