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Gaming shop ordered to close

22 December 2006

Gaming shop ordered to close

The Gambling Commission has backed a Department of Internal Affairs’ decision not to renew the licence of Rotorua gaming machine venue, Whiskey Jacks. The Department has told First Sovereign Trust, which operates the machines at the Hinemoa Street venue, to cease operations immediately.

The Department declined to renew Whiskey Jack’s licence because the venue continued to be used as a gaming shop, which the Gambling Act forbids. The Trust appealed but the Gambling Commission said the decision was correct.

“The Commission noted that the submissions and evidence filed by the Secretary (for Internal Affairs) demonstrated serious non-compliance at the venue over a long period of time,” the Commission said. “The appellants failed to file any evidence to explain this non-compliance, or to in any way attempt to satisfy the Commission they would be compliant in the future.”

The Department’s Acting Director of Gambling Compliance, Greg Crott, says the venue licence, as approved in December 2003, required building alterations to change the main activity to other than gambling. But that condition was never complied with, thus the refusal to renew the licence and subsequent appeal.

The Trust has been told to switch off the machines immediately and remove them from the venue as soon as possible.

“Continuing to operate the machines will be regarded as illegal gambling,” Mr Crott said.

ENDS

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