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Pokies and Racing Grants Update

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This from yesterday's Southland Times. Note it was written by their Queenstown reporter- odd?????.



Racing clubs hand over records  


Last updated 05:00 13/04/2013

Racing clubs in the south have handed over seven years of records to investigators as part of a national joint-agency inquiry into alleged pokie machine grant fraud.

In February, Department of Internal Affairs and Serious Fraud Office investigators began interviewing racing clubs regarding a national investigation into alleged manipulation of gaming machine grants.

Clubs in the south legally receive millions of dollars a year in grants. Many of the successful grants are distributed to spend on stake money for races, which is also legal.

Teams of two investigators, one from the fraud office and another from the department, met racing representatives and club presidents in February and last month.

Is is understood racing clubs were given "section 9" notices under the Serious Fraud Office Act, which requires any person or organisation to produce documents relevant to an investigation.

GallopSouth general manager Malcolm Little said yesterday the organisation was required to produce documentation for investigators dating back to 2006.

Asked to specify the types of documents, he said he was not allowed to discuss the kinds of paperwork sent to the office and the department. Compiling the information was time-consuming.

Other sources indicated investigators asked the clubs to produce copies of meeting minutes, grant applications and financial reports.

Mr Little said investigators asked for files from "just about everybody" in Otago and Southland racing clubs.

"It appears all the clubs via the presidents got one [a section 9 notice] and produced the files. We had to go back through archives, we don't keep a lot of hard copy files, it's all digital."

Investigators were happy to accept records in digital form but compiling documentation was a lot of work to undertake while the racing organizations were staging meets, he said.

"Let's hope we can get on with racing. There's a massive amount of work with all these files from throughout the country. There's hours and hours for these guys [but] we're happy to be helping out."

Mr Little said he was confident that clubs in the south would withstand scrutiny and, as far as he was aware, all of the clubs that were asked for documentation had co-operated with investigators.

Neither the SFO nor Internal Affairs would comment on the inquiry yesterday and both bodies declined to answer specific questions about it.

Department of Internal Affairs director of gambling compliance Debbie Despard, in a February statement, said the joint-agency investigation was significant


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Funny this subject should arise again.


A mate and I decided yesterday that the main difference between Aussie and ourselves is the fact we have put a taboo on Pokies and put them behind walls and in rooms....(reducing exposure to racing)


Apart from being PC ,This further puts the racing Industry behind the eight ball as far as promoting itself to the average joe blow gambler.


Take-out rates, financial obligations  by licence holders and benefits to racing are beyond me but increases would be nice.


Unfortunately the economy and every expense from the bottom up for owners , make it hard on trainers, etc, etc.


We need to promote NZ racing any way possible (Its a Dundeel...Good Start) 


Hiding Pokies and drab racedays with little public entertainment on course arn,t a good look. 

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