Fees Increase as Pokie Operators Commit Breaches

A recent inspection of clubs and pubs revealed non compliance to pokie machine laws.

Since the government is unable to curb fraud in gambling sector, it is set to increase fees that are paid by pokie operators. This is following the revelation by the internal affairs minister Peter Dunne, who said that he is considering proposals to have pubs and clubs that operate gambling machines to raise fees by 54%.

Brian Corbett, the Community Gaming Association chair said that it is getting harder and harder for communities and sports group to get funds.

For the last three years, the government has intensified investigation on fraud in clubs and societies that operate pokie machines.

The Department of Internal Affairs is under financial pressure because of the declining number of pokie machines. This is because fees collected are used to fund enforcement of gambling laws. Unfortunately, the enforcement expenses surpass fee collection from gambling operators by $9 million.

 

The increased collection from the revised fees will help in funding regulation as well as in repaying the deficit.

In 2007, there were about 20,120 pokie machines in clubs and societies, however by the end of last year, this number reduced to only 16,717.

Whereas people have continued to gamble consistently over the years, the fee collections by DIA have reduced over the years since it is dictated by the number of machines.

According to DIA spokesman, operators are either involved in fraud or are not keeping correct records. This was largely revealed by ‘Operation Chestnut’.

It was revealed that bluegrass and other trusts had made over $30 million in gaming grants. In the investigation, it was revealed that bluegrass’s startup revenue was gotten from racing clubs as opposed to their claim of getting it from South Canterbury Finance.

Further revelations stated that racing clubs took more than 80% of community grants.

 

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