Gaming industry whistleblower Martin Legge backgrounds comments in David Fisher’s article ‘MP keeps heat on pokie trusts‘ (NZ Herald 24.7.12).
Submitted on 2012/07/25 at 10:33 am
The full article has TTCF Chairman, Ross Clow claiming the new TTCF structure has reduced costs. What he has failed to tell readers is that the former structure returned in excess of 50% to the community for many years. That was in the time before TTCF began paying $600k per annum to a private company (TTCF West Auckland Ltd), a company purposely set up by the Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts, and of which Mr Clow and Warren Flaunty were Directors.
Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts are TTCF’s biggest and most powerful pub operators and despite already receiving $$millions per annum for hosting TTCF pokie machines at those bars, they demanded more from TTCF. This company was simply a means by which the licensing trusts transferred a large proportion of its own commercial staff and office costs off the balance sheet of their liquor business on to the balance sheet of a pokie trust (TTCF) who would use community funds to make the payments. It made the bottom line of a liquor business look better than it was.
In 2006 DIA warned TTCF against the costs but TTCF went ahead and did it anyway. After waiting 2.5 years before acting, DIA launched a 6 month long investigation into TTCF and the outcome was that just as they had warned, the costs associated with the Company were not actual, reasonable or necessary, and simply a duplication of services and a means to mislead the West Auckland Community into believing the grants were all coming from the licensing trusts.
The Trusts Community (previously Charitable) Foundation “…faced questions over payments to the Otago Rugby Football Union. Lawyers at the sport’s central body, the NZ Rugby Union, handed over material to the DIA of information found while carrying out its recent financial rescue.”
-David Fisher, 24 July
24.7.12 Mention in NZ Herald dispatches: TTCF and friends ORFU
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr