### Stuff Online Last updated 17:03 20/02/2013
Probe launched into pokie grants
By Michelle Robinson
Search warrants have been executed up and down the country as part of an investigation into pokie machine grant manipulation. Internal Affairs director of gambling compliance Debbie Despard said the investigation was significant, involving a number of agencies including the Serious Fraud Office. No details on the amount or search warrants or their location were made public.
NZ Community Trust [of Wellington] confirmed it has been contacted by the Department of Internal Affairs and Serious Fraud Office over alleged manipulation of gaming funds. The trust has issued a statement saying it does not believe it is the subject of the enquiry.
Department of Internal Affairs
20 February 2013
Pokie grants investigation
Internal Affairs confirmed today search warrants have been executed as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged manipulation of gaming machine grants. The operation also involved the Serious Fraud Office.
“The Department of Internal Affairs has responsibility to ensure the integrity of the grants system in pokie machine gambling. The wider community is disadvantaged if one group can gain preferential access to grant funding from gambling proceeds. Where the Department finds serious, harmful, and deliberate non-compliance in the gambling sector we will hold people to account. Our ability to do this is enhanced by drawing on the specialist resources of the SFO.”
Information is still being gathered and the investigation is on-going. The Department will continue to assess any further information it receives in the wake of today’s action, Debbie Despard said.
In the meantime the Department will make no further comment on the current investigation.
Communications, Account Manager (Policy, Regulatory & Ethnic Affairs)
The Department of Internal Affairs, Te Tari Taiwhenua
Direct Dial: 04 494 0584 / Mobile: 027 541 4696
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr