Call to end shady pokie dealings

Otago Daily Times 4 April 2012
Corrupt behaviour in the pokies sector was “all pervasive and pernicious”, a damning report from a former industry association head alleges.

Released to the Otago Daily Times under the Official Information Act, the report recommends wholesale changes to prevent “endemic non-compliance” in the sector, which had a turnover of $856 million in 2010-11.

Former Community Gaming Association chief executive Francis Wevers told the ODT he stood by the report he sent to the Minister of Internal Affairs in January last year.

“My views haven’t changed … I think something needs to be done and what I have proposed is what I consider quite a simple and elegant solution. I just hope the Government does something to address it.”

His five-year involvement in the industry prompted him to write the 15-page report, which notes, for some in the [non-casino pokies] sector “the motivation to continue to operate unlawfully is more powerful than the motivation to comply”.

Decisive action by the Department of Internal Affairs or the Government was needed to address corruption in the sector, and to stop organisations and key people from capturing pokie grants at the expense of others.