MP keeps heat on pokie trusts
NZ Herald 24 July 2012
Pokie trusts are lining up to return greater cash payments to the community as proposed new gaming legislation puts the entire industry under threat.
Cuts are anticipated to the trustee payments with the amount spent on administration also expected to drop.
The trusts have to return a minimum 37.12 per cent of their income to the community, with a handful providing as much as 63 per cent. But Department of Internal Affairs figures show many fail to rise much above the legal minimum return.
Select committee hearings are expected this year on proposed legislation put forward by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell. His proposed bill would dismantle gaming trusts, put councils in charge of distributing grants and require 80 per cent of money to go back to the community.
Mr Flavell said the publicity around the proposed bill had led to a great deal of information about their operation being sent to him.
He said there were trusts distributing pokie proceeds which observed the rules but others “would hang themselves on how they operate”.
“People have not been shy about what is going on. It is the trusts that are doing the dicey stuff.”