The Department of Internal Affairs has issued a media release today, detailing a decision by the Gambling Commission which has found that a Blenheim based gaming machine society, Bluegrass Holdings Limited, obtained its licence to operate pokie machines by deception and that a decision to cancel its Class 4 operator’s licence was warranted.
The Commission’s decision, made public on 5 August 2014 comes after a two year protracted and complicated process between Bluegrass Holdings and the Department.
This outcome is a significant success for the Department and a real boost to the integrity of the gambling sector. Bluegrass deliberately and repeatedly sought to deceive the Department, and the Commission’s decision sends a clear message that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Class 4 societies exist for the sole purpose of distributing funds to the community, and given the nearly $1 billion of proceeds generated annually, the sector must demonstrate to the community the highest integrity.
Bluegrass’s cancellation is effective on 18 August 2014, at which point all gaming machines owned by Bluegrass will be turned off. The eight venues with Bluegrass machines will either cease to operate gaming machines, or transfer to another licensed class 4 operator. Applications for these venues will be assessed on a case by case basis, taking into account both compliance records of the venues and of the societies' applicants. If a venue has acted in accordance with the law and aligns with a compliant corporate society, there is no reason why it should not continue to be able to operate pokie machines.
More questions and answers about the implications of the Bluegrass decision are included following the media release on the link above.