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2 April 2015

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Licence applications – probity check delays

The processing of licensing applications is currently taking longer than 20 days because of delays in receiving probity check information from external agencies. In some cases these checks are taking between 30 and 40 working days. The delays are outside the Department’s control, could continue for some time and impact on the time it takes to process licence applications. However, our regulatory partners have assured us that steps are underway to rectify the situation. Given the current backlog of probity checks, improvements will be gradual.

How will this affect societies?

Respectfully we ask societies to consider the impact of these delays on licensing application turnaround. In particular, please ensure that surrender dates for venue transfers are realistic so that licences can be issued on time. In the interim the Department will take a more pragmatic, case-by-case approach to processing some applications. For example, if an application is received for a venue transferring from one society to another and there are no substantive changes in venue operator/venue key persons and we are satisfied in all other respects with the application, then it may be finalised in lieu of actual probity results.

We thank you for your patience and understanding while we continue to encounter these delays.

Gambling staff changes

There are some temporary changes to the Gambling Compliance management team over the next few months. Kevin Finnegan, Gambling Compliance Manager, has accepted a three-month secondment to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Kevin will be the Labour Inspectorate Manager for the Recognised Seasonal Employer Programme.

Stefan Pishief, Manager Sector Initiatives, will step into Kevin’s role as Manager Gambling Compliance for the next three months. Stefan is a member of the Gambling Compliance management team, and brings good experience and knowledge to the role. Stefan’s role will be filled by Sue Ingram as Manager Sector Initiatives. Sue is a recent member of the broader gambling compliance group.