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21 March 2017

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Ongoing Class 4 prosecutions

There are currently two cases before the courts related to allegations of pokie funding fraud.

Last week, in Manukau District Court, eight people and two companies appeared to answer dishonesty related charges filed by the Department.  These charges relate to the misuse of grant funding, where grants had been received from four different Class 4 societies. There is no suggestion that the societies were involved in these offences. A six-week trial for this case is due to start on 30 January 2018 in Manukau District Court.

And at the High Court in Wellington, the trial following from Operation Chestnut continues where four people have been charged over an alleged multi-million dollar pokie funding fraud. In this case, the allegations include that the defendants deceived the Department. This case resulted from an investigation involving the Serious Fraud Office, the Department and the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand.

The Department would like to thank those who assisted in these cases.  Where there is highly culpable wrongdoing, our regulatory response is to take proportionate action. However, to do this we need actionable evidence and this will often require support from the sector to ensure we have relevant information.

It is only with this kind of support and collaboration that we can improve the transparency in the sector and achieve our vision for the Class 4 sector which is to regulate for a safe, transparent and trusted gambling sector that benefits communities.

Updates to licensing application forms and payments

Those who attended our Regional Forums towards the end of 2016 will know that we are working on some updates to our licensing forms as well as a change to our payments approach.

The aim is to make the application process easier, reduce errors and save time. The main changes are:

All licensing application forms will allow data to be entered directly onto the form

  • Updated forms will allow you to type directly into the application, no need for hand written information (but we will still accept hand written forms).
  • Statutory Declarations will be replaced by certifications. This means applications will no longer need to be signed in the presence of a JP or lawyer.
  • Completed forms can be saved for reuse.

Payment on invoice will replace the current system of payment on application

  • Payment will no longer need to be sent with the application. An invoice will be sent by email once the application has been received (there will be no need for applicants to calculate the amount).
  • An additional payment option using online banking will be made available. Payment by cheque will continue to be accepted but cheques should not be included with application forms.

We will update you with further information as these changes are introduced.