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25 May 2015

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Working with Infinity Foundation to improve community benefit

The leadership of the fourth largest corporate society, Infinity Foundation Limited (IFL), is undergoing significant change with a new chair and a number of key persons retiring this year.

In addition IFL is making a commitment in future years to increase its return to communities beyond the statutory minimum.

These moves are part of the work by Internal Affairs with the class 4 sector to improve compliance and increase the return to community from gaming machines.

Operation Chestnut, the investigation in to pokie grant manipulation, has seen the Department more closely audit and scrutinise societies and their compliance.

Whilst no IFL personnel have been charged as a result of the investigation, the Department did come to the view that it had not been satisfactorily compliant and needed to perform better.  This has led to work taking place between the two agencies to make changes to correct the situation.

Sean Hannan has taken up the role of IFL’s chair and says the changes build on the society’s  history as a significant fund raiser for communities throughout New Zealand.

He says: “Since the recent changes have been made the Department has renewed IFL’s class 4 operator’s licence, and already issued a new venue licence for an existing venue operator.”

Raj Krishnan, Director Gambling Compliance, says this is an example of a successful outcome for all parties and particularly the good community causes which receive grant funding from gambling.

He says: “The Department worked with IFL over a series of months to achieve the result that is of maximum benefit to the community.

“Our actions in this case are in line with our Compliance Strategy which spells out that we use a range of tools depending on the circumstances. While we are fully prepared to escalate our response with enforcement action, we are equally prepared to work with regulated parties, who are willing to take responsibility for behaviours that do not align with the purposes of the Act and are committed to taking positive and constructive action to ensure ongoing compliance,” says Raj.