The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Home detention for pokie money theft


29 July 2014

A former manager of Auckland’s Albion Hotel was today sentenced in the Auckland District Court to five months’ home detention and 100 hours community work after being convicted in February of stealing more than $35,000 of gaming machine money.

Michael Anthony McGurk, 54, of Takapuna stole the money from the Pacific Sports and Community Trust in November 2009 when he was manager of Auckland’s Albion Hotel. The trust, subsequently known as the Nautilus Foundation, operated gaming machines in the Albion and the theft came to light after receivers took control of the business.

The Department of Internal Affairs, which brought the prosecution, said Mr McGurk used the pokie money to pay for hotel trading expenses instead of banking it in the trust’s account within five days of calculation as required by gambling law.

Internal Affairs’ Acting Director of Gambling Compliance, Raj Krishnan, said proceeds from gaming machines do not belong to the venues or gambling trusts that operate the machines.

“They hold the money in trust for distribution to the community. Stealing pokie money is actually taking money away from the organisations that support our communities,” Raj Krishnan said.

Media contact:

Trevor Henry, Senior Communications Adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 021 245 8642