The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Pokie venues shut down

5 August 2009

Five Eureka Trust gaming machine venues have been directed to suspend their gaming machine operations for two and three days for breaching the Gambling Act 2003.

The Gambling Commission rejected Eureka’s appeal against Internal Affairs Department decisions to suspend the Class 4 venue licences for failing to notify changes in venue operators and managers. The Commission said it was satisfied Eureka failed to comply with requirements of the Act and licence conditions. The Department had set the suspensions at one and two days but the Commission considered these inadequate and increased them “to reflect its view of the seriousness of the breaches.”

Operations at Robbies Bars and Bistros at Belfast, Queenspark and Cranford in Christchurch were suspended for three days and Robbies Bar & Bistro at South Dunedin and Bar 25, New Brighton, two days.

In its decision, notified yesterday, the Commission agreed with the Department that Eureka’s breaches reflected a “systematic disregard of sections 69 and 71 of the Act and a general culture of tardiness and neglect.”

The Commission viewed these breaches seriously. The provision of information by a corporate society to the Secretary of Internal Affairs is essential if the Department is to maintain the expected level of oversight over Class 4 gambling.

“In the Commission’s view, such breaches should have punitive consequences to provide a deterrent to Eureka and other corporate societies to ensure the integrity of the control and supervision of Class 4 gambling,” the Commission said. “The Commission wishes to make it clear that non-trivial breaches of statutory and licence requirements should have real consequences and that there should be no expectation that they will be imposed only after general or formal warnings. Operators should not be surprised if even longer suspensions are imposed in the future.”

The decision is available on the Gambling Commission’s website.
Media contact:
Trevor Henry, communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679