6 Aug 2014

Pokie licence deception 'intolerable'

10:55 am on 6 August 2014

A Blenheim-based gaming machine society has had its licence to operate pokies cancelled for obtaining it by deception.

The Gambling Commission has found Bluegrass Holdings provided false and misleading information about its funding and the role of Mike O'Brien.

Mr O'Brien is well-known in the harness racing community, and the commission saw evidence that showed he covertly exercised influence over the society's grants and operations.

The decision is the end of a two-year battle between Bluegrass and the Department of Internal Affairs.

The department's director of gambling compliance, Raj Krishnan, said the firm's deliberate and repeated efforts to deceive the department were intolerable.

He said there was no room for such behaviour in the gambling sector when millions of dollars of community money were involved.