Gallopsouth has become the latest organisation embroiled in a
major pokies investigation, after its Dunedin office was
visited by Internal Affairs and Serious Fraud Office staff
Last week, both agencies confirmed search warrants were
executed as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged
manipulation of pokie grants.
GallopSouth general manager Malcolm Little said he knew
nothing of the investigation until he read about it in the
Otago Daily Times, and ''then out of the blue I got a
He confirmed the organisation was visited by both Internal
Affairs and Serious Fraud Office investigators yesterday.
Mr Little said last night the organisation had ''nothing to
hide'', and the investigators gave little away about their
He believed the investigators were in Invercargill today, and
it appeared their inquiries were not limited to southern
''But where it all ends up, I wouldn't like to say.''
GallopSouth applied for fewer pokie grants than in previous
years, as there were fewer ''racing-friendly trusts around'',
One of the country's largest pokie grant funders, the New
Zealand Community Trust, was raided last week and computers
The two trusts confirmed as being part of the joint Internal
Affairs and Serious Fraud Office investigation; New Zealand
Community Trust and the Bluegrass Trust, have been notable
funders of southern racing interests.
Between April 2010 and March 2012, Blenheim-based Bluegrass
Trust granted almost half ($2.167 million) of its nationwide
grants ($4.5 million) to Southern racing clubs, despite
having no pokie venues in Otago or Southland.
Yesterday, Bluegrass Trust chairman Peter Gurr said the trust
would issue a statement later this week.
''We just have some ongoing issues to sort out.''
Last year, the trust's licence was suspended, with charges
relating to the trust supplying false or misleading
information about three trotting club loans, Internal Affairs
Internal Affairs also said it found a key person to be
unsuitable because of his previous poor compliance with the
Gambling Act; the trust had breached the Gambling Act by
knowingly receiving funds with conditions attached from
potential grant recipients.
A person connected with the Bluegrass Trust is expected to
appear in the Blenheim District Court today charged with
making a false statement with intent to deceive, the
Marlborough Express has reported. The charge was laid last
year, and the man has said he would vigorously defend