Dozens of racing clubs in the South have been ordered to hand
over files as part of a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into
pokie grants; while the Internal Affairs Minister Chris
Tremain confirms he is investigating options to ''tighten up
regulations'' for the sector.
The Otago Daily Times understands some clubs have
until tomorrow to hand over files, including grant
applications and minutes of meetings, to the SFO after it
issued section 9 notices last week.
Late last month, both the SFO and Internal Affairs executed
search warrants as part of a joint agency investigation into
the alleged manipulation of pokie grants. As part of that
investigation, believed to involve at least three pokie
trusts - New Zealand Community Trust, Bluegrass Trust and
Infinity Foundation - investigators have interviewed racing
club presidents in Otago and Southland.
Following those interviews, clubs were ordered to hand over
documentation linked to the investigation.
Several people interviewed as part of the probe told the
ODT inquiries were focused on club investments and
pokie grant applications.
Investigators were now understood to be interviewing people
in the North Island, with an estimated 75 people expected to
be spoken to.
Both Racing Minister Nathan Guy and Mr Tremain had been
briefed about the investigation.
''This is a large and complex investigation and it's expected
to take some time,'' Mr Tremain said.
Asked if he believed the investigation was a one-off, he
replied, ''No,'' and that he was concerned about compliance
with the class 4 (non-casino poker machines) sector.
''I am looking at options to tighten up regulations.''
The investigation would continue the ongoing work of Internal
Affairs in ensuring those in the class 4 sector complied with
Internal Affairs regulatory services general manager Maarten
Quivooy declined to comment on the number of class 4
investigations involving the department.
''We investigate non-compliance we consider to be serious or
significant. As is common among enforcement agencies there
are operational reasons why we do not reveal the number of