and why we supported the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Bill
Hawkes Bay Today 27 Oct 2012
An investigation has found a well-known Hawke’s Bay charity breached the Gambling Act several times by distributing $320,357 worth of grants to organisations which should not have received the money. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) audit into the Infinity Foundation also concluded it was likely a group of people had “instances of inappropriate influence” over the foundation and its grant funding process. The DIA audit report was released this week but its investigation began in 2008, looking into the foundation’s compliance with the Gambling Act from August 1, 2007 to July 31, 2008. The foundation operated gambling machines in 26 venues in the North Island including 11 venues in Hawke’s Bay. For the 12 months ending July 31, 2008, the foundation generated a gaming machine profit of $17.7million and during that period $7.3 million was distributed to the community via grants. It had managed to recover $127,520 of the grants and the DIA took this into account when it delivered its final penalty of a three-day suspension of its gaming machines, which the foundation had already served. The audit reported the foundation breached the act 15 times including approving a $10,000 grant to the Hawke’s Bay Wine Country Tourism Association in 2008 to go towards a $70,000 advertising campaign.