Gaming grants probed

06:10, Dec 05 2013

Key people of interest are being interviewed in what the Department of Internal Affairs calls the "largest investigation in the history of the gambling sector".

The interviews were part of an investigation, called Operation Chestnut, into the alleged manipulation of gaming machine grants.

The investigation is being carried out by the department, Serious Fraud Office and the Organised Financial Crime Agency of NZ.

“It is the largest investigation in the history of the gambling sector. More than 100,000 documents are being examined and material is still being collated," department director of gambling compliance Debbie Despard said.

“The investigation is expected to conclude in the first half of next year and the full range of prosecution and licensing sanctions will be considered in respect to those involved.

 “As part of the inquiry, key people of interest have been identified who have been interviewed this week. Other interviews may follow," she said.

“The integrity of the pokie grants system is essential to prevent any group gaining unlawful advantage over grant funding, which deprives genuine community groups of obtaining grants for their legitimate causes.”

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Fairfax Media