Gambling licence dispute

Last updated 14:00 21/11/2012

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An appeal by a Blenheim gambling charity to regain its cancelled gaming licence is facing more delays.

The Department of Internal Affairs revoked the Bluegrass Trust's gambling licence in August, saying an investigation found the trust had supplied false or misleading information about three loans used to establish the trust and that it had knowingly received funds with conditions attached from potential grant recipients.

The department also claimed to have found "a key person to be unsuitable because of his previous poor compliance with the Gambling Act".

The trust, which gave out $3 million in grants last year, appealed against the decision to the Gambling Commission and its licence remains active until the appeal has been decided.

The trust and the department were originally given until September 24 to file any submissions on the case and any issues that needed to be resolved at pre-trial hearings.

Both parties then applied for more time and the date for submissions was re-set to Monday this week.

Gambling Commission executive director Blair Cairncross said yesterday more applications had been made over pre-trial issues.

The commission was obliged to hear those issues in the same way as a court, he said, and a hearing date could not be set until they were sorted.

Michael O'Brien, son of Bluegrass Holdings chairman Pat O'Brien, has been charged with making a false statement with intent to deceive, in relation to a statement he made in 2009 about his involvement in Bluegrass Holdings.

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- The Marlborough Express

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