Bar makes money on pokies, not booze

Last updated 10:18 21/09/2012
Pokies
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax Media
GAME OVER: The Galaxy Function Centre in Otara made more money on pokies than alcohol sales.

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A  South Auckland bar has lost its gaming machine licence because it made more money on pokies than it did selling alcohol.

Internal Affairs cancelled the licence at the Galaxy Function Centre in Otara because it considered the venue was being used mainly for gaming.

The venue's operator, KTJ Investments, appealed that decision to the Gambling Commission which this week found the bar's gaming turnover greatly exceeded bar sales.

"Galaxy's business would not be sustainable without the revenue it received under its venue agreement with gaming machine operator The Lion Foundation," a decision released yesterday said.

The commission said each time the bar was visited, pokie players "considerably outnumbered" other patrons.

"The degree of non-compliance was substantial and suspension of the licence was not a practical remedy," the decision reads.

Regulatory services general manager Maarten Quivooy said the Commission's decision endorsed the enforcement action Internal Affairs took after a thorough and lengthy investigation.

"This case demonstrated that the department will actively pursue and prosecute non-compliance which is deliberate and harmful to communities," he said.

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