web analytics

Gaming industry whistleblower

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, April 23rd, 2012 - 8 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, national - Tags: , ,

Very interesting article by Steve Kilgallon on Stuff yesterday. It reports the experience of ex cop Martin Legge:

The inside man

Martin Legge spent two decades as a cop in Levin, catching the crims and then, as police prosecutor, taking them to court. Now, he says, he wonders why. “I’m embarrassed that we used to run around chasing guys for $1000 they ripped off Social Welfare,” he says. “The big money is heading out the back door through softly regulated industries full of people in suits who should know better.”

Mr Legge sees the world clearly. And he’s been right in the middle of the gaming industry:

After leaving the police, Legge worked for a gaming machine trust which gave out poker machine grants. What he saw over the next decade shocked, disgusted and disillusioned him. He tried to brief his local MP, the gaming minister Nathan Guy, on the state of the industry. And then Internal Affairs, the industry watchdog, rang him up. Would he, it asked, become a whistleblower?

Legge and his wife Liz hand-delivered two bulging ringbinders of documents to the department, packed with incriminating emails (some marked “delete this email forever”) to and from his colleagues at the Trusts Charitable Foundation. He also gave Internal Affairs a 9200-word statement.

He was interviewed by an investigator who said he was confident of a result. Then he was told it was a “slamdunk”. In January 2011, the head of investigations told the Legges the case was “90 per cent complete” and he was contemplating seven serious charges against individuals and the trust.

Sounds like serious wrongdoing. What happened next?

Legge waited, and waited.

He wrote again to Guy, who rebuffed him, he contacted the auditor-general’s office, and pursued Internal Affairs until March 20121, when the department finally told him it was, pretty much, case closed. By then, Legge says wryly, relations were “strained”.

Who shut this enquiry down, and why? (Reporters, start your OIAs.) What information does Mr Legge have, and who is he prepared to share it with? Predictably…

Legge’s contract with the foundation wasn’t renewed, and he has no doubt it was, and perhaps understandably, filthy at him for turning whistleblower. He was told he would never work in the industry again.

That doesn’t bother him. What does is that after all those years in the police, he knows when something dodgy has gone on. And he knows when there’s enough evidence to prosecute, or at least go to the Gambling Commission.

So why, when he supplied Internal Affairs with material on a string of questionable incidents that could have resulted in multiple prosecutions, has nothing happened?

“They have sold us out,” he says simply. When you hear Legge’s story, you wonder why anyone in the corporate world would ever blow the whistle again.

Read on, it’s a long and interesting article, great work by Steve Kilgallon. In the context of the current focus on the gaming industry in NZ we cannot allow this case to be swept under the carpet…

8 comments on “Gaming industry whistleblower ”

  1. ChrisH 1

    Sounds like not much has changed since the days of Ronald Hugh Morrieson, or for that matter, Keith Holyoake: http://werewolf.co.nz/2012/04/public-office-private-gain/ . As the Aussies would say, it’s all a question of who your maaaaaaates are. But we’re better at keeping this under wraps than they are. No depression in New Zealand and all that.

  2. tc 2

    ” When you hear Legge’s story, you wonder why anyone in the corporate world would ever blow the whistle again. ”

    maybe that’s the message, don’t step out of line move along nothing to see.

  3. marsman 3

    Nathan Guy needs to be questioned on this to see if he has anything to hide. Can of worms it seems.

  4. McFlock 4

    Guy seems to have at least initially acted properly – referred the case to the investigators.
         
    If indeed prosecutions should reasonably have occurred but did not (not convictions, just prosecutions to start with), I’d be looking for two things: any political interference from elected representatives; and/or a too-cosy relationship between the watchdog body and the industry (i.e. do investigators typically retire and enter the gambling industry, or do gambling employees become investigators, or do investigators enjoy too much hospitality from – or belong to the same rugby club as – the industry?).

  5. Kevin Welsh 5

    When I was running an American Football team in Palmerston North from 1995 til 2004, the only means of sponsorship money was through the Pub Charity money. Only one pub, The Empire Hotel, was prepared to back us, as rugby pretty much tied up most of the funding in the area.

    The only catch was that in order to get the money (around $10,000), we had to sell vouchers (to the value of $20,000) to anyone who would buy them. The vouchers were redeemable for food and accommodation at The Empire Hotel.

    Naturally we declined.

    I kept all the correspondence and made inquiries about dobbing them into Internal Affairs, but was politely told that if our club ever wanted to get sponsorship money from any of the charities available, then we were best to forget about it.

    The following year we got a great sponsor from another pub who supported us for over ten years.

  6. Treetop 6

    Sounds like there needs to be an independent inquiry into Internal Affairs closing down the Legge’s concerns.

    Did Internal Affairs just want to see what evidence the Legges had?

    There are 18,600 non casino pokie machines in the country and don’t tell me that there is not OPPERTUNITY for fraud to occur e.g. hefty running costs which include extravagance.

    How often are these machines audited?

    Sounds like any expansion in other gambling (TAB) is being funded by those who control who gets the community grant from pokie machines.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government Northland housing investment to spark transformational change
    Over $10 million infrastructure funding to unlock housing in Whangārei The purchase of a 3.279 hectare site in Kerikeri to enable 56 new homes Northland becomes eligible for $100 million scheme for affordable rentals Multiple Northland communities will benefit from multiple Government housing investments, delivering thousands of new homes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Battle of Ohaeawai remembered
    A memorial event at a key battle site in the New Zealand land wars is an important event to mark the progress in relations between Māori and the Crown as we head towards Waitangi Day, Minister for Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis said. The Battle of Ohaeawai in June 1845 saw ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More Police deployed to the frontline
    More Police officers are being deployed to the frontline with the graduation of 54 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. The graduation ceremony for Recruit Wing 362 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was the first official event for Stuart Nash since his reappointment as Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather
    The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island. “We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • The Princess Royal to visit New Zealand
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the announcement that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will visit New Zealand this month. “Princess Anne is travelling to Aotearoa at the request of the NZ Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief, to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade and Agriculture Minister to attend World Economic Forum and Global Forum for Food and Agricult...
    The Government is maintaining its strong trade focus in 2023 with Trade and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor visiting Europe this week to discuss the role of agricultural trade in climate change and food security, WTO reform and New Zealand agricultural innovation. Damien O’Connor will travel tomorrow to Switzerland to attend the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government funding relief for flood-affected Wairarapa farmers and growers
    The Government has extended its medium-scale classification of Cyclone Hale to the Wairarapa after assessing storm damage to the eastern coastline of the region. “We’re making up to $80,000 available to the East Coast Rural Support Trust to help farmers and growers recover from the significant damage in the region,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago