Pub Charity Cannot Confirm Pokies Story

Tia Winter | 08 June 2018

New Zealand gaming trust Pub Charity has recently made a shocking announcement, noting that a story told by hotel and casino owner Glen Dick is inaccurate and has many big inconsistencies. It was last week when Dick claimed that he had decided to shut down all of his pokies machines after an unidentified young woman abandoned her toddler in order to play pokies at his casino.

The gaming trust, which owns and operates the seven gaming machines at Rawene’s Masonic Tavern, has stated that the pokies were in fact shut down due to late payments. Needless to say, the trust’s version of the story has differed vastly to the one that Dick told to Kiwi media channels.

Accusations of Child Neglect

At the start of last week, media reports arose of the owner of Rawene Masonic Hotel stating that he had decided to eliminate his pokies machines after a mother had left her child unattended in a carrier outside of the venue. However, Pub Charity has stated that its experts have analysed weeks’ worth of CCTV footage supplied by four cameras, which have reportedly revealed no such event. According to the trust, these cameras cover the venue’s poker machine area, main bar, and offices.

CEO of Pub Charity, Martin Cheer, has revealed that his organisation was surprised to discover media reports on the issue, especially considering its legal obligations to investigate and assess incidents like this one that could relate to gambling addiction. Cheer praised the owner of the venue for trying to prevent gambling-related harm, but still expressed concern that the young woman has still not been identified or offered professional assistance with her problem gambling habit.

Dick & Partner Maintain Standpoint

Owner Glen Dick is still adamant, however, that his version of events is the correct one. He has reiterated that he chose to stop operating pokies machines before Pub Charity took any action on the matter, also noting that he was reached by a trust official late last week and asked if he would like to withdraw his story. Dick chose to maintain his standpoint.

Dick’s partner Lana Marie Turnbull has also revealed that the couple have spoken to an attorney who is willing to represent their case pro bono, should they decide to take legal action against Pub Charity. Turnbull has also stood by the version of events as told by her partner last week.

As mentioned above, Pub Charity’s CEO is still unsure about the authenticity of this version of the story. Until now, no evidence of the incident in question has been found, with Cheer noting that his trust has been unable to confirm the events reported by Dick and Turnbull.

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