A former pokie venue manager has pleaded guilty to stealing gaming machine money belonging to the New Zealand Community Trust.
Martin Clyve Lamplough, 64, an unemployed company director of Whitianga, was the venue operator of the Counties Inn, Pukekohe, when he failed to bank a week's gaming machine take of $27,015.60 for the trust in May last year.
Lamplough told the Department of Internal Affairs he had used the pokie money to pay his business bills and accounts, breaking the venue agreement he had with the trust.
Lamplough's company went into receivership. Internal Affairs said Lamplough was warned several times in 2011 and 2012 for late banking of gaming machine money and he was also issued with a $2500 infringement notice.
Internal Affairs spokesman Maarten Quivooy said pokie proceeds do not belong to the venue operator or the gambling trust that owns the gaming machines.
"They hold the money in trust for distribution to the community. Stealing pokie money is actually taking money away from the organisations that support our communities. We monitor all gaming machines in pubs and clubs to ensure that takings are properly accounted for and we are pleased that we have been able to hold this person accountable under the the law.''
Lamplough will be sentenced on October 23.