The amateur Otago Rugby Football Union is to be investigated and could be made to pay millions out in money received. You may read this line and wonder what this has to do with the New Zealand casino world; well you may be astounded to find that over $6 million in pokie grants has gone to this Rugby football union in recent years.
The Department for Internal Affairs will meet with the New Zealand Rugby Union shortly to discuss the file on the Otago Rugby Football Union and its association with revenues from pokie grants.
The question is then raised on what actually happened and how did the Otago RFU get involved with receiving such vast amounts of money, also where has this money gone?
Well the Otago Rugby Football Union bought some bars around 2004 to 2005, they then tried to set up their own pokie trust, but this fell flat so instead they entered into an agreement with the now defunct The Trusts Charitable Foundation that went out of business in March this year.
The amateur Otago Rugby Football Union received over $6 million in grants from The Trusts Charitable Foundation between 2005 and 2011, yet somehow managed to spend it all and get up to $2.5 million in debt itself before being bailed out. The issue then arises as to where this money went with a former The Trusts Charitable Foundation contractor saying about the Otago RFU “I was always astounded by the number of salaries for high level and obscure positions and the sophistication of equipment, software etc being applied for.”
The investigation looks set to ensure much of the money is recouped from the beleaguered Rugby football union and its 131 year history looks set to be tainted by this latest episode.