Pub Charity, a New Zealand-based gaming trust made a surprising statement, saying that the story told by the hotel and casino owner Glen Dick is not accurate and has some major inconsistencies. Last week, the venue owner claimed that he decided to shut his poker machines down after a young woman abandoned her baby alone to play the machines.
However, the gaming trust, which owns the seven pokies situated in the Rawene’s Masonic Tavern, now claims that the pokies were actually turned off due to late payments, with its version of the story strongly differing from the one told to the media by Mr. Dick.
The beginning of last week saw some media reports of the Rawene Masonic Hotel’s owner saying that he decided to eliminate the poker machines offered in the gaming area of the venue after a young mother left her baby unattended in the carried outside the hotel. Pub Charity, however, revealed that its experts have seen and analysed several weeks of CCTV footage provided by four cameras located in the pub and no such footage has occurred. As revealed by the gaming trust, the four cameras cover the area of the room with the poker machines and the main bar, and apart of it, there is a fifth one situated in an office.
As revealed by Martin Cheer who serves as a Chief Executive Officer of the Pub Charity, they were quite surprised to read media reports on the matter, especially considering the trust’s legal obligation to investigate such incidents related to problem gambling. Mr. Cheer praised the venue’s owner for his efforts to make sure that gambling-related harm is prevented, but still shared his concerns that the woman had not been identified and offered professional help to deal with her addiction.
Hotel Owner’s Statement “Less than Accurate”
Glen Dick still stands by his version of the story, saying he had chosen to stop the poker machines from operation before any action has been taken by the Pub Charity. According to him, he was reached by a Pub Charity official by the phone last Friday and was asked whether he would like to withdraw his story or not. Mr. Dick chose not to.
On the other hand, Glen Dick’s partner Lana Marie Turnbull revealed that the couple had already spoken to an attorney who was ready to represent them free of charge in case they decided to take legal action against the gaming charity. She also stood by the version presented by them about a week ago.
As mentioned above, the Chief Executive Officer of the Pub Charity also shared some doubts related to Mr. Dick’s version of the story. He explained that the statements made by the Rawene Masonic Hotel’s owner appeared to be “less than accurate”, with no evidence of the incident actually found. Mr. Cheer said that the gaming trust was unable to confirm the events reported by Mr. Dick and his partner.
The identity of the young woman alleged in leaving her baby unattended to go and play the machines and the child has still not been discovered.