Monday 28 June 2010

Estimates Committee B (Thorp)

Mr FINCH - On this subject, I might get the same sort of answer.  My curiosity was raised recently in respect of a case where a chap employed by TOTE or a Keno operation got himself into a gambling issue.  He used quite a lot of money and lost money.  I am just wondering who actually oversees that?  Is it the gaming commission who looks after that?  Do police only get involved when a report comes through from a Keno or a TOTE operation.   Is there something more proactive that the police can be doing to try to protect people from getting themselves into circumstances where they might misuse the money, or is that the role of another organisation?

Ms THORP - That would be much more a regulation from company practice, from within TOTE itself.  The involvement of police is only - as it should be - in investigating crime.  Until a crime is committed, there is no real role for police in this area.   I think it would be a bit of a blurring of their role.  I can understand the importance of police being in preventive roles in terms of patrolling the streets, for example, but not to be going into places of work and checking out people's books to see if there is anything untoward happening there.  There are other regulatory regimes around gambling that would cover off on that.

Mr FINCH - I would hope that the Government would be taking note of that as well and putting those safeguards into those operations so that people are protected from themselves.

Ms THORP - We get this kind of crime happening all over the place.  I think there was one recently in one of the water boards up north where someone did some illegitimate transactions and there were consequences to that.  Whenever there are people working in positions of trust we are always open for that trust to be abused and unfortunately it happens.  Whether or not gambling has been the trigger; whilst that is unfortunate, that person has chosen to break the law so then they need to expect to be investigated by police.