Internal Affairs Minister wants report on Christchurch Casino claims

The Minister of Internal Affairs Rick Barker has asked his department to investigate claims of loan sharking and financial mismanagment at the Christchurch Casino.

A spokesperson for the minister says he takes the allegations very seriously, and is awaiting the outcome of a report by Internal Affairs into the casino before he will make any further comment.

Casino chairman Barry Thomas says he is concerned by the allegations and his organisation will assist the department with its investigation.

Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive John Stansfield says the minister needs to go one step further and hold an inquiry into loan sharking in all areas of gambling.

Mr Stansfield says a officials should also look at pokie machine use and the money lenders who, he says, loan thousands of dollars to the players.