The Court of Appeal has found gambling licenses can be suspended for past one-off breaches, in a win for the Department of Internal Affairs.
The ruling overturns a successful challenge in the High Court by the gaming operator, Pub Charity, on which Internal Affairs imposed a one day suspension in 2009.
It says Pub Charity breached the limit on reimbursing venue operating costs by more than $286,000 and that money should have gone to community grants.
General manager of regulatory services at Internal Affairs Maarten Quivooy says the court ruling clarifies the law and provides a powerful incentive for operators to comply.
He says Internal Affairs is now looking back over licenses it didn't suspend while court proceedings were on to see if any penalties apply.
The original suspension against Pub Charity will now go back to the Gambling Commission to decide if it should be served.