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HomeNewsNew ZealandCharges filed in New Zealand's largest illegal lottery scheme

Charges filed in New Zealand’s largest illegal lottery scheme

A Christchurch man and his company are facing serious charges in what New Zealand authorities are calling the largest illegal lottery operation ever uncovered in the country.

According to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) of New Zealand, the defendants are accused of generating NZ$11.12 million ($6.79 million) in revenue over a year by selling unauthorized lotteries online, offering high-value prizes such as luxury cars and boats.

According to the DIA, the Gambling Act 2003 stipulates that any lottery prizes exceeding NZ$5,000 ($3,000) must be conducted by a not-for-profit society for authorized purposes and must have a Class 3 gambling license. This regulation is intended to “ensure the integrity of the operation and protection of participants.”

Following an investigation, the police have taken action in the High Court against the defendants, based on a referral from the DIA.

DIA gambling director Vicki Scott emphasized the importance of strict licensing requirements, stating: “Our strict licensing requirements are there for a reason. We will not hesitate to respond firmly when we see instances of illegal gambling such as unlicensed online lotteries. We have no tolerance for those who seek to profit by bypassing the rules.”

The charges faced by the man and his company include conducting illegal gambling, promoting illegal gambling, and making a pecuniary gain from illegal gambling under the Gambling Act 2003. The defendants appeared in the Christchurch District Court last Thursday afternoon.

Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel is an online gambling industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in Europe and Asia. Equally at home in the Isle of Man and the Philippines, he started his career as a sports trader before setting up and running whole operations, and more recently focusing on the regulatory and licensing side of things in the worlds of fiat and crypto eGaming. When he is not writing about gambling topics, he can be found cycling around Manila and advocating sustainable transport solutions for a Philippines based mobility magazine.

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