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First NZ conviction for illegal gambling

27 February 2007

NEW ZEALAND – As reported by the New Zealand Stuff: "Gisborne woman has evoked a seedy part of the New Zealand pub scene of years gone after being convicted yesterday for illegal bookmaking.

"Seasonal worker Bernadette Antoinette Wawatai was sprung by Internal Affairs inspectors taking bets on horse races being screened on television at the Turanga Hotel in Gisborne last year. She became the first person to be prosecuted by Internal Affairs for illegal bookmaking since the Gambling Act came into force in 2003.

"Convictions under previous legislation were more common, with many pubs having their resident bookies as patrons listened to races on the radio, but the practice has died away in most places, with TAB facilities now available in many bars.

"Wawatai, 44, was sentenced in Gisborne District Court yesterday to 100 hours of community work after being convicted by Judge John Hole on two charges of conducting illegal gambling…"

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