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New Zealand Official: Online Casinos are Illegal

25 November 2003

NEW ZEALAND – As reported by the New Zealand Herald: "At least one New Zealander has paid $25,000 for a casino franchise which appears to be illegal, the Department of Internal Affairs says.

"…Keith Manch, the general manager of the department's gaming and censorship regulation group, said organising, promoting, managing or conducting online casinos in New Zealand was illegal.

"Even if its computers are based offshore, any companies or franchise-holders active in New Zealand were subject to New Zealand law and could be investigated.

"The Casino Slot Club, which is based in Malta, has computers in Vanuatu and a sales team in Australia selling franchises around the Pacific.

"Mr Manch said Casino Slot Club's promotional material incorrectly stated that New Zealand franchise holders would `assume absolutely no legal or financial risk'.

"…At present, the penalties for running illegal games of chance, including online gambling, include fines of up to $4000 for an individual or a jail term of up to three months, and fines of up to $12,000 for an organisation…"

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