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Charges laid over ‘largest illegal lottery’ in NZ



Charges laid over ‘largest illegal lottery’ in NZ

A Christchurch man and his company are facing charges relating to what the Department of Internal Affairs believes is the largest illegal lottery identified in New Zealand to date.

It is alleged the defendants made $11,125,466.65 over a year from selling illegal lotteries online.

Prizes included expensive cars and boats.

In a statement, the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) said under the Gambling Act 2003, prizes that exceed $5000 can only be conducted by a not-for-profit society for authorised purposes and require a class 3 gambling licence.

This was to “ensure the integrity of the operation and protection of participants”.

Following a referral from department, police have taken action in the High Court against the defendants, the statement said.

DIA gambling director Vicki Scott said: “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.”

Charges the man and his company face are conducting illegal gambling, promoting illegal gambling, and making a pecuniary gain from illegal gambling under the Gambling Act 2003 (the Act).

They appeared in the Christchurch District Court this afternoon. 

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