|The New Zealand government’s Internal Affairs Department (IAD) has instructed bricks and mortar casino operator Christchurch Casino to cease its online casino operations within the next 7 months.|
The casino group, which has online casino, poker and bingo interests, was targeted after the IAD decreed that this type of gambling contravenes the country's Gambling Act.
The IAD had informed Christchurch Casino in August 2006 that its participation in Internet gambling violated the Gambling Act, passed in 2003, having cleared it following a previous investigation, which blocked other betting groups aside from TAB, (which runs all betting on racing and sport in New Zealand), from taking online wagers from New Zealanders.
The company is registered offshore, through subsidiary Christchurch Casino E-Gaming Investments, utilising a gaming license issued by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and had allegedly made assurances that procedures were in place to stop Kiwi punters using its online services.
The casino group has now sold the business to overseas owners speeding up the legal case against it.
Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker said: 'Had Christchurch Casino chosen to keep the website and defend the issue through the courts, the process would have definitely taken longer.'