Kiwis warned of illegal online casinos
By maddy
The Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand today warned that the $25,000 a few Kiwi businessmen paid for their casino franchise maybe land them in jail.

“Organizing, promoting, managing or conducting online casinos in New Zealand is illegal, Casino Slot Club's promotional material incorrectly stated that New Zealand franchise holders would assume absolutely no legal or financial risk,” says Keith Manch, the general manager of the department's gaming and censorship regulation group. The department also warned that even if casino operators had gaming servers offshore, any companies or franchise-holders active in New Zealand were subject to New Zealand law.

“Anyone considering buying into any online gambling must understand that they are likely to be breaking the law in New Zealand,” adds Manch.

The Malta-based Casino Slot Club, which is expected to co9ntest the statement, has servers in Vanuatu, with an operating sales team in Australia for selling franchises in the Pacific market.

Recently it has come to light, that after the New Zealand Herald published ads for Casino Slot Club. That claimed franchisee holder has reportedly approached the Department to clarify on its legal status. Manch, disclosed that his department has still not finalized its line of action.

Currently, the penalties for running gambling and chance, luck based games online 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 organization.

According to the Gambling Act 2003, expected to be effective by June 2004, penalties will increase up to $20,000 on an individual or a jail term of up to one year and fines of up to $50,000 on an organization.

Only the TAB and the Lotteries Commission, have permission to sell gambling products online in New Zealand.

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