Illegal Gambling Den in New Zealand Gets Robbed

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
03 February 2023 in News
Illegal Gambling Ring Bust In Auckland

Playing real money games at unlicensed gambling venues is risky. An unlicensed gambling establishment can do little to control criminal activities and money laundering. It does not help customers gamble safely and may also cheat players of their winnings.

Unlike playing at a no despoit online casino, you never know when law-enforcement agencies will crack down on illicit outfits and penalize players and operators. Since illegal gambling venues have no security or protection, they can be attacked and robbed at any time.

Armed Gang Attacks Illicit Poker Room

On January 7, a gang of three armed thieves attacked an illegal poker room close to Avondale in New Zealand and escaped with an unknown amount of money.

Home poker games are legal in New Zealand, but converting a house into a poker room is illegal. The New Zealand Herald reports that the house only looked like a private residence, but its owners used it to organize illegal poker games.

The police have not made any arrests so far, but detectives have conducted a forensic examination to search for clues.

Players Could Be Penalized

All the people present at the venue when the police arrived could be penalized. Law-enforcement agencies can press charges against them for involvement in illegal gambling activities.

The investigating team received statements from all the players in the venue. A few players escaped shortly after the attack and before the police arrived. But they cannot escape the long arm of the law as they left their cars in front of the venue. Several cars, including a Porsche bearing a Chinese custom plate and name, have provided ample clues to investigators.

The gang attacked the venue at 1:00 a.m. on January 7, which was a Saturday. Eyewitnesses say that they held everybody at gunpoint and began collecting their belongings and money.

The three escaped after leaving their car behind in Avondale, around 8km from the illicit poker room. By this time, the police had started investigating the case.

Although the neighbors knew about the poker games, they did not report the same to the authorities. When the police interrogated them, they said that well-dressed people would arrive at and leave the venue at different times.

The police have received inside information that an employee, neighbor, or player of the illegal poker outfit may have executed the heist.

The Legality of Poker Games in New Zealand

Playing private poker games at home is legal in New Zealand. Although the illicit poker room that was attacked on January 7 was a private residence, the poker games held inside it cannot be considered home games. The owner was running a sophisticated poker room inside the house without getting a license from the authorities.

During a home poker game, every bet made by a player becomes a part of the winnings, and the organizer of the game cannot receive a rake.

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) clarifies that companies can offer poker games with winnings, but they must give their proceeds to charity or use them to fund social welfare activities.

Technically, a Kiwi can convert a house into a gambling outfit after getting a license from the authorities. But doing this requires plenty of paperwork and is least likely to get support. The DIA stated that the house attacked recently wasn’t running a licensed poker room.

Under these circumstances, the people who own the house or rent it will get into legal trouble, especially as they had renovated the property to run illegal poker games.

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