Online casino forced to close

The New Zealand Internal Affairs department has forced Christchurch Casino to shut its online casino and gambling operations.

Rather than waiting to receive a ‘Cease and Desist’ letter from the Internal Affairs the casino group has taken the initiative and instead decided to sell the operation to a third party and thus remove itself from online gambling altogether. Seven sites including,, and will now be operated by an as yet unnamed third party.

The discussions with Internal Affairs have been going on since before August 2006 when the department signalled that Christchurchs’ involvement in online gambling breached its 2003 Gambling Act. Prior to this move the department cleared Christchurch after a prior investigation carried out under older legislation designed to ban private organisations from competing with the New Zealand Racing Board’s (NZRB) TAB operation. TAB is the only web site that can legally take wagers from New Zealand punters over the Internet.

After Kiwi Gaming’s move to the Playtech casino platform in 2002 the gaming group has built a solid reputation both within the industry and amongst its players. Being one of the first casino operators to venture into online bingo it took a first mover advantage and built a reputation as a model online bingo operator.

When it first opened in 1994 the 43,998 square foot casino Christchurch Casino was New Zealand's first. The casino now operates over 500 gaming machines and over forty table games.

Editor, - 2007-08-07 10:59:52

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