Free .net site is within the law

Originally Posted on Friday Jul 2 11:07:00 BST 2010

The confusion over what is legal and what is not legal as regards online casinos, and the games they offer, rumbles on here in New Zealand, as well as in other countries which have similar strict online gambling legislation.

However, a recent court ruling in New Zealand found in favour of a .net poker site.

Initially the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs charged the owners of TV3 and C4 with advertising an online poker site.  However, the TV stations said that the .net site it advertised was a play-for-free site and that therefore it was within the law.

The court ruling heard that the .net site does not promote an offshore gambling operation, which would be illegal, and that New Zealanders would not be tempted to gamble overseas just by accessing the .net site.

Another part of the court ruling found that the Asia Pacific Poker Tour is not a gambling event.  It is a competition, where skill is required, and it has free entry with prize money at the end.

The rulings regarding the .net site and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour showed a lot of common sense regarding the ongoing debates about the legality of online gambling in New Zealand, and may further open the discussion as to whether or not to allow online gambling sites to operate legally within New Zealand in the future.

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