Personal gambling row between former Kiwi Rugby League player & friend in New Zealand

Originally Posted on Saturday Dec 26 11:03:00 GMT 2009

New Zealand is a popular place for gambling.  There are several successful land based casinos as well as online casinos.  However, these venues are not where former Kiwi rugby league player Jarrod McCracken lost a massive amount of money.

McCracken is a well known figure in New Zealand , moving very successfully into real estate in the 1990s. The manner of his loss was a personal arrangement between himself and an old friend, Harry Kakavas.  Apparently Kakavas, who is a well known gambler, borrowed on a handshake deal, $6.25 million, which he subsequently refused to pay back.  The money was lost, not in New Zealand, but in casinos in Las Vegas and Australia.

In spite of calling in middle men to try and settle the matter of the outstanding debt, the money was not repaid.

Eventually the matter was taken to court where an award of of $1.25 million was made to McCracken.  It does not look as though the rest of the money will ever be repaid.  Kakavas apparently owes many of his former friends large sums of money.

New Zealand gambling is worth around $2 billion per annum, some of this in the online gambling industry.

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