Auckland Council Supports Gambling Reforms

The new Harm Reduction Bill is gaining a great deal of backing across New Zealand. The Auckland Council has recently expressed its support for the legislation, which would give local city councillors the right to control the number of poker machines within their jurisdictions.

The main provision of the bill is to allow city councillors to limit the number of poker machines in their areas. Once they have decided to remove any machines, the machines must be removed within 12 months of the decision. This single provision makes New Zealand’s Harm Reduction Bill far more effective than any gambling reform that has taken place in Australia.

The bill also gives councils the power to determine whether or not a venue is suitable for Class 4 Gaming. This would mean that all staff will have be trained in responsible gambling practices, placing some responsibility on pub and club owners when it comes to problem gambling in New Zealand.

“This would give us more powers to influence and take action where we feel the presence of one of these venues is likely to cause severe harm to a particular community, or the location is unsuitable,” says Councillor George Wood.

The Harm Reduction Bill will also allow for the arrangement of a system to allocate gaming funds to organizations. This means that gaming trusts will no longer be responsible for doing so, eliminating any bias.

All-Time High for Queenstown Snowfest

Queenstown is normally one of the busiest stops in PokerStars’ New Zealand Poker Tour competition. 2012 turned out to be the most active NZPT Queenstown in history, with nearly 150 runners in the main event.

149 professional and amateur poker players turned up to compete in the event. This year’s number of participants is a positive sign of the increasing popularity of this stop on the New Zealand Poker Tour. Queenstown is becoming one of the best destinations for poker in New Zealand, and this year’s NZPT is proof of that fact.

A generous prize pool is being offered at NZPT Queenstown this year, awarding over $400 000 to the top 15 players. The winner of the tournament will win an impressive cash prize worth $110 000. Second place will earn $70 000 and third place will earn $41 000.

Day 1C has just begun and 58 players are left in the competition. Some big names are still in the game, including Rohit Bhasin, Leo Boxell and Matty Yates. As such, the rest of the tournament is going to be exciting, so stay tuned for updates.

$300K Weekend Celebration at Bet365

Bet365 is known mostly for its sportsbetting and online casino activities; however, the operator also provides a great online bingo website. This weekend, Bet365 is celebrating the start of the London Olympics with a $300K winning weekend party.

Bingo is not the most profitable online casino game, as the buy-ins and payouts are known for being relatively modest. However, Bet365 is giving players from New Zealand and around the world the chance to win huge jackpot prizes from July 27 to July 30.

There are plenty of great prizes up for grabs. A 7-cent ticket could earn you a prize worth $750 while a 75-cent ticket could win you $4500! There is also a generous $7500 bingo game available in the Lynx online bingo room at Bet365.

This is one of the most exciting online bingo events we’ve seen recently. So, if you’re an online bingo fan, now would be the perfect time to sign up to Bet365 Bingo. The site offers a wide range of games including, 75-ball, 90-ball and even 80-ball online bingo.

GTECH G2 and PlayTech Want Zynga Contract

Zynga has announced that it is finally making plans to enter the online gambling market. After years of running the most successful, social poker application on Facebook, the company felt that it was about time to venture into the real-money world. Zynga has opened up bidding, requesting the assistance of experienced gaming operators.

GTECH G2 and PlayTech have jumped at the chance, although we anticipate plenty of other developers will come forward. Since Zynga is renowned for operating a free-money poker app that draws in millions of players each month, each company sees the incredible value of working with the company.

While many of Zynga Poker’s players are under the age of 18, the new real money application will certainly convert adult players to playing online poker. The launch of the new website will not only boost Zynga’s business but boost activity in the online poker world, overall.

Zynga is currently considering the possibilities, as gaming developers continue to bid on the license. Whoever wins can look forward to working on the hottest new online poker site to hit the internet in years.

Grassroots Trust Suspension Goes Over Badly

The suspension of Grassroots Trust poker machines began last week, shutting down pokies in various pubs across the country. The suspension as meant to penalize the trust for failing to pay over $500 000 to the community, but pub owners state that the only people suffering will be them.

Pub owners have come forward to express their disappointment with the resolution to Grassroots Trusts’ transgression. Rather than punishing the trust itself, the government has taken profits away from pub owners. Without poker machines, many local pubs will lose business to casinos and other venues that have pokies in operation.

Moving forward, Grassroots Trust will be required to pay 40% of its profits to the community and 11% to pub owners. This means that Grassroots Trust will not have to pay any fines or undertake any punishment that may deter them from breaking gaming laws again in the future.

“There is simply no justice or common sense in this approach,” says Reg Hennessy, Vice President of Hospitality New Zealand. “Why are the trustees and managers not being fined?”

He believes that more consideration for pub owners should be shown in this situation. They are being forced to take the brunt of the punishment while Grassroots Trust pays no mind.

Nelson Football Won’t Take Pokies Money

The city of Nelson has been working hard to secure a New Zealand Football Club license, giving the city the right to launch two new teams. Mayor Aldo Miccio, who is confident that his city will receive a license, has stated that the clubs will not take money from poker machine profits as funding.

“There will be no funding from pokies,” he says. “There are a number of places where you can apply for grants that aren’t pokies”.

Now seems to be the ideal time to adopt such a stance. Since poker machines could soon be forced to impose limits, sporting clubs and other public programs will suffer from a lack of funding. So, rather than fighting the reforms, Nelson has taken a different approach, simply by looking for funding elsewhere.

Nelson’s potential new football teams are just some of only a few organizations that have refused pokies funding. We hope that this will start a new trend in the gambling market, however. Although pokies grants can be quite generous, it is a good idea to supplement funding with money from other sources – just in case pokies funding is ever cut.

Olympic Kiwis Taunted by Australia Betting Agency

Despite their close proximity, Australia has a bitter rivalry with us when it comes to sports. While bookies are readying themselves for an influx of wagers during the 2012 London Olympics, one Australia betting firm is busy finding new and creative ways to insult our athletes.

According to Betstar, New Zealand is unlikely to win any medals that matter in the upcoming Olympics. Odds favour Valerie Adams winning a shot put gold medal – but that’s about it. The firm has a very cynical attitude about the rest of our performance during the games.

“My take on it is London 2012 will be disappointing for the Kiwis,” says managing director Alan Eskander.

During the Beijing Olympics in 2008, New Zealand won 3 gold medals, but Betstar does not believe that we will be as successful this time around. Eskander anticipates that 2 is the most that New Zealand will win – if any.

According to the New Zealand Herald, however, these predictions are not being taken very seriously. The most anyone has wagered on Betstars dismal predictions for New Zealand is $20; so, general morale is still quite high. We will simply have to wait until the games begin to see how this all plays out.

Reel Race Promotion on Now at Bet365

Bet365 online casino is well-known for offering players a wide range of fun and exciting online casino promotions. From tournaments to giveaways, there is always something going on at this popular online casino. Now, Bet365 is running its Reel Race, an online slots competition that offers generous prizes up to $750!

Reel Race takes place like any other online slots tournament. The player who earns the most comp points over the course of the tournament wins the grand prize. It is a great chance for players who are already avid slots players to cash in on their passion, while casual gamers are even eligible for prizes. There are over 200 prizes available, so plenty of players will cash in.

The promotion runs from midnight on the 21st until the end of the day; so, you have a full 24 hours to earn comp points. Be sure to opt-in to the promotion; otherwise, you won’t be entered. For every $10 you spend, you earn 1 comp point, so be sure to get as much playing in as possible.

Grand prize is $750 while second place is $525 and third is $450. Other prizes range from $25 to $300 with the last 100 players to place earning $20 each.

SkyCity Hamilton’s Pensioners Bus Comes Under Fire

SkyCity Hamilton offers a twice weekly bus service for pensioners who want to visit the casino. Many seniors take advantage of the bus service, looking for something fun and exciting to do during the week. However, not everyone likes the idea of a casino bus service for pensioners, and the NZ Problem Gambling Foundation has spoken out on the issue.

According to the foundation, the casino bus encourages vulnerable individuals to gamble. As senior citizens may not be able to afford gambling activities, the organization believes that it is harmful for a casino operator to transport them to a casino several times per week.

“If you have something like a free bus service taking people to the casino there needs to be safeguards in place,” says Roger Taylor of anti-gambling organization U3A.

However, SkyCity does not see the harm in doing so. The casino operator believes that a casino bus is no different from a pub bus or transportation service to any other gambling venue. Plenty of tour companies and casinos across the country offer similar services, and SkyCity does not believe that it should be penalized for a service that aims to benefit senior citizens.

InterGames Promotion at InterCasino

The 2012 Olympics are just around the corner, and everyone is getting in the mood for The Games. Even the online casino world is buzzing, including InterCasino which has just launched a promotion celebrating the occasion: InterGames 2012.

This new online casino promotion started yesterday and will run until August 12th. During this time, players are eligible for some amazing cash back bonuses. Normally, it is rare for online casinos to offer such generous cash back promotions, but InterCasino has made a habit of it – and players certainly appreciate it.

For the first part of the promotion, simply make a $50 deposit and enter the bonus code. You will automatically receive a $50 deposit bonus, which you can use to earn your cash back bonus. Then, play Captain Nemo, Fire Flies and Monte Cristo (InterCasino’s latest games) – for every 900 points you receive, you’ll earn an addition $50!

here is also a great competition that is a part of InterGame 2012. Simply play your favourite games throughout the promotional period to earn comp points. The more points you earn, the faster you climb the leader board. At the end of the promotion, the player with the most points earns a $3000 cash prize!