Broke Film Opens to Rave Reviews

Luke Graham, son of former NRL star Graham, is behind the new film, Broke, which chronicles a man’s struggle with gambling addiction and has been very well-received by film critics.

Broke is about fictional rugby player named Ben Kelly. Because of his gambling addiction, he lost his home and career, and the film takes a look at his journey to recovery. The film stars Steve Le Marquand and has been directed by Heath Davis.

Luke explains why he choose to produce the film:

“This was a story that people around me had been going through as well as many people in the media. I think, in the time we were developing the concept, there were multiple NRL players going through this issue.”

Today, problem gambling is still a big issue in the Kiwi sports industry. Recently, Kieran Foran has been accused to losing $75 000 betting on sports, highlighting the fact that more action needs to be taken in order to prevent both members of the general public and sports superstars from falling victim to gambling addiction.

“It is one of the few movies that actually tells the truth about gambling,” says Rhonda Woodford, problem gambling counsellor. “A lot of movies focus on the gambler being the hero, and the girls, and being very popular — but this really tells the other side, the people who are struggling with a gambling addiction.”

So far, the film has been well-received by moviegoers with an 8.9/10 rating on IMDB.

“Writer/director Heath Davis offers a cynical but convincing portrait of a desecrated athlete against a moody, lower-class suburban backdrop,” writes Tegan Lyon for The Reel Word. “Broke is a simple story, but one that resonates”.

You can take a look at the trailer below:

Pokie Funding Document Released

Since the Gambling Act was introduced in 2003, there has been a decline in the amount of money being spent on pokies, which has led to a decline in community funding. To help rectify the issue, the New Zealand government is in the process of conducting a review that will take a look at the sustainability funding community initiates through pokie profits, whether the Gambling Act is still fit-for-purpose and whether there is a more cost-effective way to regulate the market. These issues are addressed in a new discussion document that is now available to the public.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says that the ‘public discussion document gives the public a chance to have their say’. It is the next step in the New Zealand government’s review of existing gambling laws, which ultimately aims to improve the way in which pokie funding is distributed in order to better benefit the local community.

Members of the community can read the discussion document here. Submissions can be made, which will be considered by government officials and discussed by key stakeholders, such as commercial venues, problem gambling service provides, grant recipients and societies.

“We will be looking at proposals to future-proof that funding,” Mr Dunne says. “This discussion document is an opportunity for the community to let the Government know what they think are the challenges faced by the sector, and how to ensure that we get the maximum benefit from class 4 gambling, without growing gambling and minimising harm”.

Submissions to the Department of Internal Affairs is due by Friday, August 12, 2016. You can email your submission to [email protected], or you can send it by post to:

Safer Communities Team
Policy Group
Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
Wellington 6140

Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune Slot Now Available At Online Casinos

For the past month, the online gaming market has been all abuzz with news of Net Entertainment’s upcoming release, Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune. The teaser trailer for the game generated plenty of hype for the title, and players have been eager to give this game a spin. Now, they finally have the chance, as the latest Net Entertainment slot is now available at online casinos.

The new Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune online slot is a 50-payline game that provides players with a wide range of ways to win big. Betting is fixed at 25 coins, and players chance choose denominations between 1c and $1 – and there is also the opportunity to adjust the bet level between 1 and 10. As such, there are many ways to wager, so both high rollers and penny slots players will feel right at home.

The main draw of this new online slot is its Carnival Game bonus feature. As players earn tickets throughout the game, they can choose to spend them on one of six different bonus rounds, each of which are based on a classic fairground game:

–          Punchbag

–          Sledgehammer

–          Can Tower

–          Skee Ball

–          Fishing Game

–          Duck Shoot

Each of these rounds is a fun mini-game that provides players with the chance to win cash prizes, multipliers and free spins.

“With the release of Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune, NetEnt is making sure that players have the slot game ride of their lives,” says Simon Hammon, Chief Product Officer at Net Entertainment. “Its vivid graphics, and fantastic range of mini-games and features, bring all the fun of the fair to our customers’ platforms.”

The new Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune online slot from Net Entertainment is now available at online casinos on both desktop and mobile devices.

Maori Man Wins $10m Jackpot At Online Casino

Gambling at online casinos is a popular pastime among New Zealanders. We spend quite a bit of money at online gambling sites every year, so it is always great to see a lucky local player win big. That is certainly the case for Rawiri Pou, who has just earned a $ $10,144,395.82 jackpot prize.

Rawiri is a 27-year-old man from Matamata, who spent $250 at an online casino to play slots. He initially won $1500, but decided to try his luck by wagering on the Jackpot round. It was then that he cashed in on the life-changing prize. He was recently awarded with a cheque in front of the national media, and he was promised that the money would be in his account by the end of the week.

“We’re all thrilled for Rawiri. It’s a life-changing amount of money and we wish him the very best for the future,” says a spokesperson at the online casino where the generous prize was won.

The lucky winner has not yet made any specific plans for his winnings. However, he does know that he will be spending much of his prize to help out his parents and three siblings.

“I still can’t believe this is real. I’ve been in shock since I won and it is literally going to change my life,” he said in an interview with Maori Television. “There is so much my family and I can do with this money and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We are so overwhelmed and happy.”

This is great news for Rawiri and his family, and we wish them all the best with their newfound wealth!

NZ Clubs to be Paid Pokie Commission

Across the country, responsible gambling advocates are working hard to enact measures that will reduce problem gambling rates. However, a new government initiative that offers bars and clubs a commission on poker machine turnover could have the opposite effect.

Effective in October, the new measure will provide bar and club owners with a commission based on the amount of money that their poker machines make. It is aimed at compensating the 966 venues across the country that host pokies, providing the owners with a commission worth up to 1.28% of the weekly turnover on their pokies.

The new measure has responsible gambling advocates concerned. With club owners being offered a commission based on the amount of money that players spend on pokies, staff members are less likely to intervene when they suspect that a player is exhibiting problem gambling behaviour.

Denise Roche, spokesperson for The Greens expresses these concerns:

“You have got a guy sitting there for hours obviously in distress and you have got staff who may want to intervene but the venue owner is saying ‘no, no we want to get our 1.28 per cent’.”

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has also acknowledged this issue, stating that ‘venues may be incentivised to maximise income relative to costs’. He also notes that this may lead to a ‘risk of some venues being less likely to intervene when problem gambling is suspected or occurring’.

Dunne has suggested counterbalancing the issue by offering fair and adequate pay to gambling venues. This would provide the venues with the resources necessary to combat problem gambling among their players, intervening when appropriate to offer them potential assistance.

The new commission scheme will take effect in October 2016, and it is likely to spark up plenty of debates. We will keep you posted as this story develops.

New Monopoly Branded Online Casino from GameSys

There are some brands in the online casino world that are very popular among players. Monopoly is one such brand, which is why we tend to see so many online pokies based on the classic board game. Now, GameSys is taking things one step further by launching a whole new casino based on Monopoly.

The new Monopoly Casino will be powered by GameSys and Scientific Games. It will feature a wide range of slots based on the board game, along with some table games that include elements from Monopoly. Every aspect of the site has been designed with the Monopoly theme in mind.

Even the bonuses are based on the board game, as there is a Free Parking Slot. This is a free slots game that changes every day, so players can test out a great new game on a daily basis. There are also Community Jackpots (based on Community Chest), which offer players the chance to cash in on life-changing prizes.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with SG Interactive and Hasbro to launch MONOPOLY Casino,” says Simon Mizzi, Marketing Director at Gamesys. “It’s been such a strong and successful brand within iGaming for years and the gameplay lends itself perfectly to a truly immersive and differentiated gaming experience, which is exactly what Gamesys is all about.”

GameSys’s new Monopoly Casino has been specifically designed for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, so players can take this new gambling destination with them wherever they go. However, there is also a desktop version that players can access from the comfort of their own homes.

Monopoly Casino is currently only licensed in the United Kingdom, and we hope that it will be launched in other markets around the world soon.

BetSoft Launches New Birds Online Slot

BetSoft continues to be one of the leading online slots developers in the casino market, providing dozens of NZ gaming sites with a fantastic range of games. This month, the company has added yet another fun title to its collection with the launch of Birds!

Birds is a cute and quirky online slots game that offers players a fun online gaming experience. It is 25-payline game that has a Free Flights format. This means that all birds that are involved in winning combinations will fly away and new birds will take their places. This can lead players to triggering even more winning combinations in a row.

When four consecutive wins (or Free Flights) occur, the player will trigger the free spins round. There is no limit to the number of free spins that the player can receive. The round will keep going until the player can no longer hit anymore Free Flights.

All wins on this game can be gambled. After any win occurs, you can click the Double Up button to play a Heads or Tails game. If you guess correctly, then you’ll double your prize. You can continue to double up as long as you continue to guess correctly.

“The artists have cultivated an enjoyable, extremely friendly atmosphere in our new Slots3 title,” says Stephen Jackman of Betsoft. “This game is a true delight to the senses and introduces an innovative reel mechanic that we are proud to share with the iGaming industry and community of players.”

The new Birds online slot from BetSoft is now available at a wide range of online casinos across the web. Players will be able to access this fun and exciting new game from their tablets, smartphones or desktop computers.

Odobo Closes Its Doors

Since 2011, Odobo has been one of the online casino world’s leading distribution networks, providing online casinos with some of the best games from independent slots developers. Now, the company has sadly decided to shut its doors due to some financial difficulties.

While Odobo experienced a great deal of success in the online gaming market, the company found itself unable to keep up with the rising costs of running an online gaming business. As the industry continues to rapidly expand, it becomes more and more expensive for gaming companies to stay afloat – and, Odobo experienced this difficulty first-hand. In fact, earlier this year, the company’s senior executive team was looking for someone to buy Odobo.

“We needed to recognise that the velocity with which the business was growing was outpaced by the costs associated with providing the services that Odobo offered,” reads a statement from Odobo. “As a result, we have made the very difficult decision to close the business”.

The company also ran into difficulty due to the fragmented nature of the online gaming industry. Each country around the world has its own rules for regulating online casino games. Since Odobo provided games developers with all of the tools required to operating in any jurisdiction where online gaming was legal, the differing laws around the world made it difficult for Odobo to stay on top of things.

The statement continues:

“It has become clear that marketplaces like ours require wider scale to survive in an increasingly complex and fragmented regulatory landscape”.

Odobo will cease transacting by May 31st , and the company’s offices will be closed on June 10th. The company has thanked the online gaming market for its support and is grateful for the opportunity it has been offered in the casino industry.