Authorities Suspect Money Laundering Took Place at SkyCity Auckland

Authorities normally keep a watchful eye on local casinos, as they suspect that criminals congregate at these gambling venues. Their reason for this is that criminals often choose to launder money at casinos, since there is already so much money passing hands between players, dealers and the casino itself. This week, it was discovered that a local meth manufacturer may have been playing at SkyCity casino in order to launder money, and local police are investigating the issue.

Roy Allan Duncan, well-known drug manufacturer, is a VIP player at SkyCity casino in Auckland. Over the years, he and his wife have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the venue – and police have reason to doubt that their winnings were genuine.

According to police reports, Duncan used a popular method for money laundering. He would deposit money into a poker machine and cancel the transaction before wagering on the game. As a result, he would receive his money back; however, it was not his money that he would receive. Since he received a cash out ticket, his ‘winnings’ consisted of other players’ deposits – successfully laundering his own money.

Duncan disputes these claims. He states that he is simply an experienced gambler who knows how to win at pokies. Unfortunately for him, this defence is unlikely to hold up in court, as new digital technology makes it impossible to predict the outcome of modern-day pokies.

Was SkyCity Involved in New Immigration Deal?

SkyCity has come under fire yet again, fighting off criticism from local residents over its potential role in a new immigration deal. This week, Immigration New Zealand announced its new deal with China Southern Airlines, which would allow flyers expedited visa processing when visiting the New Zealand. Last year, SkyCity mentioned its own involvement in a similar deal, causing local residents to wonder if the casino operator had any sort of influence on Immigration New Zealand.

According to reports, SkyCity had been pushing for a deal with China Southern Airlines for over a year. The casino operator wanted to increase the number of high rollers that would have access to its various gambling venues by making it easier for players to enter the country. Now that Immigration New Zealand has launched its own deal with China Southern Airlines, citizens are concerned that the government is in the pocket of SkyCity.

This news comes shortly after the announcement that government has relaxed gambling laws to allow for SkyCity to install up to 500 new poker machines. In return, the casino operator would build Auckland’s new convention centre, a project which will cost $350 million. With these types of deals taking place, residents wonder if SkyCity has an unfair influence on the local government.

Both SkyCity and Immigration New Zealand have denied claims that they worked together on the new China Southern Airlines deal. However, opposition is still strong, as politicians and residents worry that the deal would welcome a potential increase in casino-related crime.

SkyCity’s Gambling Parents Discharged, One Convicted

Earlier this year, a huge scandal struck SkyCity Auckland, when security stumbled upon a van full of children, abandoned by their parents who had decided to spend the day gambling. The parents were arrested immediately, making headlines across the country – now, they have faced a local judge and decisions have been handed down for both the mother and the father, who have received name suppression.

Both parents were charged with child neglect – specifically, leaving a child under the age of 14 without supervision – but only one was convicted of the crime. The mother and the father were both discharged but only the mother got away without conviction. The father of the children has been found guilty of the crime, and his sentencing will take place later this year.

The judge’s reasons why only one party was convicted has not been revealed; however, some details about the court case have been shared, which shed some light on the situation. According to reports, the mother’s lawyer claimed that she is in the process of becoming a social worker, and a conviction would jeopardize her career plans. It seems unlikely that this argument is the entire reason she escaped conviction-free, but if the mother actually does have plans to become a social worker, she will need to set her priorities straight before pursuing this career path.

Sports Fight Harm Reduction Bill

The Harm Reduction Bill, authored by MP Te Ururoa Flavell, has seen a great deal of support thus far. Local residents and city councillors are confident that the bill will improve the community by reducing the potential harm that they could cause. Unfortunately, not everyone sees the bill this way, as sports organizations are fighting the proposed plan for Harm Reduction.

The provision that sports organizations are resisting is one that will give city councillors the right to decide how pokies funds are distributed. Sports groups believe that pokies trusts should be in charge of the funds rather than city councils, and are worried that they will lose their funding as a result of this change.

Hawke’s Bay Roller Derby is just the latest group to lobby against some of the changed proposed by the Harm Reduction Bill. The group states that pokies grants currently provide valuable funding for equipment and services required by players, and the roller derby could greatly suffer is funding were to be cut.

The news comes just days after the New Zealand Rugby Union announced that the Harm Reduction Bill would drive participation fees up by 500%. The group obtains more than 20% of its funding from pokies grants, and the loss of the resource would result in negative changes for the league.

The NZRU and the Roller Derby group are just two organizations that have made submissions opposing this provision. The commerce committee will review these documents this month and present them at a hearing in November.

New Live Dealer Games at InterCasino

InterCasino online casino is one of the top online gambling websites out there today. It is well-known for meeting customer demands and knowing exactly what it takes to keep players interested and engaged. This month, the casino operator has decided to appeal to a different audience with the launch of its new Live Dealer selection, which will certainly attract more players to this world-class website.

If you’re not already familiar with Live Dealer games, these are online casino games that are played with real dealers rather than computer software. Rather than having a random number generator determine the outcome, a dealer (broadcasted via webcam) shuffles the cards or spins the roulette wheel.

At InterCasino, there are a number of benefits for its new Live Dealer selection. Players can select which dealer they would like to play with and they can chat with them while the game is taking place. Each table has different betting levels, so players with a wide range of bankrolls can take part in this innovative gaming offering. Players should also take note that there is a wide availability of live dealers, so you will never be waiting very long for a table!

Sports Organizations Receive $1 Billion from NZ Pokies

In New Zealand, many not-for-profit organizations rely on profits generated by poker machines in order to operator. So, it is no wonder that some groups are upset that the new Harm Reduction Bill aims to give local city councillors the power to decide where grant money goes – as it could leave plenty of sports clubs without funding.According to a new report, sports clubs seem to be so passionate about the Harm Reduction Bill as they have received more than $1 billion from pokies profits over the course of the past seven years. In 2011 alone, rugby clubs received $27 million while football groups were given $10 million.

“The bill doesn’t take away the right of any sports club or local community group to do what they want to,” says MP Te Ururoa Flavell, who authored the bill.

The Harm Reduction Bill is aimed at benefitting the local community; however , sports organizations are worried that it will interfere with their finances. It simply means that sports clubs will have to be less dependent on poker machine profits, finding funding from other resources – but clubs do not seem prepared to take that step.

Microgaming Introduces Blaze Poker to Mobile

Fast-fold poker is the latest trend in the online gambling world. Offering players the chance to instantly receive a new hand after folding, these types of applications are popular among poker players with a taste for fast-paced action. Now, players can take their fast-fold gaming with them on the go. PokerStars recently launched Zoom Poker on mobile and now, Microgaming has done the same with Blaze Poker.

Blaze Poker is Microgaming’s own fast-fold poker application. Once players fold their hand at one table, they are taken to a new table and dealt a new hand. Players can take part in hundreds of hands per hour, multiplying their profits.

The application has led to a 33% growth in profits over the course of the past few months. So, it seems only natural that the operator would want to expand its reach. Mobile Blaze has yet to hit the mobile market place but Microgaming is enthusiastic about the venture.

“Microgaming is gearing up for the imminent launch of Blaze Mobile, which will offer its popular fast fold poker game variant to players, and soon-to-be introduced Mobile Bingo,” reads a statement from the company.

Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Coming Soon

Fall is fast-approaching, and that means one thing for New Zealand’ poker community: the Australian New Zealand Poker Tour is just around the corner. Sponsored by PokerStars, Season Five will kick off in New Zealand in November, presenting poker fans with some exciting competitive action.

The buy-in for ANZPT Auckland is $2000 + $200; so, you can rest assured that there will be some very generous prizes up for grabs this time around. This is the first time that the ANZPT will be coming to the capital, so we’re anticipating a very busy event.

PokerStars has also announced that the ANZPT will be returning to Queenstown again for Snowfest. This leg of the tournament will run from July 30 – August 4, 2012, and the buy-in is $2700 + $300. Last year, the prize pool to an impressive $1.2 million, and first-place winner Sam Razavi earned a generous $300 000 prize.

Spaces are limited for these tournaments; so, if you’re interested in playing, it is best to purchase your buy-in soon. You can also take part in satellites online at PokerStars to earn a free entry into an ANZPT event of your choice.

Full Tilt Poker Lawsuit Expanded

Things have gotten even worse for former Full Tilt Poker owners Raymond Bitar and Howard Lederer. A number of charges were brought up against the two men, after Full Tilt Poker was discovered to be operating in the American gambling market illegally – as well as operating as a Ponzi scheme. Now, new charges have been laid against Bitar and Lederer, as the prosecution argues that they have violated the Travel Act 1961.

The Travel Act prohibits the distribution of funds earned illegally via fraudulent business practices. Lederer and Bitar violated the act by transferring funds from the site’s business account to Lederer’s personal account. These funds were not profits earned from Full Tilt’s operators; rather, they were player deposits.

“The funds were used to purchase/pay for real estate, renovations, new home construction costs, furniture, mortgage payments, property taxes, personal pension plans and 401K’s, and various personal vehicles,” reads the complaint.

Last week, Lederer attempted to use a new ruling that poker is a game of skill to have his charges dropped. Unfortunately, this new revelation will only make matters worse for Lederer and his former business partner, as it seems there will be no way for either party to escape these charges.

New Program Launched to Reduce Underage Gambling

With recent studies showing that some individuals begin gambling as young as ten-years-old, it is becoming increasingly important for the local government to fight underage gambling. A new program from New Zealand’s Problem Gambling Foundation takes to schools to help students understand the dangers of gambling from a young age.

This is an ideal time for a program of this kind to be launched in New Zealand. With the Harm Reduction Bill receiving a great deal of support, it is also important for local organizations to deal with problem gambling in other ways.

The program has been launched at Tawa College. As the program gains steam, it will expand to other schools across the country. It is important for the program to take place in schools, as it makes it mandatory for youth to take part, exposing them to a dialogue about underage gambling.

Navid Foroutan of the Problem Gambling Foundation says that the program will take an interactive approach. It is aimed at understanding how students perceive gambling, so that the program can provide an effective approach to communicating the dangers of underage gambling.