Authorities Take Down Largest-Ever Illegal Lottery in NZ, Made NZ$11m in One Year

  • Suspects in the case appeared in court on Thursday on a variety of charges
  • The lottery offered prizes like luxury cars, boats, and even a house
  • Only licensed not-for-profit groups can offer prizes worth over NZ$5k (US$3k)
New Zealand money
The authorities in New Zealand have dismantled an illegal lottery that made over NZ$11m (US$6.7m) in little more than a year. [Image:]

Authorities in New Zealand have taken down the country’s biggest-ever illegal lottery. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) led the investigation into a Christchurch man and a company he was using to run online platforms that generated about NZ$11.1m (US$6.7m) in profit in just over one year.

Suspects in the case appeared on Thursday afternoon in the Christchurch District Court on charges of promoting and running an illegal gambling operation, as well as profiting from the enterprise. They also face action in the country’s High Court as police try to recover the proceeds of the alleged crimes.

offered luxury cars, boats, cash, and even a house as prizes

The business offered luxury cars, boats, cash, and even a house as prizes to people who participated in the lottery draws. New Zealand law dictates that only non-profit organizations can offer prizes worth more than NZ$5,000 (US$3,055), and a license is necessary to do so.

Commenting on the case, DIA Director of Gambling Vicki Scott said that it will crack down strongly on illegal gambling, having “no tolerance for those who seek to profit by bypassing the rules.”

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