The Dunedin Casino closed its doors yesterday and will do so again today as punishment for failing to take adequate action over a problem gambler.
The Gambling Commission – New Zealand’s official gambling watchdog – handed out a two-day license suspension to the casino, after it was found to have allowed a woman gamble NZD 6.6 million over three years.
The casino was allowed to choose which days it was to close.
Dunedin woman Christine Keenan lost a net NZD 400,000 during that period, having gambled away her inheritance, her divorce settlement and the proceeds of a house sale, before stealing from her employers.
The commission found Dunedin Casino management had been aware of the extent of her gambling and had treated Mrs Keenan as a valued customer.
The amount of money the casino earned from her gambling represented about 10 per cent of the casino’s entire earnings during the period concerned.
Keenan was eventually jailed for three years for stealing almost NZD 500,000 from her employer to fund her habit.
The Commission said the casino failed to comply with the Gambling Act, which would have required it to offer information or advice about problem gambling to Keenan.