Thieves raid Auckland home game, stealing thousands in cash

Thousands of dollars in cash was reportedly stolen over the weekend after armed intruders ambushed a private poker game in the northern suburbs of Auckland, New Zealand.

According to a report by The New Zealand Herald, the incident occurred at a private residence on Auckland’s North Shore at around 1am on Saturday during what it described as a “high-stakes poker session.”

The three assailants held those present at gunpoint for some time, taking belongings and cash before fleeing and later dumping their car nearby. They are yet to be identified and apprehended.

The NZ Herald report says the venue in question is a recently rented house with multiple CCTV cameras installed around the exterior. Neighbours explained that the poker games take place regularly with “men and glamorously dressed young women coming and going at all hours of the night.”

Under New Zealand’s gaming laws, private cash games are allowed to be held outside of casinos subject to certain restrictions, including a “prize money” limit of NZ$500 and a mandate that no rake or fees are charged and that all winnings are paid to those who won it.

Anything above that amount with prizes up to NZ$5000 must be conducted by a society rather than an individual and for charitable purposes, while all other stakes are limited to casinos.

As quoted by The NZ Herald, a Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) gambling publication explains, “As a general rule, poker tournaments or evenings can only be conducted in New Zealand if the purpose behind them is to raise funds for the community.

“The generation of any profit or commission for the organisers by a poker tournament may amount to a criminal offence and render the whole tournament unlawful. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule.”

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