Claiming that he had spent all the money, a croupier working for an illicit gambling den in one of the posh suburbs of Auckland was able to evade fine. This is despite having made $10,000 in the illegal casino.
The 26-year-old student, Markus Grozdanovski, was arrested after police came across the illegal covert casino located at Parnell Townhouse which is worth $1m. This happened in December 2013 when the police were working on a different case in the neighborhood involving a break in.
They found smoke alarms and large gambling tables in the casino which triggered a year-long investigation. The investigation was conducted by the department of internal affairs.
The Judge, Nicola Mathers said that Grozdanovski had ignored warnings by the authorities over his involvement in previous illegal gambling operations.
According to the tabled evidence, Grozdanovski had dealt over 55 poker games at the illegal casino. The venue where the illegal gambling was being conducted had been rented by other two co-defendants.
Within the six months of involvement, he was believed to have made $10,000 out of the tips he received from online casino. However, he claimed in the court that he had used it all.
The lawyer for the 26-year-old from Glenfield, Nid Satjipanon, claimed that his client was only a student with no source of income and therefore, he could not afford to pay a fine.
The time that he spent in the trade as well as the money that he earned, Judge Mathers said, increased his blameworthiness.
He also added that the accused knew of the consequences of getting into that kind of business since he had worked in a licensed casino in Auckland before.
If found guilty, he would spend a year in jail or pay a fine of up to $20,000 according to the law.
However, the judge reduced that since Grozdanovski had cooperated with DIA and did not have previous convictions. He was however slapped with 100 hours community work.
One of the other men arrested along with Grozdanovski pleaded not guilty and would appear in court before the end of the month. The other co-accused was nowhere to be found. A warrant of arrest had been issued against him. The two are accused of facilitating illegal gambling.
Gambling without a license is considered illegal if the prize given surpasses $5000 or when it returns a profit of more than $25000. However, if it is private gambling, it is legal.
Grozdanovski acknowledged that he had messed and that he was a jobless student who had accepted the job so as to cater his needs such as paying rent and buying food.
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