A ruling by a New Zealand court earlier this year that the use of the .net marketing strategy did not contravene gambling laws has been overturned by the New Zealand High Court this week.
The initial case was filed against New Zealand broadcasters TV Works, broadcaster of TV3 and C4, which carried non-gambling .net promotional advertising for online poker giant Pokerstars' Asia Pacific Poker Tour.
In a judgment released this week Justice Ron Young ruled that the Asia Pacific Poker Tour was gambling as defined by the Gambling Act.
The judgment overturned a District Court decision accepting TV Works' view that APPT participants were playing for a prize and not gambling, so advertising for the APPT on TV3 and C4 did not breach the legal prohibition on publicising or promoting gambling outside New Zealand.
Today's judgment was welcomed by the Department of Internal Affairs, which had appealed the District Court ruling on a point of law.
Justice Young said he had some sympathy for TV Works because the legalization was far from clear and it had genuinely believed it was acting lawfully.
The case was referred back to the District Court for further consideration of TV Works' guilt.
"Whether any penalty should be imposed in the District Court in view of these circumstances will be a matter for the Judge if the charges are found proved,” said Justice Young.