Banned Gambler Allowed To Keep $60k Casino Jackpot

A banned gambler has been allowed to keep his $60,000 casino winnings after hitting a straight flush playing the card game Caribbean Stud last August at Auckland’s SkyCity casino.
Back in 2004, Sothea Sinn, 28, had placed a self-exclusion ban on himself at the casino as he was concerned about the amount he was gambling at the time. Apparently in 2010, Sinn had either forgotten the ban or simply didn’t realise it was still in place when he spent a 22 hour session gambling before hitting the $60,000 jackpot.
However, it all soon became clear to him after SkyCity casino refused to pay up his winnings and recalling the range of emotions he went through at the time, Sinn explained:
“Honestly I was jumping up with joy, couldn’t believe my luck…Everyone surrounded me patted me on the back and stuff…I’m pretty gutted about everything. The day I won it was the best day of my life and it turned out to be the worst day of my life.”
What then ensued was a series of legal wranglings with both the SkyCity casino and New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs agreeing Sinn should not be payed.
The Department of Internal Affairs maintains a team of Gambling Inspectors at each casino in the country, who agreed at the time the ban should be enforced. Subsequently, though, they reversed their earlier decision and said they now believed the ban had in fact expired and that “they considered the issue “as one involving the integrity of gambling.”
SkyCity casino initially disagreed with the finding and maintained Sinn did not meet the criteria for re-entry following his self-exclusion. They also highlighted there was a clear difference in opinion between the Department and the casino on what constitutes the conditions of reentry into casinos.
However, SkyCity casino said they were unwilling to go to court over the matter and so have now paid Sothea Sinn his $60,000 winnings.

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