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Knyvett v Christchurch Casinos Ltd

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[1999] 2 NZLR 559

17 December 1998

New Zealand Constitution Act 1986 featuring Knyvett v Christchurch Casinos Ltd

Full case name
Knyvett v Christchurch Casinos Ltd

Judge(s) sitting
Blanchard, Gallen and Salmon JJ

Ruling court
Court of Appeal of New Zealand

SGS (New Zealand) Ltd v Quirke Export Ltd, Rayneon (New Zealand) Ltd v Fraser, Starlight Enterprises Ltd v Lapco Enterprises Ltd

Knyvett v Christchurch Casinos Ltd [1999] 2 NZLR 559 is a cited case in New Zealand regarding whether a contract illegal under statute, can be subsequently validated under the Illegal Contracts Act 1970.



Polglase won a $31,173.71 jackpot at the Christchurch Casino, however when the casino later discovered that he was only 18 years old, a minor, they refused to pay him out his winnings.

The Casino argued that under the Casino Control Act 1990, gambling by a minor is illegal, and thus honoring any wager would be illegal under the Act.

However, the Act only prohibited a minor being on the premises of a Casino, it did not go as far as stating any bets would be illegal as well.

The casino successfully obtained a judgment from the High Court.

Polglase, via his guardian Kynvett appealed.


The court refused to grant relief.


Knyvett v Christchurch Casinos Ltd Wikipedia