Jarrod McCracken is a fairly well known social figure in New Zealand. He is a former Kiwi rugby league player that made a move into the real estate business and profited off of it quick in the 1990’s. He is not much of a gambler, but one of his old mates, Harry Kakavas, is and at this point, New Zealand’s judicial system has been called into action to settle a dispute between the two.
The court based its decision to demand $1.25 million on behalf of McCracken not on New Zealand gambling laws, but as a matter of personal dispute. Harry Kakavas borrowed, lost, and refuses to pay McCracken back an outstanding sum of $6.25 million that was loaned to him in a handshake deal. Needless to say, the two formerly close mates had a falling out and even underworld figure Mick Gotto was called in by McCracken in an attempt to settle the dispute. As of now, it looks as if the $1.25 million awarded by the court will be the only money that McCracken has a chance of receiving.
Gambling in New Zealand is very popular and is noted to be more than a $2 billion per year industry. Though there are several casinos, and even online casinos in New Zealand, these are not where Kakavas lost the big bucks. He went extravagantly to Las Vegas or to the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia and lost millions.
Kakavas has a severe gambling problem and owes many of his former friends millions based on handshake deals. He recently lost a $35 million lawsuit against Crown Casino where he lost most of the money he owes New Zealander McCracken.