After four incident-free decades, and Auckland-based casino entertainment business has found itself falling afoul of its previously good fortune.
Las Vegas Functions is run by owner Debbie Williams and provides casino party entertainment across the country. The enterprise got a nasty shock recently when hundreds of dollars worth of equipment were recently stolen in Christchurch. The haul that the thieves managed to make away with included a classic 1950s Las Vegas casino roulette wheel.
The theft, which involves goods valued at around $500, occurred at a property on Middlepark Rd in Sockburn where the roulette wheel and other items including hundreds of casino chips, blackjack shoes, and a selection of casino paraphernalia were being stored in an enclosed and locked fibreglass trailer.
The criminals reportedly wheeled the trailer down the drive and then broke into it, taking all the equipment that they wanted.
Williams explained that she was “gutted” at the news of the theft as the wheel holds significant sentimental value to her.
Ian Hastings, Williams’ father and the former owner said that this unfortunate incident brought an end to 42-years of good luck.
The former Auckland police drug squad boss shared his feelings, saying,
“We’ve never had anything stolen from us. I’m more gutted for Deb who took over the business and has been faced with the Covid nightmare. It hasn’t been easy for her for the last couple of years and this doesn’t help.”
Williams added that the theft was an insult added to injury following an extremely challenging year. She revealed that in pre-pandemic times, the venue would host up to five functions a night in Auckland alone over during December, but that at the moment, it only has eight bookings for the whole month.
“I’m now at the point where I’m trying to think of ways to make the business make money that [doesn’t] involve going into enclosed places with lots of people,” she added.
Williams indicated that the history behind and sentimental value of the roulette wheel was enough that she was prepared to put up a “substantial reward” for its safe return.
With a scheduled event in Christchurch coming up for the company, Williams has found herself scrambling to put together the necessary supplies to make it happen.
A spokesperson for the police confirmed that t the authorities were aware of the incident and asked that anyone who was in the Middlepark Rd area on the day of the theft please contact the police by dialling 105 or via CrimeStoppers.