April 26, 2024 2 min read


Former NZ Trainer Gambled $2M Before Filing for Bankruptcy

Kerr has been previously sentenced to seven months of home detention because of a fraudulent sale of a horse that didn’t even exist

Mitchell Kerr, a former harness-racing trainer from New Zealand, has violated the country’s bankruptcy laws by gambling over $1.19 million (converted to USD, current rates), before filing for bankruptcy. This, however, wasn’t Kerr’s only transgression.

Kerr used to be a successful trainer with an impressive three-year career. During his time as trainer, he scored 87 wins. However, his multiple industry-related frauds eventually spelled the end of his career, leading to his lifetime ban.

In June 2022 Kerr received seven months of home detention because of a fraudulent sale of a horse that didn’t even exist. Kerr sold the non-existent animal for approximately $24,000 in 2019. While the buyer became suspicious after Kerr did not provide send him ownership papers, Kerr tried to distract him by saying that the horse would not make the grade.

Kerr eventually sent photos of another horse to the buyer, allowing him to continue keeping up the pretense. The victim was also forced to pay an additional $15,500 to cover a variety of fees and insurance costs.

Kerr Violated New Zealand’s Insolvency Act

In addition to selling the fictitious horse, Kerr also violated New Zealand’s Insolvency Act by wagering over $1.19 million on horse and dog racing right before filing for bankruptcy. According to the lawsuit, his excessive gambling significantly contributed to his insolvency.

In addition to that, Kerr violated several other provisions in the act by declaring an annual income of $24,000 when he was, in fact, earning approximately $136,000. Furthermore, the man had lied that he had created only one new bank account in the previous three years although he had actually opened six.

To top it all off, Kerr had continued to be involved in the management of Mitch Kerr Racing, despite being banned from doing so under New Zealand’s bankruptcy rules.

He was sentenced to five months of home detention.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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