Online Gambling Regulations In New Zealand

According to the Gambling Act (2003), people in New Zealand aren’t explicitly prohibited or deemed to be engaging in illegal activity when they play at any overseas-based casino. The New Zealand Racing Board controls online sports betting in the country. This board is the sole provider of both racing and sports betting-related services in the country.

The same laws apply to online sports betting and betting at online casinos. As a result, betting is legal when managed outside the country but still accepts players from New Zealand. Similar laws apply to online poker, and playing at a foreign casino not based in New Zealand is legal.

Regulations for NZ players and Online Gambling Sites

The New Zealand government regulates gambling activities in the country. When the Gambling Act of 2003 was passed, online gambling became legal for NZ residents over the age of 18. The catch was to play at casinos located overseas.

Players in the country may enjoy their favourite games online at any overseas-based casino that accepts Kiwi players. Keep in mind that no casino has physical operations in New Zealand. Kiwi players may play poker and participate in sports betting online without worrying about going against the Gambling Act.

This is because these games are part of online gambling. Note that players don’t have to include earnings from gambling when compiling their income tax reports at the end of the year.

A Brief History of Gambling in New Zealand

New Zealanders were betting on cards and athletic competitions all the way back in the 11th century. Betting on horses was also the most popular form of gambling. The first race recorded was in 1835 in the Bay of Islands.

The protestant church opposed gambling leading to restrictions towards the end of the 19th century. From 1910 to the 1980s, people could only bet on lotteries and horse races.

Hammond and McArthur started running art union lotteries in 1932 under government regulation. The Golden Kiwi Lottery started in 1961, and the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) started promoting horse racing betting on horse racing.

The first lotto game happened in July 1987, and by the start of the 2000s. 67% of the population were playing this game. Around 400,000 people used to watch the weekly draw on TV every Saturday.

Playing electronic gaming machines first became legal in 1988 for chartered clubs, sports clubs, hotels, and Returned Services Associations. Parliament approved casinos a year later in 1989, and six casinos were built in Auckland, Hamilton, Dunedin, Christchurch, as well as two in Queenstown.

The Gambling Act was passed 17 years ago when the internet was developing. As a result, it didn’t consider a lot of factors. Today, domestic online gambling is illegal except for authorised providers.

However, New Zealanders can gamble at overseas-operated casinos legally. There’s a fear that some of these casinos may lack mechanisms to protect players.

Today, the government is making efforts to ensure a regulated and secure online gaming system. This will protect players and allow only trusted providers to operate.

Who Decides What’s Legal?

The Department of Internal Affairs regulates gambling in New Zealand. According to the Gambling Act, there are the acceptable types of gambling:

  • Lottery
  • Gaming machines
  • Bingo
  • Instant games
  • Lottery
  • Sports betting
  • Keno

Although the act prohibits casino and sports betting activities accessible on electronic devices, this is for online casinos operating in the country. Players are allowed to play at overseas casinos that accept players from New Zealand.

The Department of Internal Affairs regulates gambling in the country. Alternatively, the NZ Gambling Commission determines and approves operators who apply for licences. Lotto New Zealand and the Lotteries Commission handle licencing of lottery organisations.

In 2015, the Gambling (Fees) Regulations Act was introduced. According to the Income Tax Act, players’ winnings from gambling are not liable to taxation. Professional poker players’ earnings are liable to taxation, although there’s no enforcement. The government lacks mechanisms to determine professional bettors and poker players.

How are NZ Players Protected?

The Gambling Act (2003) legalises playing at online casinos without a physical presence in New Zealand. This makes the NZ government not liable for any misdeeds that may result from players’ gambling activities.

Players are allowed to choose an online casino of their choice. The government has mechanisms to ensure that the casinos operate professionally and fairly. One way is to ensure that the operators hold licenses from recognised bodies like the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority.

The government also ensures that online casinos warn and protect their customers from the potential dangers of gambling. This may be through options such as self-exclusion, deposit limits, and loss limits.

Safe Online Gambling

Due to the ever-growing number of online casino operators, every casino strives to offer the best to its customers. This may be through 24/7 customer service, allowing various languages and two-factor authentication for security. A casino that seems more secure is very attractive to players who want to bet online.

Online gambling is also safe since reputable operators offer responsible gaming options to players. This may be by setting limits on deposits, self-exclusion, and links to organisations where to find help.

Additionally, customers may write a bad review about any casino where they’ve encountered a poor experience. This motivates online casino operators to outdo themselves in ensuring that customers are happy and safe while at that particular casino.

Recommended Legal Online Gambling Sites for New Zealanders

We’ve done your search for trusted casinos that accept players from New Zealand easier. The casinos have been vetted according to fairness, customer service, number of games, payment options, and possession of recognised licences.

You can check our list of highly recommended casinos and choose one that will give you an immersive experience. Playing at these casinos is safe, secure, and legal in New Zealand.

Why Gambling Regulations Are Important To Us

New Zealand’s gambling regulations are crucial for us at Betkiwi. They directly impact our content and recommendations we make.
We always ensure that our content aligns with current laws and regulations. By keeping our content up-to date we provide accurate information.
By following NZ’s regulations, we ensure that our content is not only accurate and legal but also beneficial and relevant.