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Online Gambling in New Zealand




Gambling is a popular activity in New Zealand. The reported gambling expenditure in 2018/19, for instance, stood at $2 billion which highlights how profitable this industry has become. However, the legality of online gambling keeps coming up now and then. The challenges facing gambling enthusiasts in neighbouring Australia and other counties concern many players in the country.

Whether you are a resident here or you intend to visit the beautiful country, it’s essential to understand what the law says about this widespread practice. One of the most popular resources for online gambling brands in New Zealand is  

Players can get detailed and objective reviews of online casinos in the country, state of the gambling laws, latest trends and other developments in the industry. Knowledge of the gambling law will help you play safely and confidently, and you can leverage the immense opportunities in the industry.

Who Runs Gambling in the country?

Before delving into gambling laws, you need to understand who authorises gambling in the country. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ensures compliance with the gambling laws and licenses.

The Gambling Commission (GC) plays a more hands-on role in overseeing casino operations. GC sets license conditions, issues casino operating licenses and listens to appeals against decisions made by the Department of Internal Affairs.

While online casinos are the most popular form of gambling, players can also place bets on sports through different platforms. The Racing Board regulates soccer, horse racing, basketball, tennis and surfing. The Lotteries Commission of New Zealand, on the other hand, runs the popular MyLotto, the online gateway where players can buy tickets and hope to win.

Online Gambling in New Zealand

Is online gambling legal in New Zealand? It is the first question that comes to mind for casino players in the country. To get an answer to this question, you have to look keenly at the Gambling Act of 2003. It is the most relevant legislation when it comes to the question of the legality of casinos in the country.

The Act establishes classes of gambling are determined by the prize values and methods of gaming (Class 1, 2, 3&4). It also bans online interactive gambling with limited exceptions. However, the Act doesn’t prohibit foreign gambling websites. Through this law, online gamblers can freely use foreign-based casinos and other gambling platforms.

Are Land Based Casinos Legal?  

There are only seven land-based casinos in the country despite the popularity of gambling. However, you’ll find many racetracks and bingo halls and high-street betting shops.

Since the first land-based casino appeared in 1994, the restrictive nature of licensing has hindered growth which in turn has seen more players opt to play online.

Playing at Online Casinos

While the Gambling Act restricts the establishment of land-based casinos and even New Zealand online casinos, offshore casinos continue to thrive. The biggest casino brands have identified this as one of the fastest-growing markets, and they have launched sites designed for local players.

It is now possible to play at foreign-based online casinos that process transactions in New Zealand dollars. These platforms also offer pokies and other popular casino games that local players enjoy. The best part about these casinos is that players keep their winnings as there are no taxation structures.

However, this lack of distinct laws also poses a significant risk for players in case of problems when playing. Luckily, the best online casinos carry licenses from reputable licensing authorities. The player should check the reputation, reliability, legitimacy and security features of any online casino they wish to sign up with to protect themselves.

The Mobile Casino Revolution

With over 80% of the population using smartphones, mobile gambling has snowballed. The Gambling Act considers mobile gambling apps illegal but local players can still download these apps. The biggest casino brands such as Leo Vegas Casino, Bet365 Casino, and Mr Green Casino now offer mobile casino experiences through apps and mobile-friendly websites.

With no local regulatory oversight, players should read reviews and testimonials and check the reputation of any mobile casino app or mobile casino website they wish to use.

So, are Online Casinos in New Zealand Legal?

The Gambling Act doesn’t explicitly ban online gambling on offshore casinos. It is this ambiguity that has seen the New Zealand Government through the NZ DIA express willingness to update the laws for today’s digital world.

For now, casino lovers in the country can sign up and win at foreign-based casinos. However, lack of regulatory oversight for these casinos poses a risk and it’s thus necessary for players to research keenly to ensure a safe and enjoyable casino experience.

Jenny is one of the oldest contributors of Bigtime Daily with a unique perspective of the world events. She aims to empower the readers with delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from around the World.

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