Gambling has always been an immensely popular activity among the New Zealanders. The gambling industry has picked up a fast pace in the country and is growing by the day. The national spending on the gambling industry since 1985 has multiplied by 10 times. Gambling activities are considered illegal unless these are registered under the Gambling Act 2003.
However, the gamblers who love to indulge in online gambling activities are quite lucky in this case. The gambling authorities in New Zealand have set a simple approach when it comes to online gambling, the players are free to play their favorite games in international online casinos, based outside of New Zealand. All the gambling activities in the country are controlled by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), where all the public gambling establishments have to return some of their profit to the community.
Legislation on Online Gambling in New Zealand
Australia, the neighbour country of New Zealand, is undergoing several changes in terms of online gambling which confuses the Kiwi players upon the legality of online gambling activities. Many players from New Zealand are lacking a clear picture of the legal status of online gambling in the country, and this confusion raises many insecurities among them. It is important for them to be safe and reassured while playing their favorite games at online casinos.
All the kiwi gamblers looking to set the truth straight will be glad to know that they are not breaking any gambling laws while enjoying their favorite games at an international online casino. There are no prohibiting laws against such activities, hence the players don’t have to worry about facing legal consequences in the matter.
Now that we have discussed the legality of online gambling in the country, let us move on to some other essential aspects concerning online casinos.
Does New Zealand Accommodate Any Locally Licensed Online Casinos?
Currently, online gambling activities are covered under the Gambling Act of 2003. Under the acts, there are no possibilities stated for acquiring licenses for local online casinos in the country, so, for now, there are no online gambling ventures accommodated by New Zealand. When seen from the legal angle, it is against the laws to set up such an establishment.
However, the law does not prevent international casinos from providing their offerings to New Zealanders. Besides, the players getting indulged, playing, and keeping winnings from these establishments, are not seen as illegal acts.
Selecting A Right Online Casino in New Zealand
Due to the absence of local licensing authority looking after online casinos offerings and other measures for the citizens, the players have to make their own decisions. New Zealand is a huge and popular market that has managed to attract hundreds of online casinos and operators to cater to the gambling needs of the citizens. However, not all the operators are the same, being a player, you need to understand the differences between the players.
First of all, look for the information provided regarding the operating license at the establishment. You should choose the operators owning licenses from the reputed international licensing bodies such as Malta Gambling Authority, UK Gambling Commission, and Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. Internet casinos featuring operating licenses from these establishments are usually reputable and run robust businesses. You can trust such operators with your personal information and money transactions.
Besides the operating licenses, bonuses and promotions are the important factors that you need to consider while selecting a casino. Open an account with a casino that is offering a good welcome bonus and other promotions in the favor of the players, which ultimately contribute to the enhanced chances of winnings and improved gambling experience. Since New Zealand boasts a huge gambling market, you will find great and competitive promotions offered by big establishments.
So far, we have talked about the legal status of online gamblings in New Zealand, let us now explore gambling law history, Gambling Act of 2003, and present gambling laws in the country.
History of Gambling Laws in New Zealand
The Act of 1908 was incorporated in the country which declared all the gambling activities illegal apart from placing bets at the horse track.
In 1920, the parliament of the country also outlawed bookmaking and considered horse racing illegal until 1960, when it was esteemed legal, but was limited to horse track only.
In 1997, the country passed the Gaming and Lotteries Act, followed by the Casino Act of 1990. When the Casino Act was passed, the government also approved playing on slot machines. The slot machines are known as pokies in New Zealand, and their approval opened the way to the first casino in 1994.
Gambling Act 2003
This act was incorporated as an update or replacement of the 2003 enactment, which amalgamated all the gambling activities under a single universal law. Initially, the bill was introduced in February 2002. Later in 2005, the Gambling Amendment Act was introduced, which enhanced and added the provisions to the gambling act of 2003.
According to the gambling act 2003, all kinds of gambling activities are illegal unless it is run by the government. The law incorporates four defined gambling classes in the country, and all of these are regulated separately and require a separate license for each.
Class one, two and three define regulation based on the prize, rules and controls the funds produced by gambling activities, and allowed turnover amounts. While Class four governs the gambling machines outside of casinos. The Act of 2015 was introduced to define the wording and interpret the original bill to protect the citizens from the bad effects of gambling.
Current Gambling Scenario in New Zealand
Presently, the gambling laws in the country are determined as the age restriction based on the type of gambling activity. The minimum age of a player to enter a casino is 20 years, while for sports betting, lotteries and scratch cards, the player must be 18 years or above.
Kiwis are allowed to gamble at land-based casinos, and remote gambling is considered illegal, such as online gambling, but only hosted sites belong to New Zealand.