Legal Online Gambling in New Zealand

Legal Online Gambling in New Zealand

The Kiwi player pool is proportionately minute in comparison to some other gambling markets the likes of those in South Africa. The island country of New Zealand homes about 3 million potential players, most of which actively take part in all the gambling activities available on the country’s territories.

With a 2012 statistics estimating more than two billion NZD cash flow across the legal gambling industry in the country, it is hardly imaginable what the situation will be like a decade later.

Contrary to that…

…there are current certainties that do provide significant insight into the workings of the New Zealand gambling industry. In this regard, the legal status of individual establishments is continuously regulated in order to achieve stability and prosperity.

History of Gambling Legislature in New Zealand

History of Gambling Legislature in New Zealand

The practice of gambling – playing games of luck and chance, as well as betting on sports and racing, boasts a rather lengthy and diverse tradition on New Zealand territory. With the first laws dating back to the first half of the 19th century, people were facing a highly regulated industry even before other nations had even witnessed it on their soil.

Gambling in the 1830s

It was a practice back then that were all but banned, but by the turn of the century, New Zealanders saw a different regulative. The Gambling Act of 1908 was still rather restrictive but did permit betting on the top popular sporting events, especially horse racing.

During the first half and middle of the previous century, New Zealand legislation saw two extremes in regard to how gambling practices were regulated. By the first half, even sports betting and horse racing had been tightened, offering only select betting options like on-course horse race wagering. However, after 1961, government policies seemed to loosen up, ultimately seeing the legalization of lotteries, pokies and even casino establishments by the end of the 90s.

The Gambling Act of 2003…

…which strictly defined the legal and illegal gambling practices for New Zealand citizens. By then, the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) had already been established as the regulatory body determining the sports betting and racing matters of the country under the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Racing Board. The Gambling Commission set up by the significant Act of 2003 has been operating under the Department of Internal Affairs, and in its turn, handles matters of standards, security, fairness, licensing and proper functioning.

On top of these, the Gambling Compliance Group has been set up to oversee the proper application of all the provisions indicated by the Gambling Act 2003, and their proper execution, by respective authoritative bodies and gambling operators both.

Legal Gambling in New Zealand

Currently, New Zealand has managed to clearly define the legal regulative that applies to all forms of gambling entertainment in the country. The Gambling Act of 2003 refers to land-based gambling primarily, as the existing and already developed one, proclaiming it legal for operators to offer both casino and non-casino services, categorized across four classes. Such organization and clear-cut distinction allows the industry to prosper fully, with each operator aware of their rights, obligations and compliances.

The situation regarding online gambling is a bit distinct, but nonetheless straightforward and ultimately player-oriented. More specifically, the aforementioned Act 2003 makes a separate reference to these online gambling practices in the country, distinguishing them as remote gambling practices where players interact through communication devices. Such a definition causes all regulations to apply directly to online gambling, and the said legal text is just as defined.

According to the legal regulative of New Zealand:

Online gambling practices are illegal for all residents of the country when it comes to playing at home-based national online platforms. With the specific sports betting exception, all online betting on sites licensed and based in New Zealand is deemed punitive by the valid law. However, off-shore online gambling platforms – bookmakers, casinos, lottery and bingo portals and the likes, do not classify in the forbidden section. What is more, the Act clearly states that players are practically granted permission to entertain at these platforms.

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Key Guidelines to Legal Online Gambling in New Zealand

In this regard, there are a few key considerations to be taken into account when first engaging in legal online gambling practices at said platforms. While most of these can be repurposed for the general online player audience globally, an additional dimension is further imposed in regards to New Zealand players in particular.

  1. Licensing & Certification– the online casino sites that New Zealand players are able to access are by default based at locations other than their country, thus making them subject to international laws, i.e. the specific legislation of their relevant country. This has caused worry as to whether New Zealanders will only be bound to comply with laws without having any legal support on their side, but as predicted, the relevant licensing authorities of the operators, as well as their audit and certification bodies are both in charge of receiving player comments, complaints and resolving player issues in case of improper behaviour.
  2. Gameplay –Another concern for New Zealand’s online gambling player pool at offshore sites is the game selection on offer. The foreign nature of the services is what makes players dubious regarding the gaming content included in the platform. Still, due to the regulated circumstances of New Zealand law, the player pool is able to choose from the top leading online casino and gambling platforms.

These, in turn, are equipped with high-end software products from the top providers, ultimately optimizing the New Zealand gambling market with first class offerings of casino table games, lottery and bingo titles, online pokies – slot machine games, live dealer casino titles and the likes.

  1. Currencies & Banking Methods –While online casinos, bookmakers and similar operators are generally considered representatives of the entertainment content providing industry, there is no denying that the main factor contributing to their appeal is their possibility to award money. Players from New Zealand are nowadays able to enjoy real money online gambling action using their own NZ dollars currency, thus saving on time and fees charged to get the currency exchanged during each deposit.

For this purpose, the payment processing methods provided at these leading international platforms for their NZ player pool are just as reliable and reputable. Players are able to deposit and withdraw real money to and from their casino player accounts using a number of methods, starting from standard credit cards, cash and bank transfers, through e-wallets and online payment processing services, to various cryptocurrencies and their unique systems.