The Legality of Online Gambling in New Zealand

Online gambling in New Zealand is a topic that often raises questions about its legality. As of now, it is not explicitly illegal for New Zealanders to play at online casinos based overseas, as long as they are licensed and regulated by an authoritative body. This means that players in New Zealand can legally gamble online at a variety of online casinos that cater to the New Zealand market.

However, it is important to note that online sports betting in New Zealand is controlled by the New Zealand Racing Board, which is the only provider of racing and sports betting services in the country. As such, online sports betting follows the same law as online casino gambling in New Zealand, meaning that it is legal as long as it is run outside of New Zealand and accepts Kiwi players.

The same laws also apply to online poker, which is legal as long as it is played at a casino outside of New Zealand. Overall, while there are no New Zealand-based online casinos, players can still enjoy a wide range of online gambling options at international online casinos that accept New Zealand players. It is important to ensure that the online casino is licensed and regulated by a reputable authority, and to always gamble responsibly.

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Regulations for NZ players and Online Gambling Sites

New Zealand has regulations in place for online gambling that were established in 2003 with the Gambling Act. The act permits New Zealand residents to gamble online, as long as the casino is located outside the jurisdiction of New Zealand. There are additional guidelines outlined by the government regarding online gambling in New Zealand.

  • The Gambling Act of 2003 makes it legal for NZ residents to gamble online if the casino is located outside NZ jurisdiction.
  • However, if the operators’ website is within NZ jurisdiction, NZ residents cannot participate in online gambling.
  • Online poker and sports betting are also legal for all NZ players to participate in.
  • All winnings from online gambling are excluded from annual income tax reports.

Overall, with proper adherence to the Gambling Act, New Zealand residents can legally participate in online gambling activities.

A Brief History of Gambling in New Zealand

Gambling has been a part of human history for a long time and is present in many cultures, including New Zealand’s. Here is a brief history of gambling in New Zealand:

  • Gambling arrived in New Zealand with the first European settlers.
  • During the colonial period, gambling was popular, but the Gambling Act of 1908 restricted it to legal gambling at racetracks.
  • Gambling grew in popularity, and in 1951, the laws against it became somewhat more liberal.
  • The Golden Kiwi Lottery was introduced and further increased the popularity of gambling.
  • The first legal casino in New Zealand opened in Christchurch in 1994, and the country now has six legal casinos in total.
  • SkyCity Casino is the largest casino in the country, and SkyCity Entertainment Group is the largest operator.
  • Residents over 18 can legally play at casinos based overseas.

Gambling has a long and rich history in New Zealand and has seen significant changes over time. From being only allowed at racetracks, to the introduction of lotteries and the opening of legal casinos, gambling has grown in popularity and has become a significant part of Kiwi culture. The rise of online gambling has also contributed to the surge in gambling revenue, with Kiwis being able to legally play at overseas-based online casinos.

History of Casinos in NZ

Who Decides What’s Legal?

Gambling in New Zealand is tightly regulated by the country’s Internal Affairs Department. The Gambling Act of 2003 governs the legality of gambling in the country, which is generally classified into four categories of legal betting. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Bookmaking wasn’t legal until 1961 when the Totalizator Agency Board (TAB) made horse race betting legal across the country.
  • The Act prohibits ‘remote interactive gambling’, which refers to casino and sports betting ventures that are accessed via electronic devices.
  • While it is illegal to host an online casino in New Zealand, it is neither prohibited nor illegal for New Zealanders to play at casinos based outside the country.
  • The Racing Act of 2003 controls sports betting and racing in New Zealand.
  • All gambling has to return a percentage of the proceeds to the community.
  • In other countries, most governments have voted on gambling bills that enable online gambling to be regulated by law, providing clear information on what the resident country players can or cannot do regarding online gambling. Some countries have banned their residents from making financial transactions in online casinos, while others allow online gambling but require the casino operator to follow and comply with regulations.

For example, in the UK, parliament voted for a bill to regulate online gambling for all UK residents and online operators who do business on UK soil. All operators are required to acquire the UK Gambling Commission License and pay a yearly fee to the UK government, which ensures that UK players are protected to the full extent of the law.Gambling regulations in New Zealand are tightly controlled by the Internal Affairs Department, with the Gambling Act of 2003 providing the framework for legal gambling. While remote interactive gambling is prohibited, New Zealanders are legally allowed to play at online casinos based outside the country. Overall, many governments have voted on gambling bills to regulate online gambling, with some countries banning their residents from financial transactions in online casinos and others imposing regulations on online operators to ensure player protection.

The Protection of NZ Online Casino Players

In New Zealand, the government has implemented regulations under the 2003 Gambling Act to protect players who gamble online. While players are allowed to gamble at online casinos based outside of New Zealand, operators are prohibited from setting up shop on New Zealand soil.

  • The regulations ensure that players are protected if any problems occur while gambling online.
  • Online casinos are subject to strict regulations, forcing them to operate professionally and safely.
  • The licensing regulator that a specific casino holds is the best way to solve any problems between the casino and the player.
  • Regulators take their responsibility very seriously to protect players from potentially rogue and unfair casino operators online.
  • If an online casino operator is found to have deliberately harmed the player in any way possible, their operations may be suspended, and their license revoked, with further potential legal actions taken.

Overall, the regulations set forth by the New Zealand government provide a safe and secure online gambling experience for players. By enforcing strict regulations on online casinos, and holding operators accountable for their actions, players can enjoy the thrill of online gambling without worrying about potential harm.

Keeping NZ Players Safe Online

Safe online gambling is a top priority for both players and online casino operators. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Online casinos are incentivized to provide excellent service to their customers, as word of any misconduct or poor service can quickly spread among the gambling community and result in lost revenue.
  • The number of online casinos offering top-of-the-line services and instant withdrawals has grown exponentially in recent years, providing players with more options than ever before.
  • Complaints about rogue online casinos can be shared quickly on sites like, helping to protect players from potential scams.
  • The days of rogue casinos are largely behind us, and players can now feel more confident that the online casinos they choose to play at are safe and trustworthy.

Overall, the best way to ensure safe online gambling is to choose reputable online casinos with a strong track record of providing fair play and excellent service to their customers.

Recommended Legal Online Gambling Sites for New Zealanders

Looking for a legal online gambling site can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the online gambling world. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most recognized names in the industry that accept New Zealand players:

  • Jackpot City
  • Spin Palace
  • Betway Casino
  • Ruby Fortune
  • Gaming Club
  • 888 Casino
  • Casinoland
  • LeoVegas

Remember, always make sure to check that the online casino operates outside of New Zealand’s jurisdiction before depositing any real money. This way, you can ensure that you’re playing in a safe and legal environment. Happy gambling!

Last Updated: February 26, 2024