Online Gaming Laws in New Zealand: A Detailed Overview | 2022
Online gambling has become a lucrative market over the years. Improving internet penetration rates means that nowadays, even people living in the most remote parts of the world can access gambling facilities without physically moving from their homes. Moreover, we are no longer restricted to using casinos located in our local area or country.
These days, you’ll find casino operators from across the globe vying for business regardless of where they may be based. National borders are now less of an obstacle when it comes to accessing the best gambling portals in the industry. With that being said, however, although such providers might seem somewhat similar on the surface, the regulations and laws governing these operators differ quite markedly.
With so many businesses looking to take advantage of opportunities in this emerging sector, it’s important for gamblers to have some knowledge of the online gambling laws in their country. If you’re based in New Zealand, this article is for you. We’ll break down New Zealand’s stance on online gambling laws so you know where you stand the next time you take a flutter.
Let’s start with the obvious. The Gambling Act of 2003 governs casinos and gambling activities in New Zealand. Whether you want to buy a lottery ticket, participate in sports betting or have a day at horse races, you must be 18 years old. However, to join a land-based casino in New Zealand, you need to be at least 20.
It’s worth noting that as a gambling activity that falls outside the authority of the Gambling Act 2003, online casinos are, in fact, illegal in New Zealand. So much so, certain New Zealanders are banned from utilizing domestic online gambling operators other than the Lottery and TAB.
However, Kiwis can play at gambling sites, online casinos and sportsbooks offered by companies based in other countries without the risk of being in contravention of any local regulations.
When it comes to online gambling and gambling in general, it’s worth noting that the motivation with regard to regulating gambling in New Zealand is aimed at penalizing businesses that partake in such activities rather than the gamblers themselves. As a result, you’ll find that the laws aren’t actually all that restrictive for punters.
Legal Online Gambling Options in New Zealand
Technically speaking, only two companies, the New Zealand Lottery Commission and TAB, are permitted to offer internet gaming services to clients based in New Zealand. Beyond this, New Zealand’s online gambling laws prohibit the use of local gambling platforms. Basically, if the casino only exists online, it can’t provide online casino games, sports betting or pokies.
However, all is not lost for Kiwis looking forward to getting their gambling fix, as New Zealand citizens are still allowed to access offshore casinos. While New Zealand actually welcomes offshore gambling, there are strict rules when it comes to advertising these services, whereby those who do so, risk massive fines of up to $10,000 per infraction.
This doesn’t stop a New Zealand citizen from finding a suitable offshore casino on their own steam. You just need to know where to look. The fact is, there are so many online casinos to choose from that it’s almost mind-boggling where to begin your search! But, you’d be happy to find out that NZCasinoClub.com features some of the best pokies around – all being offered by top-tier operators in the industry. And, most importantly, ones that are licensed and regulated.
The Motivation Behind This Approach
The reason why only two state-owned institutions monopolize the major part of New Zealand’s gambling sector is that these organizations are easy to monitor and, as such, are expected to return a share of their income to the country.
From community engagement and social development to health and wellness initiatives, there are several ways that gaming institutions in New Zealand make a tangible contribution to the local communities. One of the most impactful ways they give back to society is by finding measures to prevent and control the implications of problem gambling by investing part of their revenue into programs designed to educate the community on the subject.
Responsible Gambling In New Zealand
It’s evident that within the domestic sphere, the New Zealand authorities acknowledge that gambling is a fun pastime with lucrative income-generation potential. However, by placing certain restrictions on who can offer these services, the government has found a middle ground whereby they’re able to monitor the activity of such entities and ensure they return part of their profits into the economy so it can benefit local people.
Moreover, there is an acknowledgement that gambling brings with it inherent risks, and problem gambling is most certainly something that needs to be addressed. Furthermore, gambling organizations need to be incorporated as part of the solution.
When it comes to safeguarding Kiwi gamblers playing at offshore casinos, things do become a little more complex as these portals fall outside New Zealand’s jurisdiction. That said, all legitimate online casinos have to follow guidelines set by the licensing authority in their home country. Part of this means ensuring that certain safeguards are in place to protect gamblers.
From ensuring that data is encrypted in such a way to protect the consumers’ private financial data and personal information isn’t leaked, to having the option of placing a block on a profile to ensure the prevention of gambling harm. Then there’s also the issue of obtaining a license, where gambling portals would be required to adhere to a series of strict standards.
The Final World
Legislating the untamed and complex world of online gambling is no simple feat. Governments across the world want to see the potential in the revenue-generating capacity of the industry but allowing operators to carry out their activities without stringent guidelines is hugely problematic.
At the end of the day, the implications of problem gambling extend beyond the individual gambler to their family, local community and the country as a whole. For this reason, it’s understandable why the New Zealand government has seen the need to regulate the domestic gambling market.
The fact that New Zealanders can continue to play at offshore platforms also presents some issues of its own, as the government has less power when it comes to protecting their citizens. Therefore, punters must also take responsibility and look to engage only with gaming portals that carry the correct license and offer the right safeguards.