How Casinos In New Zealand Are Legalized
Are you a New Zealander with a fondness for gambling? While you might know that gambling has been legal in the country since 1835, there’s quite a bit of fine print you need to be aware of, especially if you’re looking to play at online casinos in New Zealand.
It’s a well-known fact that the Kiwis are quite the gambling fans. However, it is essential to ensure that all your gambling activities are well within the limits of the Gambling Act 2003 and the amendments that were introduced recently in 2020.
This post will give you adequate information on the Legal NZ online casinos, what makes a casino legal to play at, and many more.
What Makes a Casino Legalized and Safe to Play?
It’s simple. Suppose a casino strictly follows the guidelines mentioned in the Gambling Act 2003 and conducts its activities accordingly. In that case, you can count it amongst the safe casinos to play at New Zealand. So, what exactly does the Act mandate?
To begin with, according to the 2003 Act, only the following gambling activities are legal in New Zealand: lottery operated by the Lotto NZ, bingo, traditional casino games like poker, video pokie machines, scratch cards, and instant games.
While betting on sports is also legal, it does not fall under the purview of the 2003 Gambling Act. Instead, the sports betting activities are governed by the Racing Act – also established in 2003.
Further, the Gambling Act places limits on the prize money and turnovers in an attempt to minimize the damage inflicted upon a player in the event of a loss. You’ll find that the Act comprises of three divisions:
- Class I – All gambling activities in this category cannot offer a prize whose value exceeds $500. Additionally, this is the only tier that allows individuals to conduct activities independently.
- Class II – Meant for societies, the prize value can range between $500 and $5000. However, the turnovers cannot be greater than $25000.
- Class III – The gambling activities in this tier are permitted to allow prizes up to $5000, making it slightly more lucrative. Only companies can engage in and conduct Class III activities, provided they have a licence authorizing them.
- Class IV – Commercial gambling involving pokie slot machines fall under this tier. Again, only licenced companies are allowed to conduct these activities.
It would help to remember that Class II gambling activities are usually associated with social purposes. For instance, it is very common for the prize money to be donated to charities and social service societies.
The Online Casino Market in New Zealand
Legalized online casinos are few and far in New Zealand, courtesy of the Gambling Act of 2003. The Act prohibits ‘remote interactive gambling’, which can be understood as gambling that a person indulges in via a communication device – thereby classing all online casinos under the category.
Thus, in theory, there are no online casinos in New Zealand. If this news is a dark cloud, there is a silver lining. The Gambling Act does not prohibit the citizens of New Zealand from placing bets and playing at online casinos based out of other countries – as long as they are not advertised openly in the country.
So, if you are the owner of a gambling site in Australia, you cannot advertise it in New Zealand.
Consequently, over the years, a massive number of New Zealanders have flocked to online casinos overseas, with statistics showing that a massive $381 million has been splurged on them.
In light of the recent trends, New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs has a slew of gambling reforms in the pipeline, intending to introduce new, homegrown online gambling products and services to the people.
In line with the same, there are two Legal NZ online casinos – Lotto and TAB. But, you can expect more providers to burst into the scene soon enough.
How New Zealand Legal Casinos are Prepping Themselves
To further the country’s thriving gambling scene, the brick-and-mortar and Legal NZ online casinos are doing everything they can to hold their end of the bargain:
- They obtain a licence from the Gambling Regulatory Authority of New Zealand.
- They only allow people aged 20 and above to place bets and play at the casinos.
- You might sometimes come across a few casinos offering free casino games you can play to get a taste of the real ones. You don’t have to pledge any money for such games.
- Most casinos are expanding their roster by including a variety of games. To top it off, there are many bonuses available as well.
Answered – The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In this section, you’ll find answers to some of the questions that get asked regarding online casinos in New Zealand, gambling and sports betting in the country, and more:
1. What are the laws around online sports betting in New Zealand?
Answer: As mentioned earlier, all sports betting activities fall under the purview of the 2003 Racing Act. Under this act, online sports betting activities are permitted even within New Zealand.
2. What are some of the offshore Legalized online casinos that accept New Zealanders?
Answer: There are many that you can choose from, depending on what they have to offer. Listed below are some of the crowd-favourites worth checking out:
- Galaxyno Casino
- Spin Casino
- Gate 777
- Casino Planet
- Jackpot City Casino
Before picking an online casino to place bets at, ensure that it is affiliated with the authorized gambling commission of the country, it is based out of. Also, the rules and regulations might vary with governments, so make it a point to abide by them to stay out of legal troubles.
This post was all about gambling and the New Zealand legal casinos. We started by giving you a brief overview and followed it up by providing you with a detailed breakdown of the various dos and don’ts decreed by the 2003 Gambling Act and the Racing Act.
Further, we gave you a glimpse of the online casino market in the country and what the future looks like. We concluded by talking about the initiatives that the safe casinos to play at New Zealand are taking to keep the scene thriving.
Our FAQs sections answered a few important questions, just in case you might have them too.