It’s no secret that gambling is a big part of New Zealand culture. Online casinos have revolutionized the way people gamble. The game rules in New Zealand are pretty straightforward, unlike in other countries. The Gambling Act of 2003 defines legal and illegal gambling forms.
As long as the operator is not headquartered in the country, it is perfectly legal to gamble online. New Zealanders can participate in a variety of gambling activities. Playing at a reliable casino, such as an online casino in New Zealand, will protect you from fraud and other unpleasant events resulting from working with unscrupulous operators.
History of Gambling Legislation in New Zealand
Gambling, betting on sports, and horse racing, have a long and varied history in New Zealand. The first laws date back to the first half of the nineteenth century; the local gambling industry was strictly regulated before it was even introduced in other countries.
New Zealand’s Gambling Laws
The law regulating New Zealand’s gambling business was adopted in 2003. It was assumed to replace the 1977 and 1990 regulations. It is updated regularly.
The purposes of the Act are as follows:
- Controlling the gambling industry and minimizing harm from gambling;
- To formulate a list of permitted gambling activities;
- Promoting responsible gambling;
- Ensuring the fairness and justice of gambling;
- Preventing gambling offenses;
- Involving the community in gambling decisions.
Under the current regulations, licenses are no longer issued to allow land-based casinos in New Zealand. However, existing permits may be renewed. In addition, New Zealand operators cannot provide players services during the national religious holidays. Otherwise, the casino administration can expect a fine of 10,000 NZD.
People must be 18 years old to participate in lotteries, and the minimum age for casino visitors is 20. In New Zealand, there is a mechanism for problem gamblers’ self-identification. If a gambler realizes that gambling is causing him significant harm, he has the opportunity to request a ban from visiting the casino.
According to a law adopted in 2003, types of gambling are divided into four classes:
- Games with possible winnings and a potential turnover of no more than 500 NZD, without the use of machines;
- Similar games with potential winnings and a turnover of no more than NZD 5,000;
- Games without the use of devices with winnings and a turnover of more than 5,000 NZD;
- Slot machines.
Only Class 3 and 4 games are subject to licensing. There is a different type of licenses for each with the appropriate requirements.
Licensing of 3rd class games
Most casino games fall under this category. To obtain this license, an application is submitted, to which are attached:
- Information about the games, their list, and rules;
- Information about planned winnings;
- Address and other contact information of the operator.
When registering, the operator may be required to attach documentation that will attest to the solvency and positive credit history, the absence of criminal convictions of the founders, etc. After the expiration date, the license may be extended, provided its holders have not violated the rules.
Licensing of 4th class games
The licensing procedure is similar to that for 3rd class games. When applying, the licensee must attach a description of their experience in gambling, as well as inform the regulatory authorities of how they plan to assist in combating gambling addiction. There are separate procedures for licensing casinos and lotteries, but as mentioned earlier, no new permits are currently being issued.
Solving legal issues related to gambling in New Zealand is the responsibility of the New Zealand Gambling Commission. This special authority was established in 2003, simultaneously with the adoption of the relevant law. The head of the commission is Graeme Reeves.
The regulator closely cooperates with the Ministry of Health (New Zealand Ministry of Health). There is monitoring and statistics on the spread of gambling addiction, and measures to minimize the damage from gambling are taken. All licensed operators are obliged to assist in these tasks. In addition, compliance with existing legislation in the field of gambling is monitored by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of New Zealand (Department of Internal Affairs).
Online casinos in New Zealand
The current law prohibits organizing the activities of sites that provide the opportunity to play gambling remotely. However, this does not mean a total ban on online casinos in New Zealand. The authorities in no way limit the access of players to foreign sites. The most popular resources dedicated to gambling among New Zealand players are 365bet.com and the best $10 deposit bonus NZ. The international bookmaker receives about 20% of all traffic in this thematic segment. Second place is the national lottery Mylotto.co.nz, and third place is the totalizator Tab.co.nz.
Poker fans from New Zealand prefer to play on Pokerstars.com, and the most popular resource among bingo fans of bingo is Bingocabin.com.
Prospects for the development of the gambling business in New Zealand
The gambling market in New Zealand is formed and stable. Due to the restriction on the issuance of new licenses, there is no talk about a possible revival in the segment of land-based gambling. Operators who have permits at the moment fully meet the current needs of New Zealand players. The authorities are trying to streamline the activities of online casinos. In particular, foreign bookmakers plan to introduce a tax of 2% of profits from the New Zealand players.
New Zealand is characterized by a well-developed legislative framework in gambling, which is player-friendly and considers their interests as much as possible. As a result, the country has found a reasonable compromise between fighting against gambling addiction and creating comfortable conditions for gamblers.