Offshore gambling operators have thrived for a number of years as they continued to target multiple markets across the world without having to pay any taxes or comply with gaming regulations as they were not officially licensed and subject to gaming regulations.
New Zealand has decided to implement new gaming regulations that will specifically address offshore gaming operators and cramp their freedom.
New Zealand is implementing a new regulatory regime via the Racing Reform Amendment Act of 2019. Offshore gambling operators will now have to pay fees if they provide gambling services to residents of New Zealand or if they are taking bets that involve New Zealand racing and sporting events.
Online gambling operators should have received a letter by now from the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand. This letter has all of the details of the Amendment Act which came into force from July 1, 2019. Now all offshore gambling operators will need to get permission from New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and agree to a betting information use agreement if they want to make use of any New Zealand betting information.
Offshore operators will be charged a small fee for this and will also be required to pay consumption charges for taking bets from New Zealand residents. The final amount of the charges that they are supposed to pay has not been determined yet. No agreements has been finalised as of now. However, the new regulations make it clear that non-compliance will have penalties and they will be outlined in the full set of regulations.
The DIA is currently drafting the regulations for all of the above and they are open for consultations. Some offshore operators were already negotiating with the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) before the implementation of the new rules but there has been no news on any agreements.
Most offshore operators who target New Zealand residents are a bit uneasy as they are not sure what to expect but they will have to remain patient and wait for the regulations to be published as it will bring more clarity to the market.
Consultation Paper Released
One of the things that New Zealand authorities will have to really clear up is how they plan to enforce the payment of fees and penalties. This issue was brought up during consultation, with the recommendation of not implementing the charges until it was cleared up. Further clarification will make things easier for both sides of the equation.
An additional consultation paper has been released asking for feedback on what regulations should be placed on the online gambling industry. The paper presents four different options that will require feedback that needs to be submitted before the end September.