Online Gambling New Zealand – Best Legal Real Money NZ Gambling sites

Online Gambling New ZealandGambling has been present almost everywhere in the world since the beginning of time.

While it didn’t have a form that it has today, people had a lot of time to come up with different ways to gamble simply for the sake of having fun and prevailing over another person.

New Zealand, in particular, is a beautiful country that has a lot to offer to both tourists and residents.

Consequently, it was just a matter of time when New Zealand will include gambling activities into its front lines and use casinos as the means of giving people another way to have fun and also generating revenue.

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The History of Gambling in New Zealand

As it usually goes with the colonized countries, gambling in New Zealand dates back to the day the first colonists set their foot on the island. They brought along their customs, ceremonies, beliefs, and games they used to play to keep them occupied while they build a new world.

After the colonists settled, the story of gambling unfolded with the first chapter assigning the leading role to horses. Horse race betting was the primary type of gambling which New Zealand had in common with the first neighbor, Australia. The first official bets on horses happened in 1835 during an organized horse race at Bay Islands.

Horse-racing was primarily considered to be an excellent way for people to spend their free time and possibly make some money at the same time. Races were exciting enough on their own, but betting on horses was the hidden reason why people started getting more attracted to them.

In 1910, when the authorities find out the fact that betting took its toll on the New Zealand population, they banned many bookmakers accusing them of controlling the horse-race betting operations.

Forty years later, TAB was founded, which gave people a chance to place a bet on horse-racing again.

The next move forward in terms of gambling happened in the 1980s with the appearance of the first lottery. The initial way of organizing lottery was a weekly lotto which gathered a lot of people. This inspired the Lottery Commission of New Zealand to put together the new framework for regulating the lotteries in 1987.

From this moment on, lotteries started flourishing among the Kiwis to a great extent. This resulted in the increased number of sold lottery tickets, as well as the incredibly popular scratch cards.

The statistics from that period show that in the mid-2000s, more than 65% of New Zealanders participated in lotteries. It could even be described as a lottery fever, as the draws were broadcasted on television and broke all the spectating records.

Another trendy way of gambling had a form of a fruit machine, or “pokies” if you ask Australians. They were first shipped to New Zealand in 1987 and quickly became the most favorite toys for the Kiwis.

In the beginning, the pokies could only be found at specific venues, but shortly after they had been spotted, they started to round up a considerable number of people who were enchanted by the modern way of gambling which doesn’t require any particular skill or knowledge.

The official entrance of pokies into New Zealand society had happened in 1991, after which they became legal in the whole country. Until today, their popularity remained the same, except now they are getting replaced by the new type of video slot machines.

Finally, in 1994, the first casino under the name “Christchurch” was opened in New Zealand. Apart from legal gambling, it also offered great food and drinks, so that anyone who enters the casino feels at home.

At first, casinos consisted of slot machines and live tables, but recently they have started following the pattern set by some of the most modern casinos in the world and upgraded the whole system which relies mostly on technological advancement.

How Is Gambling Regulated in New Zealand?

The institution responsible for keeping gambling in New Zealand under control is predominantly the Department of Internal Affairs. Additionally, other casino and non-casino gambling services got a piece of the gambling world to regulate so that everything would be smooth.

The government of New Zealand divided this huge market into smaller units and assigned different authorities to regulate them. For example, there is a casino inspectorate that regulates all casino activities. Another institution is the Gambling Group that is taking care of all non-casino activities.

These institutions are there to investigate and audit the activities in their particular area of expertise, provide licenses to non-casino operators and certificates of approval to the casinos.

Moreover, New Zealand went quite far to make everyone happy when it comes to gambling. Apart from these highest levels of control and security, other regulatory agencies got to share responsibility for different gambling aspects and its legislation.

Here is the list of the central regulatory bodies and the roles they have in New Zealand’s gambling operations:

The Department of Internal Affairs administers gambling legislation licenses gambling activities (except for casino gambling) ensures compliance with the legislation provides public information and education.

The Gambling Commission considers and determines applications for casino operators’ licenses and the renewal of casino venue licenses approves agreements and changes to agreements between casino operators and casino venue license holders considers and deals with complaints about the way the Department of Internal Affairs has handled complaints in relation to Class 4 gambling specifies, varies and revokes casino license conditions advises Ministers and facilitates consultation on the setting of the problem gambling levy considers and determines appeals against regulatory and licensing decisions made by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The Ministry of Health funds and coordinates problem gambling services has recently finalized its Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm, three-year Service Plan 2011-2013, and its six-year Strategic Plan 2011-2016.

New Zealand Gambling Laws and Acts

Like their neighboring country, Australia, New Zealand is a relatively new country; therefore, gambling legislation changed rapidly. They currently have one act under which gambling is regulated, but before I tell you more about it, let’s see the list of the laws and acts that marked New Zealand’s gambling history.

1977The Gaming and Lotteries Act
1981The Boxing and Wrestling Act
1990The Casino Control Act
2003The Racing Act
2003 — The Gambling Act
2005The Gambling Amendment Act
2015The Gambling Amendment Act and the Gambling Amendment Act (No 2)

The Gambling Act 2003

The most important piece of the gambling puzzle in New Zealand is the Gambling Act 2003. The purpose of the Gambling Act 2003 was to gather most of the gambling rules and regulations under one roof. That’s why the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1988 and the Casino Control Act 1990 were united under this new act in 2003. The only part left was racing, which still falls under the regulations of the Racing Act 2003 with some exceptions.

The core idea behind the Gambling Act 2003 was to focus mainly on the benefits of gambling for the country of New Zealand and its people, as well as to ensure that the harmful effects of gambling are reduced to the minimum.

According to the Department of Internal Affairs, the Gambling Act 2003 intends to:

  • Control the growth of gambling
  • Prevent and minimize the harm caused by gambling including problem gambling
  • Authorize some gambling and prohibit the rest
  • Facilitate responsible gambling
  • Ensure the fairness and integrity of games
  • Limit opportunities for crime and dishonesty associated with gambling
  • Ensure that money from gambling benefits the community
  • Facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of gambling

After 2003, a few more gambling amendment acts were passed, but they only changed the minor things regarding gambling legislation, while all the crucial points of the Gambling Act 2003 remained unchanged.

Online Gambling in New Zealand

The most frequently asked question that bothers anyone who desires to play any online gambling games is whether the activity itself is legal or not. That’s why the first thing to be clarified is that you as a punter don’t need to worry about participating in online gambling in New Zealand, but you do have to choose offshore sites when doing so.

To be precise, online gambling in New Zealand is controlled by the Gambling Act 2003 in which it is referred to as the Remote Interactive Gambling. According to the definition by the Department of Internal Affairs, remote interactive gambling is

gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device

In other words, if you use a computer, tablet, phone, radio, or any other communication device to deposit money which will allow you to play a game and win a prize, you are illegally gambling online according to the laws of New Zealand. Moreover, New Zealand doesn’t even offer the possibility to get a gambling license for starting a business with an online casino, and that’s why you cannot find any there.

However, it is not illegal for a person from New Zealand to participate in online gambling offered by providers based overseas, and again, I will cite the information shared by the official regulating body for gambling in New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs:

The prohibition is on remote interactive gambling in New Zealand and therefore does not prohibit gambling conducted overseas. For example, it is not illegal for someone in New Zealand to participate in gambling over the Internet if that website is based overseas. However, you should be aware of the dangers such gambling can involve.

After the given explanation, there are certainly no doubts about what you as a punter can or cannot do. Until New Zealand authorities decide to make some changes to their existing gambling laws and acts, you can enjoy online gambling at any reputable offshore websites you can find.

Conclusion

The final thought on gambling laws in New Zealand is that the country’s authorities really did a great job and regulated the market well. Another great thing is that you can find all the information on the official website of the Department of Internal Affairs in case you have any doubt that needs to be clarified. They even have a list of frequently asked questions, which is an easy way to find out everything about gambling in New Zealand in no time.

When it comes to online gambling, it is clear that there are no legal operators based in New Zealand, as this is considered illegal. However, no one can stop or punish you for having fun at gambling sites based outside New Zealand. The only thing to have in mind is to carefully choose a provider of gambling services and stick to the reputable names in order to avoid any issues.

David Nugent

David Nugent Editor

First off, I want to say hi and wish a warm welcome to all gambling aficionados out there! My name is David Nugent and I am the owner and editor-in-chief of LegalGamblingAndTheLaw.com. I have always enjoyed various sports, primarily soccer, as I am a die-hard Everton fan.

Over time, I learned more about sports betting and discovered the fascinating online...