Is online gambling legal in New Zealand?


New Zealand is a relatively small country with a small population, so it is not exactly a magnet for international casinos. The fact that gambling is legal nationwide helps, but the rules and regulations are regarded as prohibitive by many operators. Even so, there are sufficient international bookies and online casinos, as well as poker rooms and bingo parlours accepting players from this country.

A decade of legal gambling in New Zealand

The Gambling Act of 2003 represented an important milestone for gambling in New Zealand, as it legalized the activity nationwide. There are plenty of things that prospective bankers need to consider, including the fact that the legal age for gambling is 18 years old. People younger than this are strictly forbidden from gambling and operators risk heavy fines if they accept their business.

If you plan on gambling in a brick-and-mortar casino, you need to be at least 20 years old. Any other activities associated with gambling that are not regulated by the Act mentioned above are illegal. This is why so many people choose to gamble at offshore casinos that accept players from New Zealand. Given the low risk of fraud and the overall solid track record, international casinos are happy to allow New Zealanders to sign up for an account, apply for bonuses and play on their platforms.

Domestic gambling providers are restricted

The Lottery and TAB are the only ones allowed to offer legal gambling services to players from New Zealand. The ones who break the rules and provide similar services outside of the law are in danger of serious legal consequences. Players have less to worry about because the laws are aimed at restricting the business of operators that don’t abide by the law. There are little to no consequences for the players themselves, and that’s why people don’t feel like taking serious chances.

The Gambling Act 2003 Remains a key component in the gambling regulatory framework and it was amended many times since 2003. Racing for example is governed by a different act, but some exceptions are worth mentioning. New Zealanders are split when it comes to gambling and the same goes for the ones governing the country. The fact that the Gambling Act changed very little for nearly a decade, highlights the commitment to maintaining stability and predictability.

The New Zealand Lottery Commission is the only licensed provider in New Zealand of online casino games. Local players who want to spin the reels of slots, online roulette or pokies as they are called in New Zealand are expected to sign up for an account at a licensed operator. Having said this, many players prefer offshore platforms, because the bonuses are bigger and the selection of games more diverse.

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