New Zealand is currently a burgeoning gambling market. Millions of residents take part in some form of gambling activity everyday, and the population of recreational gamblers has been growing rapidly over the course of the past few years. While the land-based gaming market is seeing a great deal of growth, so is the online casino market. However, the laws regulating online gambling in New Zealand can be quite complex, so here is a brief overview of legality of online gaming in the country
New Zealand’s online gambling laws are regulated under the Gambling Act 2003, along with all other forms of gambling in the country. Up until 2003, online gambling was not regulated by any laws, so the legislation is still quite new and residents believe there are still some kinks to work out.
According to the Act, remote interactive gambling is prohibited. This applies only to gambling that is organized or conducted within New Zealand. Offshore operators can face fines for offering their services to residents of the country, but few have been prosecuted by local authorities. Some local online gambling operators are able to offer their services online, including TabCorp, a gaming operator which has a near-monopoly on gambling in Australia and New Zealand.
The advertisement of offshore online casinos is also prohibited. Therefore, gambling companies which are not based in New Zealand may not advertise their services to residents. This includes sports sponsorships and television commercials, as well as in-print and online advertisements.
Recognizing that New Zealanders are keen to take part in online gambling, the government has decided to allow some forms of online wagering to take place. It has recently been decided that players would be allowed to play the local lottery online. NZ Lotto has launched its own online gambling website, so that players can purchase all sorts of lottery products online. The website also offers online bingo and keno, adding to the range of choices that players have when it comes to gambling legally online. NZ Lotto’s website is a huge step forward for the country’s online gambling market; however, residents would still like to have more choice when it comes to playing casino games online.
There are some exceptions to the rules, however. The New Zealand government has stated that some cases of online gambling that may be disputed. As such, the local gaming commission would have to assess these situations on a case-by-case basis to ensure that players and operators across the country are receiving fair and safe treatment in the online gaming world.