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Everything you need to know about Casino law in NZ 2020

As casino laws go, New Zealand is not exactly straight-forward, and there are several pitfalls awaiting those who fail to read the rules.

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Although New Zealand is a relatively small nation, gambling is still a profitable business, and there is plenty of money to be made; however, the laws can seem quite complex when compared against the more rigid stances of many other nations. Before you can take advantage of the gambling opportunities on offer, there are a few things you’ll need to know.

Laws and Regulatory Agencies

Generally, gambling laws in New Zealand can be separated into four categories, ranging from low-stake games with a potential turnover of $500 or less, to high-stake games with top prizes exceeding $5000. That may sound simple, but these laws only apply to online gambling operations, leaving providers subject to a range of requirements in accordance with the bets at stake.

There are two major departments in New Zealand which play a part in regulating and managing gambling operations, but while the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is responsible for administering and ensuring compliance with gambling legislation and licenses, the Gambling Commission (GC) holds most of the cards.

Not only is the GC responsible for managing applications for casino operating licenses and all aspects of the license conditions, but it also receives and judges appeals against decisions made by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Land-Based Casinos

New Zealand has relatively few brick-and-mortar options for gambling enthusiasts, with only six venues currently in existence across the country, and as the 2003 Gambling Act prohibits the issuance of new venue licenses, the establishment of new casinos is unlikely. This rule is enforced by the GC, while the DIA issues certificates of approval for casino employees. Although online gambling alternatives are legal from the age of 18, physical venues across the country are open only to those aged 20 and older, but they still offer enough in the way of new and classic games to keep patrons interested.

Online Casinos

If you’re a fan of online pokies, NZ is a great place to be. While the Gambling Act rules against the establishment of patronage of domestic online providers, it remains perfectly legal to use providers based overseas, and many online casinos provide the option of processing transactions in New Zealand dollars.

The tax structure delivers added bonuses in this case in that gamblers avoid having to give a portion of their winnings to a governing authority. The trouble with the distinct lack of legislation around online gambling with overseas providers is that it renders the government and regulatory bodies unhelpful should gamblers run into problems.

For this and countless other reasons, it is paramount that each individual gambler examines the legitimacy, security and safety of online providers before placing their bets. Failing to do so can easily lead to a loss, either of finances or sensitive personal details.

Mobile Casinos

Apps are a popular alternative for those seeking the immediacy of a mobile casino with the added convenience of optimization for Android, Windows and iOS devices. Some of the most popular casino apps in New Zealand include Bet365 Casino, Leo Vegas Casino, and Mr. Green Casino, owing to the range of top-shelf games on offer. Before you go downloading any of these applications, keep in mind that mobile gambling apps are considered illegal in New Zealand unless authorized under the Gambling Act, so it’s important to do your research before logging on.

Gambling Online

Online casinos offer a quick and easy route to placing a bet, but New Zealand also allows several other forms of gambling over the internet. Betting on horse races is legal and regulated by The Racing Board, and the same goes for a range of other sports including soccer, basketball, tennis and surfing. The other major online alternative is MyLotto, the online gateway to a good old lottery ticket.

The Lotteries Commission of New Zealand runs the site, which also offers a range of classic pub games like Keno and Powerball. These forms of online gambling have enjoyed widespread popularity for many years, and although they’re technically considered external to casino laws, they are some of the least complex options for those concerned about navigating gambling in New Zealand.

As casino laws go, New Zealand is not exactly straight-forward, and there are several pitfalls awaiting those who fail to read the rules. Even so, it’s entirely possible to find an enjoyable gambling experience, either online or in one of the handful of remaining venues, without landing yourself in trouble.

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