Online Gambling in New Zealand is on the Rise

3 weeks ago
Online Gambling in New Zealand is on the Rise
09:15
12 Jul

Gambling is growing in popularity worldwide, and New Zealand hasn’t been left behind. Most countries have been introducing laws to regulate online gambling, but not New Zealand. The country has introduced gambling laws that have legalised online lottery games and sports betting. While the country hasn’t legalised online casino gaming, it is surprising that people are free to bet online. 

How is this possible? The answer to that question trickles down to the New Zealand gambling laws, and their loopholes. Even better, players can easily gauge the trustworthiness of these sites by doing a simple search online. For instance, they only need to go to CasinoReviews for a list of the best online casinos in New Zealand.


About New Zealand’s Gambling Laws

New Zealand gambling laws were first introduced in 2003. The Gambling act gave the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) and the New Zealand Lottery Commission (NZLC) authority over regulating the gambling industry. Any sports book or online lottery that is affiliated with the NZRB and the NZLC is considered legal.

The law clearly outlines that New Zealand operators aren’t allowed to offer players in the country online casino games. However, it leaves remote gambling operators and offshore casinos unmentioned. Such entities are outside the jurisdiction of the NZRB and the NZLC, as well as the gambling commission and the Department of Internal Affairs. 

The laws do permit land-based gambling. In fact, New Zealand has a couple of casinos offering casino games, though they aren’t allowed to offer remote gambling opportunities. It is also worth noting that online bingo games and online poker are illegal in the country. 

In spite of the inflexibilities of these laws, New Zealanders prefer betting on games online. Since the law has loopholes that support the services offered by offshore operators, New Zealanders frequent these foreign casinos. 


An Overview of New Zealand Offshore Casinos

Offshore operators have taken full advantage of this loophole in New Zealand’s Gambling Act. They often offer features that attract players from the Pacific island nation. For instance, you can find the New Zealand dollar (NZD) offered as a currency option by most casinos. Some choose to also offer other New Zealand-friendly payment methods. Customer support is often offered through the country’s toll-free numbers.

While it is technically illegal to play online casinos in New Zealand, the government can do little to stop people from doing so without changing the law. It had promised to fine operators who cater to the country’s citizens. However, there hasn’t been any evidence of the threats turning into reality. 

Naturally, this paves the way to New Zealanders to have a variety of online betting options at their disposal. The fact that there is little regulation targeted to offshore operators means that New Zealanders have access to both good and bad sites. Suing the bad sites would be an uphill battle. 


Tax Laws are in the Favour of New Zealanders

The New Zealand tax laws touch the operators than for the players. If someone will only be playing in the country, and not hosting the games, they won’t be taxed for their wins. The Inland Revenue Department’s tax code does mention the presence of gambling taxes, but these are only targeted at operators and owners.

Just like in Britain and Commonwealth countries, New Zealand doesn’t classify any cash generated from gambling as income. However, professional gamblers, who have no other income sources, are required to pay income tax from their wins. This law comes with a few issues, since a gambler can easily deduct their losses from income tax. For casual gamblers who don’t want to make a business out of the activity, paying tax won’t be an issue.


Picking the Ideal Gambling Sites

Since the choices of online gambling sites are borderline limitless for New Zealanders, it might be tough to choose the ideal one. Furthermore, these diverse options often include some questionable casinos. With the right checklist, it can be easy to single out the worthy sites:

Security and Safety

The ideal site should hold the security of the player’s data as a priority. Naturally, working with gambling sites that have licenses from reputable jurisdictions will do the trick. For instance, the Malta Gaming Authority and UK Gambling Commission have strict security guidelines for any operator they license.

Available Payment Methods

Operators that offer payment methods that are popular in New Zealand are the most convenient to work with. Players should look out for payment options like PayPal and POLi. 

Local Customer Support

The best option for New Zealand players would be casinos that offer support and assistance through the local languages. Ideally, the support options should be both fast and free. Customer support should be available during suitable times of the day. 

A Site with a Proven Pedigree

Lastly, the ideal site should have a great record of offering their services to New Zealanders. A simple search online for the review of a casino will offer you enough insights. Also, players should look out for any awards, accreditations or approvals that the casino holds.

The legal atmosphere in New Zealand supports the growth of online gambling. However, these regulations could change in the near future. As long as the situation remains the same, any New Zealander interested in gambling should exercise their due diligence when picking a casino.


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Writer and semi-retired poker pro from Edinburgh (UK).Read more

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