Online gambling in New Zealand is an industry with fast growth. Gamblers in NZ spend millions of dollars playing their favorite casino games every year, and a big portion of this goes to online sites. Now, the gambling scene in NZ is still mostly land-based, but there are online forms that are legalized and regulated in the country. Unfortunately, online casino games aren’t in this picture just yet.
NZ online casinos are not yet regulated by state laws, but this doesn’t mean that players in the country can’t play casino games online. They need to do some research and choose offshore-licensed casino sites, preferably casinos that are approved to be safe and of high quality. To find trustworthy casinos that cater to NZ players, you can check the Wagering Advisors New Zealand casino review website. It contains all relevant details for top-rated casinos available in the country.
In this post, we’ll tell you all the information you need about online gambling in Australia, including what is legalized and how it’s regulated.
Laws for Gambling in New Zealand
New Zealand has one main law concerning gambling. This law is one of the strictest around, and while there’s been a lot of pushback to ease the regulations, this hasn’t happened yet. Despite the proven convenience of online casinos offering games like slots and poker, NZ laws still haven’t legalized casinos that operate within the country’s borders.
It all started in the 1920s when the first anti-gambling laws were set into place. The government at the time banned bookmaking and the only thing allowed was horse race betting. It wasn’t that long before they banned horse race betting, too (1961).
But, things changed significantly with The Racing Act of 2003. This act started allowing two forms of betting in NZ – race and sports betting. This was, however, only allowed when offered by the NZ Racing Board.
In 2020, the new Racing Industry Act confirmed that TAB New Zealand will be the sole racing and sports bet provider. The big change was that TAB is now allowed to create new products for betting, which made this industry slightly more liberal.
As for casinos, the act that regulates this industry today is the Gambling Act of 2003. Currently, there’s a total of 6 casinos in the country, the first of which has operated since 1994.
The list of casinos has been counting 6 for a very long time and at this point, there is no information that new casino venue licenses will be issued – or betting sites will be licensed, for that matter.
If you are at least 18 years of age, you can enjoy some forms of gambling in NZ. This includes:
- Playing the lottery
- Sports betting
- Horse race betting
- Scratch card betting
Is Online Gambling Illegal in NZ?
New Zealand hasn’t made it illegal to gamble online. The Gambling Act regulates all forms of gambling in the country, not outside of it, and it doesn’t prohibit adults from gambling at offshore casinos.
According to NZ laws, the legal age for gambling in the country is 18, but for casinos, it is 20. This applies if you want to visit their land-based casinos. For offshore casinos online, though, it depends on the casino and the licensing body’s requirements, which is either 18, 19, or 20 years of age.
Every gambling activity that goes against the Gambling Act is illegal. NZ will close and penalize any sites that operate without a license within its borders. As a NZ player, you can bet at sportsbooks and online casinos licensed by foreign regulatory bodies like the MGA or the UKGC.
Technically, there are just 2 companies that are now legally permitted to offer some forms of online gambling inside New Zealand – the NZ Lottery Commission and TAB. Beyond this, there are no other local gambling platforms.
Now, while Kiwis can gamble at offshore casinos, there are rules against advertising such services. You can find a good offshore casino but if you advertise their services, you risk paying a massive fine to your country.
On NZ local sites, more specifically the Lottery Commission website, you can only buy lottery tickets. TAB only offers horse race betting on the official website.
While the situation for online casino fans is not ideal in NZ at the moment, there are still plenty of options. The good news is here that online gambling is not illegal. And since you can legally play at offshore casinos, this opens up an array of options. You can now access some of the top online casinos in the world, licensed and secure, and play thousands of different games you won’t be finding at physical casinos.
Just make sure to be on the safe side and gamble only at trusted websites. Since these aren’t regulated in your country, you can’t complain about bad choices or experiences. Good luck playing!