Mr Porter UK
The Ultimate Guide To Casino Gambling In New Zealand

Gambling has been around in New Zealand for centuries.  While there have been times of strict regulation, today it is legal to participate in a number of different forms of gambling which are regulated by the Department of Internal Affairs.  This gambling includes horse racing, sports gambling, mobile slot machines, lotteries and online casinos which are based outside of New Zealand’s borders.  However, there is still a lot of information that any gambler will need to know.

Gambling has a long history in New Zealand with documentation dating back to the 1830s when betting was primarily done on horse racing.  Even with the isolated location of the island, George Julius, a New Zealand resident, made a huge impact on the gambling and sports world which can still be felt today.  This came about in 1913 when he invented the automatic totalisator or tote board.  This is the machine in the infield of race tracks that let all of the fans see which horse is in which position during the race.

While there have been long periods of prohibition where all forms of gambling were illegal, this industry now has a total expenditure of $NZ 2 million each year.  Pokies make up 35% of this total with casinos coming in second at 26%.  Lotteries account for 21% while sports betting for 18%.  All of the public gaming entities in the country will have to donate a portion of their profits to betting the community and there are now 6 land-based casinos.  The law states that New Zealanders are able to legally play at an online casino if they are not actually based in New Zealand.

What Were The First Gambling Laws That Were Passed?

In the 1920s, bookmaking was prohibited in New Zealand and betting on horses was only allowed at the track until 1961.  The regulations regarding other forms of gambling were also stringent until the 1980s when casinos and lottery games were approved by Parliament.  Pokies or slot machines were legalized after this along with casinos which led to the first one opening in the country in 1994.

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What Are The Laws For Modern Day Gambling In New Zealand?

The Gambling Act 1003 states that all gambling is prohibited unless it has been authorized by the government.  There are 4 classes that gambling has been categorized into with each of them requiring a special license from the government to legally operate.  The turnovers and maximum prize money allowed will vary depending on the class.  In order to enter a casino, the player will need to be at least 20 years old, but sports betting can be done at 18 years old.

There are still gambling-related activities which are prohibited including bookmaking and remote interactive gambling.  However, the law only states that it is illegal for players to gamble at online casinos which are based in New Zealand.  If the online casino is based outside of the country, players of any age are allowed, but advertising from overseas gambling operators in the country is banned.

Who Regulates The New Zealand Gaming Industry?

The Gambling Commission is in charge of regulating the gambling industry in New Zealand.  This commission is part of the Department of Internal Affairs.  The Commission, which was created in 2003, will provide licenses for casinos, specifies the conditions for licensing and approves the agreements between casino venue license holders and casino operators.

New Zealand Player Information

If any New Zealander wants to gamble online, they should not fear government repercussions as long as the casino they choose is not based within the borders of the country.  The New Zealand Dollar is not accepted in many online casinos when compared to other currencies, there are still make high-quality online options available.

If you want to gamble with a New Zealand-based operator, you will be limited to gaming machines such as slot machines.  You will also be able to take part in lottery games, racing and sports betting as well as gambling at one of the 6 physical casinos in the country.

How Many New Zealanders Regularly Gamble?

It has been estimated that 80% of New Zealanders gamble in some manner.  Many of these people will be playing lottery games only.  In 2013, $NZ 2 billion was spent by players on outside gaming machines, sports betting, live Kiwi casinos and lotteries.  Since 2004 there has been an overall drop of approximately 19%, but the total spent on lottery games has increased by 22% over the last decade.

Can International Casino Sites Be Used By New Zealanders?

The gaming regulations in New Zealand might seem to be very strict at first, but they are actually focused on shutting down any operators based in the country who do not have the correct licenses.  The law clearly states that if a player is old enough, there are no regulations which stop them from using online casinos which are based outside of the country.  This means that all the top casino games can be enjoyed any time that you want.

Can You Legally Deposit And Withdraw Money With An Online Casino?

It is completely legal to deposit and withdraw real money from an international online casino.  The problem will come if the operator is based in New Zealand.  A lot of the top online casinos will now accept NZD as a payment currency.

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Do You Have To Pay Tax On Winnings?

If you are playing with an international online casino, you will not have to pay tax on your winnings. This means that you keep 100% of your winnings and will not be subject to income tax.

Do Online Casinos Offer Play In NZD?

There are a number of top online casinos which do allow players to play in NZD.  You will be able to deposit in the currency, play in the currency and withdraw in the currency.  All of the transactions will be shown in this currency.

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