New Zealand Gambling

New Zealand Gambling Laws Explained


Online gambling is all the rage, but before you can start playing at any online casino, you need to know the laws that govern casinos and gambling in your location. 

While many larger countries, like the United States of America, have well-known and easily accessible explanations of their rules and regulations readily available across the internet, other countries can be a bit harder to find easily understandable explanations for. 

That is why we have put together this helpful guide to how gambling works in New Zealand. Did you know that in New Zealand you can get $1 Deposit Casinos?.

Below, we will cover everything you need to know about New Zealand gambling regulations, from what they are to what sorts of gambling you can access as a player based in NZ. Read on below to find out everything you need to know about online gambling regulations in NZ.

Is Online Gambling Legal in New Zealand?

Essentially, yes, online gambling is legal in New Zealand. It is a bit more complicated than a simple yes, however. The Gambling Act of 2003 and its subsequent revisions control all gaming in New Zealand. 

Individuals must be at least 18 years old to play the Lottery, acquire Scratch Cards, or wager on sports and horse racing. Gambling varieties that are not covered by the Gambling Act of 2003 are regarded as unlawful and forbidden. We will go over that full list below.

While no internet casinos are permitted to operate from a base in New Zealand, international-based online casinos are theoretically lawful. 

This means that local players can select any online casino that takes New Zealand registrations, such as Big Win NZ, even if the gambling firms in question are not authorized by the New Zealand Gambling Commission. 

So, if you are in New Zealand, you can play at an online casino, but you can’t open your own online casino.

Who Controls Gambling Laws in New Zealand?

There are several different boards governing gambling laws in New Zealand, including the New Zealand Gambling Commission, Parliament, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Development, and many more besides. 

It is a much more complex legislative environment than most other countries, with far more specific and focused oversight groups involved in the legislative process.

While some are more significant than others, minor regulators have some jurisdiction and influence in the design and implementation of gambling laws in New Zealand. 

Some organizations are specifically assigned to just monitor and record the good and bad impacts of gambling in New Zealand society; these are important departments since their input informs future legislative choices.

Types of Legal Gambling in New Zealand

New Zealand law classifies gambling games into four different classes, each governed by different laws and regulations. Let’s take a look at each of the classes of gambling games.

Class 1

Housie, Betting Pools, Poker Tournaments, and other forms of gambling (except Gaming Machines) do not require a license as long as the house collects no rake and the prizes and turnover do not exceed $500 NZD.

Class 2 

There is no need for a license for class 2 games. A society, charity, organization, or company is usually in charge of these. Proceeds must be used for an authorized purpose. 

In general, these games are raffle-like and can include Lotteries, Games of Chance, Prize Competitions, and Instant Games. Prizes for class 2 games cannot exceed $5,000, and the potential turnover in a single session cannot exceed $25,000.

Class 3

A license is necessary, and the establishment can only be managed by a society or, in the case of regular gambling, by a corporate entity. Money must be raised for an approved cause. Prizes for class 3 games must surpass $5,000; lower prize levels tend to be classified as class 2 instead.

Housie, larger-scale lotteries, instant games, and casino games are examples of Class 3 games.  Class 3 games cannot directly or indirectly include a gaming machine. 

Before mandating the possession of a license, the Department of Internal Affairs will review the financial sustainability, cost minimization, and maximum communal advantages of the setup.

Class 4

Class 4 gambling includes any kind of gambling that involves the use of a gaming machine outside of a physical brick-and-mortar casino. Class 4 game operators must be a corporate entity that intends to collect funds for authorized use.

What Is the Gambling Act 2003?

The Gambling Act of 2003, like the rest of the world’s gambling legislation, controls numerous types of contemporary gambling. The Gambling Act (formerly known as the Gambling Bill) is New Zealand’s primary gambling law.

The legislation focuses on the communal advantages of gambling as well as minimizing any harm that gaming may create. 

The government mostly controls it by keeping real-money gambling games in casinos. All such events performed outside of licensed premises must be for charity or Class 2 gaming objectives.

Furthermore, the New Zealand Gambling Act of 2003 regulates the expansion of gambling operations by issuing licenses. The statute also specifies the authorized and prohibited gambling games, as well as the conditions for fairness. 

This reduces the potential for gambling-related crimes. Another provision of the law requires that a portion of the proceeds from gambling be used to benefit the community.

The Gambling Act was updated in 2015, 2016, and 2019, and a small number of further modifications are currently being considered. The Gambling Act now governs the activities of New Zealand internet casinos as well as land-based casinos. 

Because there are no specialized New Zealand online gambling rules at the moment, all online operators who want to make their sites available to NZ players must follow the general gambling statutes.

Legal Gambling Games in New Zealand

There are only certain types of gambling that are legal in New Zealand. These are:

  •       Social gaming (playing games with friends with the potential to win monetary prizes)
  •       Casino gaming (including pokies (slot machines), poker, and blackjack, as well as other standard casino games)
  •       Lottery (including both in-person and online betting)
  •       On-track and off-track betting (betting on horse races, including both in-person and online betting)
  •       Sports betting (betting on sports, including both in-person and online betting)


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