There are millions of gamblers living in New Zealand, and recent statistics show that about 80% of the entire population of the country takes part in some form of gambling, including playing online slots for real money. By the end of 2018, Kiwis had spent as much as 2.4 billion NZD on gambling, bringing the average spend per player per year on legal betting nationwide to about 648 NZD.
However, no matter how large this figure is, it doesn’t take into account offshore online gambling in the country — a topic that raises many questions. Today we took the liberty to study the subject in detail to try to clarify the situation.
Kim Pascoe, a leading gambling expert, will tell you in detail about the state of the NZ online casino market and help you find the best options. You can read more from Kim on her page here. In the article, you’ll also learn some interesting facts about online casinos in New Zealand. Enjoy reading!
How Did Gambling Originate in New Zealand?
The betting act, which includes gambling as well as betting on racing and sports, boasts a long and incredibly diverse history in the country of New Zealand. Since the very first gambling rules were introduced in the first half of the 20th century, residents dealt with a strictly regulated industry long before many other countries.
In the 1830s, gambling was practically banned in New Zealand. However, at the turn of the century, New Zealanders saw the introduction of another regulatory body. Although the Gambling Act of 1908 was still in force, it allowed betting on the most popular sporting events, such as horse racing.
By the 20s of the 20th century, the government’s rules were revised, and this led to the legalisation of slot machines and lotteries, and by the end of the 1961s, conventional casinos were approved. The New Zealand Gambling Act 2003 has been ratified, which sets out legal betting practices together with those that are contrary to the law.
Legal Forms of Gambling in New Zealand
According to the law adopted in 2003, types of gambling are divided into four classes:
- Games with a win and a potential turnover of no more than 500 NZD, without the use of slot machines;
- Similar games with a possible win and a turnover of no more than 5,000 NZD;
- Games without the use of slot machines with a win and a turnover of over 5,000 NZD;
- Slot machines.
Despite their remoteness from major European countries, New Zealanders are not inferior to residents of these countries in terms of gambling habits. The first gambling portals and platforms appeared in this country in 1994.
Legal Gambling on the Internet
With online gambling in New Zealand, the situation isn’t as clear as in the case of land-based gambling. In particular, the Gambling Act of 2003 takes a different direction regarding the practice of placing bets over the Internet, characterising them as remote betting practices in which players interact via mobile devices.
According to New Zealand’s online betting laws, with the exception of sports betting, any online gambling platform based in New Zealand is considered criminalised by law. On the other hand, all offshore betting sites, including casinos, bookmakers, lotteries, and bingo portals, don’t fall into the prohibited category. Thus, players can play on foreign online casino sites.
An Interesting New Zealand Phenomenon — An Independent Ban on Visiting Casinos
Only adults can participate in lotteries; the minimum age of casino visitors should be at least 20 years. In New Zealand, there’s a mechanism for the self-identification of problem players. If gamblers realise that gambling causes them tangible damage, they have the opportunity to request a ban on visiting the casino for themselves.
When Is Casino Activity Banned Completely?
In accordance with the current rules, licences allowing the operation of land-based NZ online casinos are no longer issued. However, the current permits can be extended. New Zealand operators aren’t allowed to provide services to players during national religious holidays. In case of violation, a fine of 10,000 NZD is possible.
Which Gambling Sites Are the Most Popular in New Zealand?
According to the country’s laws, the organisation of website activities that provide the opportunity to gamble on a remote basis is prohibited. This doesn’t mean a total ban on online casinos in New Zealand. The authorities don’t restrict players’ access to foreign sites in any way.
Fans can find everything they want on these sites — card games, slots, bingo, and other entertainment.
New Zealanders are a gambling nation, which implies the active development of online casinos throughout the country. Both offline and online, players prefer to play slots, lotteries, and sports betting. Most bets are placed on rugby, cricket, football, and netball. As the nation is actively developing the technological sphere, more and more new games appear in the assortment every year.