Gambling has existed for centuries in New Zealand. People would bet on horse racing, but with the ban from 1920, gambling came to a halt. The situation started to slowly change when the government started reviewing its legislation. The Gaming Act from 2003 officially declared all gambling illegal, unless approved by the Government.
The Act divided gambling into 4 classes, each of which operates within certain limitations. Class 1 covers any gambling activity, organized by either an individual or a society with a рrize that must not exceed $500. Class 2 refers to any gambling activity organized by a society with a prize that must not exceed $5000. The organizer of the event must not receive any remuneration or commission for conducting the gambling activity. Both Class 1 and Class 2 gambling do not require a license.
Class 3 on the other hand requires a license, as it covers large-scale lotteries, bingo, scratch cards, games of chance, and prize competitions. These activities or events can only be organized by societies. The prizes participants can win exceed $5,000. Class 4 is any activity that involves the use of a gaming machine outside a casino.
The Act also prohibits “remote interactive gambling” – “gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device”. So technically, playing in online casinos should be illegal. But it isn’t, as long as these casinos are based outside of New Zealand. If an online casino is based in Cyprus, for example, players from New Zealand will not be subject to criminal prosecution.
One might think that gambling laws in New Zealand are very restrictive, but that’s not the case. Gambling is still available to people, but must only be conducted by societies who have obtained a license from the Gambling Commission. The Government’s aim is to assure that casinos work according to all laws and regulations and there are not any unlawful activities taking place to the detriment of the country, or the people playing to the casino.
Regulation and Licensing
The three main regulatory authorities in New Zealand are The Department of Internal Affairs, The Ministry of Health, and the Gambling Commission.
First of all, it is very important to make sure that the casino has got a valid license, issued by a respected and reliable authority. Such authorities include the Malta Gaming Authority, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, The Isle of Man Gaming Commission, and Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.
These regulators are very strict and have an extensive list of requirements that casinos have to meet in order to operate legally. Having a valid license means that these casinos have gone through all the necessary tests and audits in order to be able to offer their services.
Secondly, casinos must employ modern security systems, such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) systems. This technology encrypts players’ data and thus prevents any malicious attacks or theft of sensitive information.
This is a key factor, as players provide quite a lot of personal data, and casinos must do everything within their power to secure it and keep it in a safe and reliable place. Big casinos use secure servers where they store users’ data. Their employees go through several authentication procedures in order to get access to the information.
Usually, they state that your data will be used for marketing purposes and may also be disclosed to third-parties like banks or other financial institutions when you request a withdrawal and they need to verify your identity. This is a standard procedure used to prevent any fraudulent attempts.
Another very important aspect of online casinos is the use of RNG technology. RNG or Random Number Generator ensures that the outcomes of all games, especially slots, are random and unbiased. Otherwise, some people could benefit a lot, while others would lose thousands of dollars and blame it on bad luck.
What players should also check, is the RTP or Return To Player rate. Licensed and well-regulated casinos should have no problem stating their RTP rates on their websites after monthly audits. There have been problems with certain slot games that have been proven to have a lower percentage and that is not fair with players as it will lead to bigger losses and fewer chances to win.
Popular Software Providers
Software companies are the ones that players should be thankful for. They work day and night in order to produce new, more interesting and exciting games for casino players to enjoy. Some of these companies have laid the foundation of game making, and others are fairly fresh and new in the business. Some of the most famous game developers include Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolutio Gaming, Betsoft, Yggdrasil, Amatic Gaming, and many more.
Popular Payment Methods
Payments are a big part of online gaming, as players have to deposit and withdraw funds frequently. Most New-Zealand friendly casinos support NZD so Kiwis can comfortably make transactions in their national currency. These are some of the most popular payment options for players from New Zealand to use:
New Zealand Casino Bonuses
The bonus system in online casinos is more or less similar. Players can enjoy several types of bonuses which are tied to different wagering requirements and terms and conditions. All users must carefully read those in order to not lose their winnings due to a breach of the bonus rules.
Top 10 New Zealand Casinos
With the endless choice of online casinos, players from New Zealand may have some difficulties choosing the right one for them. All of the casinos we have listed below are well-known and reliable operators that have been on the gambling stage for several years and service millions of players from all around the world. All of them accept payments made in NZD, so we believe that would be a great convenience for all Kiwis.
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Find the answers of questions people asked so far:
Can NZ players redeem casino promotions when they play at offshore online casinos?
Many offshore online casinos welcome NZ players and make sure they will have a great gaming time on the web. That is why, often virtual casinos offer their new and existing players bountiful bonuses, which can be used on various games provided by the operators. That being said, some virtual casinos offer region-specific offers, which may exclude players from NZ. That is why we advise players to carefully read the Terms and Conditions of any online casino offer they wish to redeem. Some casinos may exclude players from certain countries and it is also possible that some deposit options may not qualify players for casino bonuses.
Do New Zealand players need to pay taxes on their online gambling winnings?
While online gambling is illegal in NZ, unless the operator has received a license from the local authorities, this does not apply to offshore operators. With no legal punishment for Kiwis playing at foreign online casinos, there is the question of whether they should pay any taxes on the winnings they have generated while playing online. The law does not require New Zealand online players to pay any taxes on the amounts they have won while playing at online casinos. However, there is the option to report to the New Zealand Government the amount you have won by gambling online and pay a tax on that particular profit. However, as this is not a mandatory requirement, no casino player in New Zealand has reported online gambling winnings yet.
What is the legal gambling age in New Zealand and does it apply to online casino players as well?
While the legal gambling age in New Zealand is set to be 18 years of age for participating in lottery and sports betting activities, including those offered legally online, Kiwis must be at least 20 years of age if they wish to enter a land-based gambling facility. That said, as there are no licensed online casinos in New Zealand, the law does not have a specific gambling age set for online casino gambling. Instead, offshore virtual casinos, which welcome Kiwi players may impose their own legal age restriction, which in most cases is 18 years or older. When players from New Zealand register with an online casino, they might be requested to provide copies of their identification documents to verify they are of legal age to participate in online gambling.