Howard J. Shaffer, Harvard Medical School – The legality of gambling is a complex
issue that reflects cultural values, social needs, and the balance between risk and
reward. Each jurisdiction has to find the right balance for its citizens.
Gambling continues to be a huge subject of interest in New Zealand, among citizens and
lawmakers. Various forms are available in the country, including casino gaming, lottery, and
sports betting. Regulations appear not to be tolerant of activities, as recent reports reveal the
government is on the verge of prohibiting online activities outside TAB. However, behind all
the many updates rolling out, what do we know about offline and online gambling?
NZ Gambling Has Come a Long Way
The gambling industry has existed for a long time, beginning with horse racing in the 19th
century. This early form was the foundation for the current culture of betting, which has
gradually expanded over the years. In the 20th century, citizens were introduced to lotteries.
That marked a significant growth in gambling activities in the country. To this day, lottery
games are still huge in New Zealand, with recent huge wins as high as NZ$37 million from
When we approached the 20th century, slot machines joined the scene. Locally, these are
known as; and they became regulars in pubs and clubs across the country. They
introduced a new and accessible way for people to have fun.
The 1990s brought another major development with the opening of the first legal casino in
Christchurch. This move paved the way for the establishment of more casinos. Today, as
with everything else, the internet has taken over. Online gambling is the current trend as
people use their smartphones and PCs to access gaming sites.
These internet platforms came with several perks compared to physical locations. For
instance, with traditional gaming houses, withdrawal was not so convenient since it involved
paper currency. Now, you can check out instant payout websites in New Zealand, where
players receive their winnings in minutes. These casinos process transactions quickly,
allowing quick access to winnings. They also have interesting bonus offers and promotions
that Kiwis can claim to boost their bankrolls.
Online casino gaming on the site https://nz-casino.online/ is bound to grow over the years. In
fact, experts predict that the country will have over 570,000 online gamblers by 2027. It’s not
difficult to understand why, considering the advantages the internet brings.
Is Online Gambling Legal in New Zealand?
On the legality of the activity in the country, the government’s standpoint is defined by the
Gambling Act 2003. The Act highlights four classes of gambling and each one has different
regulation levels and monetary limits. Class 1 and 2 cover small-scale activities, like local
fundraising events, while Class 3 and 4 include larger operations, such as casinos and
The Act established the New Zealand Gambling Commission in 2003. To date, the body is
responsible for overseeing the industry, including the regulation of operators. One of the
Commissions key roles is to advise the government on related issues and approve licences
Since its inception, the Act has undergone several amendments to adapt to the evolving
sector. For instance, in 2005 and 2013, amendments were made to strengthen harm
minimization measures and address the proliferation of gaming websites and mobile app
platforms. The Act also explicitly prohibits remote interactive gambling. In other words, it
outlaws online gaming in New Zealand at casinos operating within the country.
However, the legal framework welcomes lotteries and sports betting operations run by the
government. While local online sites are prohibited, residents can legally deposit and play on
international platforms. The government does not enforce any restrictions on New
Zealanders participating in online services outside the country.
Has Gambling Been Good or Bad for NZ?
Frank Fahrenkopf, former president of the American Gaming Association – The legal
framework for gambling should protect players, ensure fair play, and contribute to the public
good. Transparency and integrity are key to any well-regulated gambling industry."
The impact of this activity has been the subject of ongoing debates. Experts tend to focus on
its economic contributions and social consequences. Over the years, various studies and
reports have shed light on these aspects.
Economically, such endeavours have been a significant source of revenue. According to
statistics, the online gambling industry alone will reach US$1.12 billion in 2023. By 2027, the
market is predicted to reach US$1.51 billion, with a 7.6% CAGR.
On the social front, the impact of casino gaming and other forms of gaming is more complex.
While it offers entertainment for many, it also poses the risk of addiction. The Ministry of
Health NZ reports that about one in five citizens will experience harm during their lifetime
from theirs or someone else’s activities.
In response, the ministry has implemented various strategies to address these issues. These
● Measures to minimize potential harms
● Services to assist problem gamblers and provide security for their families
● Independent scientific research for more helpful findings
● Regular evaluations on the state of online gaming in the country
The 2003 Act also mandates that a portion of gambling profits be allocated to the prevention
and treatment of addiction.
What NZ iGaming Fans Should Know
Jay Monahan: “You look at gaming in the international markets, there’s a lot of opportunity
there. There’s some complexity and that complexity has held us back from moving forward.
But we will look at it and have an open mind toward it”
We’ve established that the answer to the “Is online gambling legal in New Zealand?” the
question is a mixed one. Locally, it’s not, but with offshore sites, there’s no restriction.
However, as an NZ iGaming enthusiast, it’s important to vet the options you use. Ensure
they’re safe and legit with a valid licence and encryption protocols to safeguard your details.
Also, wager responsibly to avoid getting into problem gambling.