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What are the laws surrounding online gambling in New Zealand?

There’s no doubt that iGaming represents big business in 2021, with markets such as the UK and Europe continuing to lead this impressive charge.

However, the New Zealand market also continues to fare well in the current climate, thanks largely to a relatively relaxed regulatory approach. To this end, New Zealanders poured an estimated $381 million into offshore operations through 2019, with this number likely to have increased significantly last year.

In this article, we’ll review the laws surrounding iGaming and online casinos in New Zealand, while asking how you can make sure you’re wagering at a licensed and reputable site.

Online Gambling Laws in NZ – What do You Need to Know?

Gambling in New Zealand is governed by the Gambling Act 2003, which is a comprehensive piece of legislation that was introduced to regulate the market as it enjoyed exponential growth at the turn of the century.

Interestingly, this legislation makes it illegal to operate as a bookmaker in NZ, although the affiliated Racing Act 2003 does allow racing and sports betting markets to be offered directly through the Racing Board of New Zealand.

This was intended as a clear exception to the broader gambling prohibition, while it also creates accountability and delivers fixed-odds wagering to punters nationwide.

While this law fundamentally outlaws domestic bookmakers from operating in New Zealand, it’s currently legal for natives to place bets at licensed and regulated online sportsbooks that exist outside of the country.

As a result, New Zealanders are able to wager freely and legally through a host of established international operators, including Betway, Rizk, and LeoVegas.

What’s more, legal sports betting and iGaming options are also made available to Kiwis through a range of platforms (in addition to the TAB website and international operators). In fact, you can place wagers by telephone in New Zealand, while it’s also possible to bet remotely through Sky Digital TV.

These measures combine to create a relatively relaxed and progressive regulatory framework, albeit one that may need to be reviewed to ensure compatibility with the fast-growing iGaming space.

How to Find a Legal and Reputable International Casino

In the meantime, it’s important that New Zealanders are able to find a safe and licensed casino online, and this can be challenging when comparing a vast international marketplace.

So, here are a few ways in which you can refine your search and guarantee a safe and enjoyable iGaming experience:

Look Out for Legitimate Licensing Certification: Every reputable casino platform must be fully licensed, ideally by a recognized international regulator. For example, an operator that’s based in Britain must be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), while the Malta Gaming Authority is another senior name in this space. Licensing accreditation must be showcased on a casino’s homepage, alongside a unique license number and the site’s HQ address.

Check the Payment Options: Ideally, your chosen casino platform should also offer regulated online banking services, which are underpinned by 128-bit SSL encryption that safeguards your personal transaction data. This ensures that you can deposit and withdraw your money safely and with the minimum of fuss, without the risk of your data being hacked by cyber thieves. Each casino should have a dedicated payments page and one that clearly outlines your options and average transaction times.

Read the Bonus Small Print: While there’s a great deal of glitz and excitement surrounding welcome bonuses in NZ, you should know that not all offers of this type are created equal. Make no mistake; some come with tight restrictions and inflated wagering requirements, which are hidden in the bonus small print and can dramatically undermine the value proposition on offer.

So, be sure to read the small print in careful detail, so that you can make an informed and ultimately rewarding decision!


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