Casino gambling and online gambling was legalised in the country in 2007, but the first casino in PNG is yet to be built.
Papua New Guinea (PNG), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, Port Moresby is located along its southeastern coast. The country covers a land area of 462,840 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 7.3 million.
In 2007, legislators passed the Gaming Control Bill* that established legal gambling, including sports betting, lotteries, online gambling, casinos and poker in PNG. The new law also created the National Gaming Control Board to control all forms of gaming activities and promote community awareness of problem gambling**. We’re yet to see the first legally operating brick-and-mortar casino opening in PNG, but plans for a resort complex with a dedicated casino space were already approved by officials (however, the project is currently halted).
Online gambling was also made legal by the law of 2007. According to the legislation, both PNG companies targeting overseas markets and international operators seeking to offer their services in PNG are eligible for a license from the Gaming Control Board.
Even though the 2007 Gaming Control Bill contains a clause that makes it possible for authorities to prosecute players who participate in unlawful, unlicensed gambling, these measures mainly target illegal land-based gambling facilities and operators. Gambling online on foreign platforms is virtually risk-free for PNG players.
*Source: The Gaming Control Act of 2007
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- Casino gambling in PNG
- Bingo in PNG
- Poker in PNG
- Sports betting in PNG
- Lottery in PNG
- Bitcoin gambling in PNG
Casino gambling – PNG
Online casino gambling in Papua New Guinea: legal, licensed
Casinos in PNG are legal since 2007. However, the first casino in PNG is yet to be built. Even though a Korean company received a licence for the construction of a five-star casino resort complex in the capital, Port Moresby just after the enactment of the law, the project was reportedly stalled in 2011 due to financial problems.
Online casinos in PNG are legal and licensed as well. However, internet casinos with a PNG license cannot legally offer their services to local players (a common practice amongst online gaming jurisdictions to increase tax benefits and at the same time, mitigate the social harms caused by gambling). However, there seem to be no online casinos that operate under a PNG casino license. Foreign online casinos that were not authorised by local authorities to offer their services to PNG residents are technically illegal. However, the government doesn’t take any legal measures against individual players in the country.
The following online casinos accept players from Papua New Guinea:
Bingo in PNG
Online bingo in PNG: legal, licensed
Land-based bingo parlors are eligible for a license under Papua New Guinean laws and a few such venues can indeed be found across the country.
Online bingo operators targeting overseas markets from the country are eligible for a licence in PNG, as well as foreign operators seeking to offer such games to local players. Unlicensed international operators are technically illegal. However, this is not enforced. Players from PNG never faced any legal troubles for gambling online on foreign platforms, because the government targets gambling operators and illegal land based gambling venues.
The following online bingo websites accept players from Papua New Guinea:
Poker – PNG
Online poker – PNG: legal, licensed
Land-based poker in PNG is legal and regulated. However, as there are currently no casinos in the country, there don’t appear to be any venues where Papua New Guinean residents can actually play a game of poker legally.
Online poker rooms seeking to target overseas markets from the country are eligible for a licence in PNG, as well as foreign operators that aim to offer such games to local players. Unlicensed foreign poker sites are technically illegal, but players are reportedly not prosecuted by the authorities.
The following online poker websites accept players from Papua New Guinea:
Sports betting – PNG
Online sports betting – PNG: legal, licensed
Land-based sports betting operators are legal and eligible for a license in Papua New Guinea. There are several betting shops around the country, such as 6-Mile Bookmakers in the capital, Port Moresby.
Online sports betting operators are eligible for a license as well, although PNG licensed internet sportsbooks are not allowed to accept wagers from locals. Foreign operators can also obtain a license to offer their services in PNG, but the market in the country is not big enough for any company to go through with the authorisation process. Nevertheless, there are no reported cases where any player from PNG was prosecuted for placing bets with foreign online bookmakers and the government does not in any way restrict access to such sites.
The following online sportsbooks accept punters from Papua New Guinea:
Lottery in PNG
Online lottery in PNG: legal, licensed
Lottery is legal and licensed in Papua New Guinea. The National Gaming Control Board issued a licence to the company PNG Lotto to conduct a mobile phone lottery in the country in 2012. Plans to introduce a mobile lottery were already crafted in 2010, but the implementation process was halted due to extremely negative public reaction.
There are no legally operating online lotteries in the country. Although, internet lottery operations are theoretically eligible for a license, no such permit seems to have been issued so far. It is technically illegal for players from PNG to play foreign online lotteries and theoretically, they can face charges for doing so. However, there is not one reported case, when a Papua New Guinean player was prosecuted for gambling on an unauthorised foreign gambling platform of any kind.
Bitcoin gambling in PNG
Bitcoin gambling in PNG: not regulated
The Papua New Guinean government does not appear to restrict the use of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in the country. The piece of legislation pertaining to gambling does not address Bitcoin gambling expressly either. As it is the case in many countries where the legal status of such operations is undetermined, it is safe to assume, that foreign Bitcoin gambling platforms in PNG fall into the same category as online gambling sites in general. Although, it depends on the authorities’ interpretation of the laws, whether they choose to license any gambling operations in the future specialising in the cryptocurrency.
For now, there are no PNG based Bitcoin casinos, and players who place bets on foreign sites face no prosecution.
The following bitcoin gambling websites accept players from Papua New Guinea:
If you have questions or any feedback don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Please let me know in the comments section if you think we might have gotten something wrong or if you have additional information, clarification about the legal status of online gambling in this country.
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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.
Last updated: 2016.2.2.