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Simon’s Guide to Gambling and Casinos in New Zealand

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Skycity Casino, New Zealand

 

Gambling and casinos in New Zealand are regulated by the 2003 Gambling Act, amended twice since it came into effect. The New Zealand gambling law focuses on ensuring that the community benefits from the proceeds of gambling, and that the harm that gambling can cause is minimised.* To ensure that this happens, games of chance outside of casinos are only allowed if the money is raised for an “authorised purpose”(mostly charity).

The legal body regulating gambling in New Zealand in the Department of Internal Affairs, while the Gambling Commission considers and approves casino licence applications (all other licences are issued by the Department of Internal Affairs)

The Gambling Act divides gambling into 4 classes. Class 1 and 2 include games with no commission; the former applies to games with prizes under $500, the latter games not exceeding $5000. Games that fall into these categories do not need a licence. Class 3 includes games with prizes exceeding $5000. In  this category commission may be paid, but conducting this form of gambling requires a licence. Class 4 covers gaming machines outside of casinos.

In New Zealand only the types of gambling specifically mentioned in the 2003 Gambling Act are allowed. This includes lottery, bingo (housie, as it is called in New Zealand) casino and instant games (e.g. scratch cards). Sports betting is exempt from this rule, as it is regulated by the 2003 Racing Act.

Online gambling is prohibited in New Zealand. To be precise, remote interactive gambling is forbidden, which includes gambling conducted through the internet, telephones, radio, etc. The law, however, does not cover the Racing Board and the Lotteries Commission, which are allowed to operate approved online gambling.

The Department of Internal Affairs specifies that it is not illegal for residents of New Zealand to participate in online gambling on websites based in other countries. They do warn, however, that players have no legal protection in such cases. Also, it is illegal to advertise overseas gambling sites in New Zealand.**

 

*Source: New Zealand Gambling Laws (The Department of Internal Affairs)

**Source: Prohibited Gambling (The Department of Internal Affairs)

 

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Summary:

 

 

Casino gambling in New Zealand

 

Online casino gambling in New Zealand: legal (illegal to operate)

 

Casino gambling is legal in New Zealand. Casino operators with games with prizes exceeding $5000 (class 3 gambling) must obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission. Casino games are regulated to the point that rules for all games allowed in casinos are specified. Such games include slot machines, keno, bingo and several table games including poker, roulette and blackjack.

Online casino gambling is prohibited in New Zealand in the sense that no online casino licences are issued and it is illegal to operate online casinos or remote gambling of any kind. It is, however, not illegal for locals to play on foreign online casino sites, many of which are available from New Zealand.

 

 

Bingo in New Zealand

 

Online Bingo in New Zealand: legal (illegal to operate)

 

Bingo – called housie in New Zealand and Australia – is legal and quite popular in the country. The Gambling Act sets the rules for bingo, including that prizes may only be cash. Bingo may be conducted as a class 1 or class 2 game without a licence, if prizes do not exceed the specified amount, $500 and $5000, respectively.

Online bingo is prohibited in New Zealand in the sense that no online bingo licences are issued and it is illegal to operate online bingo sites or remote gambling of any kind. It is, however, not illegal for locals to play on foreign online bingo sites, many of which are available from New Zealand.

 

 

Poker in New Zealand

 

Online Poker in New Zealand: legal (illegal to operate)

 

Poker is legal in New Zealand, and may be played in licensed casinos or as class 1, 2 or 3 games (private games are also allowed). New Zealand gambling regulation specifies rules for various types of poker including Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Stud.

Online poker is prohibited in New Zealand in the sense that no online poker licences are issued and it is illegal to operate online poker sites or remote gambling of any kind. It is, however, not illegal for locals to play on foreign online poker sites, many of which are available from New Zealand.

 

 

Sports betting in New Zealand

 

Online sports betting in New Zealand: legal, state monopoly

 

Sports betting is considered illegal in New Zealand, which means no licences are issued to bookmakers. However, New Zealand has a state-run betting operator offering both sports betting and horse race betting under the TAB brand. Games on offer include football, cricket and surfing, among many others.

Online sports betting is one of the two exceptions from the general ban on online gambling in New Zealand. TAB, operated by the New Zealand Racing Board offers online sports betting and online horse race betting as well.  It is illegal for anyone else to operate online sports betting sites or remote gambling of any kind. It is, however, not illegal for locals to play on foreign online poker sites, many of which are available from New Zealand.

 

 

Lottery in New Zealand

 

Online lottery in New Zealand: legal, state monopoly

 

Lottery is legal in New Zealand. Lottery games may be considered class 1, class 2 or class 3 games, depending on the prizes. Only class 3 (over $5000) lottery games and operators need a licence, class 1 and 2 don’t. New Zealand also has a nationwide lottery operated by the Lotteries Commission. Games on offer include both numeric lotteries and scratch cards.

The national lottery has a website where online play is available. It is illegal for anyone else to operate online lotteries or remote gambling of any kind. It is, however, not illegal for locals to play on foreign online lottery sites, many of which are available from New Zealand.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in New Zealand

 

Bitcoin gambling in New Zealand: legal (illegal to operate)

 

Bitcoin itself is legal in New Zealand. The Reserve bank of New Zealand has stated that virtual currencies do not need to be approved, so long as no physical currencies are issued.

Bitcoin gambling is, as all other forms of remote interactive gambling, illegal; which means no Bitcoin casinos may be operated in New Zealand. It is, however, not illegal for locals to play on foreign Bitcoin gambling sites, many of which are available from New Zealand.

 

 

Online gambling websites accepting players from New Zealand

Most forms of online gambling are legal in New Zealand and players are free to play on international online gambling websites.

The following online casinos, online poker websites, online bingo sites and online sportsbooks accept players from New Zealand.

 

Online casinos – New Zealand

The following online casinos accept players from New Zealand.

Betsson online casino – accepting players from New Zealand

Betsafe online casino – accepting players from New Zealand

Casino Euro – accepting players from New Zealand.

Black lotus casino – accepting players from New Zealand

Lotus Asia casino – accepting players from New Zealand

32 Red casino – accepting players from New Zealand

BGO casino – accepting players from New Zealand

Online sportsbooks – New Zealand

The following online sportsbooks accept players from New Zealand.

Betsson online sportsbook – accepting registrations from New Zealand

Betsafe online bookmaker – accepting registrations from New Zealand

32 Red sport online sportsbook – accepting players from New Zealand

 

Online poker websites – New Zealand

The following online poker websites accept players from New Zealand.

Betsson online Poker – accepting players from New Zealand

Betsafe online Poker – accepting players from New Zealand

 

Online bingo – New Zealand

The following online bingo websites accept players from New Zealand.

BGO bingo – accepting players from New Zealand

Betsson Bingo – accepting registrations from New Zealand

 

 

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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: 2015.11.06.

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Simon's Guide to Gambling and Casinos in New Zealand
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This online gambling guide focuses on the legal status of casinos, gambling, sports betting, lottery, bingo (housie), poker and Bitcoin gambling in New Zealand.
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