Simon’s Guide to Gambling in the Cook Islands

There is a mobile optimized version of this page, view AMP Version.

This is a picture of one of the many casino and hotel resorts in the Cook Islands.

Gambling in the Cook Islands

 

The Cook Islands is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean where gambling is legal. The Cook Islands consists of 15 inhabited islands, and is an associated state of New Zealand. While New Zealand handles the Cook Islands’ foreign affairs, the islands legislate for themselves.

Gambling is legal and has been prevalent in the country since the 1990s. There are currently no casinos in the Cook Islands, and locals are heavily opposed against opening a casino in the country, as they feel it would ruin the ambience and relaxing nature of the islands.

Other forms of gambling are available though, including Australian and New Zealand lotteries.* The most popular form of gambling in the Cook Islands is bingo, or “housie” as it is locally called. Gambling on the islands requires a permit as well as paying the associated fee.

Online gambling is also legal in the Cook Islands, though it is rather controversial. Eager for a new revenue source, in the 1980s the government began issuing online gambling licences to international gambling companies with a capital of at least $1 000 000 for a fee of 5% of the profits.

During this time the Cook Islands became an offshore financial haven for various companies. The country was blacklisted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and development in 2000 for being “uncooperative in efforts to curb money laundering and tax evasion”** The Cook Islands have since been taken off the blacklist, though some still regret complying with the regulations.

 

*Source: Fast Facts about the Cook Islands (Frommer’s)

**Source: Managing Modernity in the Western Pacific

If you like the article, please give it a +1!

 

Summary:

 

Casino gambling in the Cook Islands

 

Online casino gambling in the Cook Islands: legal

 

Casino gambling is legal in the Cook Islands, though there are no casinos in the country. There are a few smaller gambling establishments where slot machines and video poker games are available. Although tourism provides the economic base of the country, there are no plans to open a larger casino.

Online casino gambling is also legal. Locals are free to access any international casino gambling sites available to them. With a population of only 15 000, the government of the Cook Islands has likely not felt the need to more strictly regulate or monetise online gambling regarding its own residents.

The government however, did once recognise the possible revenues in online gambling, and tried to attract global gambling investors by offering online gambling licences and agreeable financial conditions. There are no reports on whether there are still any online gambling companies licensed in the Cook Islands since the country has been blacklisted and later taken off the list.

 

 

Bingo in the Cook Islands

 

Online bingo in the Cook Islands: legal

 

Bingo, called housie in the Cook Islands, is legal  and easily the most popular form of gambling in the country. There are several bingo halls on the islands, and various other establishments and organisations hold bingo nights as well. Bingo is especially popular in the country as a form of charitable fundraising.

Online bingo is also legal in the Cook Islands. Despite the game’s popularity, there are no locally based online bingo sites. Residents of the islands are free to play on any international online bingo sites available to them.

 

 

Poker in the Cook Islands

 

Online poker in the Cook Islands: legal

 

Poker is legal in the Cook Islands, though there are no casinos offering live poker games, nor any dedicated poker halls. There are, however, some video poker machines or “pokies” available on the islands. There have also been reports of ad hoc poker games and tournaments, though nothing regular.

Online poker is also legal in the country, though there are no online poker sites currently licensed in the Cook Islands. Locals are free to play on foreign online poker sites.

 

 

Sports betting in the Cook Islands

 

Online sports betting in the Cook Islands: legal

 

Sports betting is legal in the Cook Islands, though there are no betting shops in the country, nor casinos offering sports wagering. There are also no online sports betting sites based in the Cook Islands, which means there are no locally available sports betting options in the country apart from unofficial, ad hoc events. Residents of the Cook Islands are free to wager on sports events on international online sports betting sites.

 

 

Lottery in the Cook Islands

 

Online lottery in the Cook Islands: legal

 

Lottery is legal in the Cook Islands, and is actually the most widespread form of gambling in the country along with bingo. The Cook Island has no national lottery of its own, but residents of the country may participate in Australian and New Zealand lotteries (Cook Islanders actually have New Zealand citizenship as well).

Games available include Keno, Powerball and traditional number draws. Lottery tickets are available at physical retailers on the islands. The Australian lottery, Oz Lotteries also has a website where tickets may be bought online. There are no online lotteries licensed or based specifically in the Cook Island. Along with Australian and New Zealand lotteries, locals are also free to participate in lottery draws on international lottery sites.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in the Cook Islands

 

Bitcoin gambling in the Cook Islands: unregulated

 

Cook Island has long since served as an offshore financial haven, which is the ideal place for Bitcoin startups. Bitcoin itself is not specifically regulated in the country, but virtual currencies are completely legal in New Zealand, and the same can be assumed for the islands.

Bitcoin gambling is also not specifically regulated in the Cook Islands. The country has previously issued various online gambling licences, though there are no reports on any Bitcoin casinos applying for or receiving such a permit. Nonetheless, locals are free to participate in Bitcoin gambling on international sites.

 

 

Online gambling websites accepting players from the Cook Islands

Online gambling is legal in the Cook Islands.

The following online casinos and bookmakers accept players from the Cook Islands.

 

bgo_casino_bonus_banner

BGO casino – accepting players from the Cook Islands

Euro online casino

Casino Euro – accepting players from the Cook Islands

32_red_online_casino

32 Red casino accepting players from the Cook Islands

free_bet_32red_banner

32 Red online bookmaker, sports betting website – accepting players from the Cook Islands

black_lotus_casino_bonus

Black Lotus casino accepting players from the Cook Islands

 

 

If you like the article, please give it a +1!

 

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. 10. 29.

Summary
Simon's Guide to Online Gambling in the Cook Islands
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Online Gambling in the Cook Islands
Description
This guide focuses on gambling and online gambling in the Cook Islands. Interestingly, the most common form of gambling on the islands is bingo (called housie), find out the details.
Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *