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Online Gambling Landscape in New Zealand

New Zealand strictly regulates online gambling with no domestic licenses issued

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Casinos have always been and continue to be one of the beloved pastimes for people all over the globe. New Zealand couldn’t be an exception to this “ruling” as well. Kiwis like to play various casino games or bet on well-known sports events no less than others. 

This can be perfectly seen from the national survey results by the Health Sponsorship Council in 2010, which shows that almost 80% of Kiwis in the country are somehow involved in gambling. So, how do the New Zealand government and regulatory bodies keep the overall situation under control? 

What laws and restrictions do they bring forward for online casinos in New Zealand for more secure and risk-free gambling? Do you have any chances to engage in casino activities as a New Zealander? We are here to answer all these questions. So, get comfortable and let’s dive in. 

The Current State of Online Gambling

The current state of online gambling in New Zealand reflects a dynamic landscape, with evolving regulations aimed at balancing consumer protection with the industry’s growth and technological advancements.

The gambling industry in New Zealand is quite ambiguous. On the one hand, it features one of the strictest laws, with only a handful of casinos on the market. On the other hand, it has a pretty liberated stance for offshore gambling platforms, which can pose high risks for vulnerable players. 

Only six land-based casino venues exist in the country, as new ones are prohibited under the Gambling Act 2003. Four of the six casino establishments are operated by SkyCity: two in Queenstown, one in Hamilton, and one in Auckland. 

By far, the biggest casino is the Auckland venue, which has the approval to run up to 1,880 gaming machines, 240 totally automated table games, and 150 standard table games. 

The Rise of Offshore-Licensed $1 Deposit Online Casinos 

Recently, offshore online casinos in New Zealand have seen a boom in popularity, especially those offering deposits as low as $1, due to a trend in accessible gambling options. Multiple reputable CasinoDeps sites accepting 1 NZD payment allow budget-minded players to try their luck without breaking the bank and offer a variety of games. 

As mentioned earlier, local online gambling is prohibited in New Zealand because of the gaming regulations according to the Gambling Act 2003. However, the Act does not ban the activities of casino operators outside the country. Therefore, Kiwis can still enjoy gambling entertainment at offshore sites.

Most of the international casino operators that provide gambling services to New Zealanders work with licenses issued by the Malta Gambling Authority, Curaçao Gaming Control, and the UK Gambling Commission. This means they are also legal, the only difference being the jurisdictions under which they work. 

Market Size and Statistics 

Do you already have a general idea about the main regulatory aspects of gambling in New Zealand? Then, it’s the perfect time to examine some up-to-date stats and numbers regarding the market size and player percentages in the country. 

According to Statista, total gambling revenue can be expected to reach 1.25 billion dollars by the end of 2024. This, in turn, will result in a yearly growth rate of 6.03% for the 2024-28 period, bringing the expected revenue to 1.58 billion dollars.

Coming down to the online casino market, we can’t help but pay attention to the average revenue per user, which in 2024 will move up to 25,200 dollars. Following this, the number of overall players engaging in online casino activities in New Zealand by the end of 2028 will reach 590,900 people.

Regulatory Framework 

All the laws and regulations regarding gambling are managed and handled by the Department of Internal Affairs, also known as Te Tari Taiwhenua. However, unlike other regions, the governmental body responsible for gambling in NZ is a profitable entity. Precisely, it expects a portion of returns earned by the gaming industry annually, which is later used for federal purposes.

The Gambling Act is the main regulatory document covering all aspects of gaming and betting in New Zealand. This bill was approved in 2003 and bans most forms and types of gambling, such as remote interactive games. In addition, the Gambling Act forbids any expansion of gaming beyond the activities and laws that were available in 2003.

This applies to expanding existing gambling platforms and adding new ones. The ban also covers gambling over the Internet if the operator’s activity has not been specifically authorised. 

Another interesting aspect you can find in the Gambling Act 2003 is that it does not allow the issuing of credit to gamers. So, ultimately, gambling is considered legal in New Zealand but with a lot of restrictions and quite limited choice of casinos and games. 

Final Insight 

Today, Kiwis have a chance to play gaming machines, lotteries, or table games only at six brick-and-mortar casinos. Online casinos within the country are also banned. The only way out remains offshore-licensed casino operators who work under the laws and regulations of other countries. 

New Zealand strictly regulates online gambling, with no domestic licenses issued, while African countries like Kenya have a looser framework allowing licensed local and foreign operators. However, the popularity and demand of casino gambling among New Zealand players don’t seem to back down, irrespective of all these possible limitations and laws.

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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