Read the Fine Print, Yes You Can Gamble Online in New Zealand

Kiwis can play legally at any online casino licensed in an offshore jurisdiction. Playing at an online casino operating within New Zealand is illegal. NZ does not permit online gambling business within its borders. Also, New Zealand does not have any regulatory framework to license and regulate operators of online gambling sites. 

Read this article to learn about prohibited and permitted forms of gambling in New Zealand.  

Legal Gambling in the NZ

Gambling is legal in New Zealand only if the Gambling Act of 2003 authorises it. The law does not authorize some forms of gambling. 

Here is a list of permitted forms of gambling in New Zealand. 

Class I Gambling: An individual can legally conduct Class I gambling activities. These activities cannot have a turnover or a prize exceeding $500. 

Class II Gambling: You do not require a license to conduct Class II gambling activities. The games can have prizes ranging from $500 to $500, and the potential turnover should not exceed $25,000. 

Class III and IV Gambling: The games can have prizes exceeding $5000. Class III and IV gambling activities require gambling machines. An individual or company must first obtain a gambling license to conduct Class II and IV gambling activities. 

Legalities of Online Gambling

Section 9 (2) (b) of the Gambling Act of 2003 deals with online gambling. The law defines online gambling as any gambling activity that individuals or companies conduct over a distance through communication device like telephones, computers, radios, and others.

The law defines gambling as any activity requiring participants to pay money to play games of chance that provide opportunities to win prizes. 

Here are some forms of remote interactive gambling permitted in New Zealand: 

  • Lottery games conducted in New Zealand
  • Gambling games offered by the Lotteries Commission and the Racing Board 
  • Games by lottery operators licensed to conduct Class III gambling activities 

NZ Gambling Laws Do Not Apply to Overseas Online Casinos

NZ gambling laws prohibit online gambling in New Zealand. They do not apply to online gambling sites licensed in offshore jurisdictions. 

If you live in New Zealand, it is not illegal for you to sign up at an offshore online casino and play games of chance for real money. You will find all these no deposit casinos are offshore and perfectly legal for New Zealanders to gamble at.

Many licensed online casinos belonging to experienced and well-known gambling companies accept players from New Zealand and support play in New Zealand Dollars (NZD). NZ law-enforcement agencies do not take action against players who sign up for real money play at NZ-friendly international online casinos. 

Stay away from online casinos claiming to be licensed in NZ. Operating online gambling sites within the borders of New Zealand is illegal, and the NZ government does not authorize any operator to do so. Online casinos claiming to be NZ-licensed are violating the law. 

Prohibited Gambling Related Activities  

Section 16 of the Gambling Act of 2003 prohibits advertising overseas gambling activities within New Zealand. The authorities also recently launched a campaign to discourage people from playing at offshore online casinos in New Zealand.

Overseas gambling advertisements are communications that promote or publicize gambling sites and gambling operators based in foreign countries. Communications that encourage NZ residents to play at offshore online casinos are also illegal. 

Individuals or companies guilty of violating this section of the law must pay a fine of up to $10,000. 

The law permits the following advertisements: 

  • Advertisements of gambling equipment
  • Advertisements that intend to prevent, treat, or minimize gambling harm

Dangers of Playing at Offshore Online Casinos

Although New Zealand has made it legal for residents to play at offshore online casinos, it warns residents about the dangers of gambling. 

Avoid online casinos targeting NZ players if you are unsure about their license and reputation. Playing at an unlicensed offshore online casino involves the following risks: 

  • Unlicensed online casinos do not communicate with players.
  • They unnecessarily delay payouts. 
  • They offer pirated online casino games. 
  • They shut down without warning and disappear with your deposits. 
  • They offer bonuses with unreasonable terms & conditions. 
  • They steal your personal and financial data and pass it on to third parties. 

If an offshore online casino cheats you, the NZ government cannot rescue you because it has no power over foreign online gambling sites. You have to approach the jurisdiction that has licensed the online casino.