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Legal Aspects of Online Casinos in New Zealand

- May 27, 2024 By Riley Wilson -

New Zealand Casino legal

New Zealand is home to many gambling fans and enthusiasts, despite the fact that the whole country has just six casinos. For context, Las Vegas has more than 150 casinos, and Las Vegas is one state in North America. Now, this is not a way to spite New Zealanders; it is simply to highlight the fact that New Zealand takes their gambling seriously.

After all, these six casinos, including NZ casinos online, are projected to bring in over $25 million per year, a figure that is expected to go up sooner rather than later. With the strategic move of many casino services online, the sky is surely the limit for gambling enthusiasts and fans in New Zealand.

If you are wondering why New Zealanders enjoy gambling so much, it is simply because casinos are accessible. But what does the government have to say about these laws that guide gambling, especially online casinos? Keep reading to know more about online gambling laws in New Zealand.

What the Law Says About Betting in New Zealand

Firstly, it is important to note that there are different laws regarding gambling in specific regions. Hence, the laws that you know or might not know are responsible for the manner of gambling and its approach in different regions.

However, all the laws that guide gambling in the country are contained in the Gambling Act of 2003 and it provided how every casino should work, including new casinos. This act mostly covers all categories of gambling, including lotteries. However, Section 9(2)(b) addresses the aspect of online gambling, stating, “the following forms of gambling are forbidden and illegal and are not permissible by and may not be permitted under this Act namely interactive remote gambling and bookmaking.”

In other words, any form of gambling that is done on a communication device, i.e., phones, computers, etc., is not permitted under the law. The second part of this section uses the phrase “may not be permitted,” showing the level of intention concerning these forms of gambling.

Also, the law says, “While New Zealanders are free to participate in gambling events within the country, online sites based in New Zealand are not permitted to operate.” In other words, citizens are free to play online casino games on platforms that are not based in New Zealand. No local online casinos are permitted to offer services in New Zealand.

As funny as it sounds, it is a good financial and economic tactic.

The idea of this law is to ensure that the funds New Zealanders make available for gambling each day go back to their economy. To guide against the law working against them, it is more profitable to place wagers in land-based casinos than in online casinos. This is because the offerings and features offered by the land-based casinos are much more profitable. New Zealanders also trust these casinos more because they are regulated by the government. There is no loss of money or stolen identities, as it is easily traceable within 24 hours.

If you think this law does not help New Zealand, keep in mind that each year, the average New Zealander spends over $620 on gambling. Now you get the idea.

Companies In Charge of Gambling

The Gambling Act of 2003 consolidated the previous gambling laws and brought them all under one act. The major laws integrated into the Gambling Act of 2003 are the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1988 and the Casino Control Act 1990.

One of the deals made by the government with the gambling entities was to give back in cash and in kind. Hence, the companies involved use their contributions to support beneficial initiatives, which improves the relationship between community members. It is also why there are only two gambling companies allowed in the country – TAB and Lotto New Zealand.

TAB handles betting and wagering for horse racing and other kinds of sports betting, including the NFL and rugby leagues. There was initially a ban on sports that were not played in New Zealand, but it has been eradicated. Lotto NZ, on the other hand, handles lotteries, strictly excluding foreign lotteries.

These two companies are state-owned entities, which means every gambled dollar is easily recouped into the state economy, financial security is easily attained, and every infraction is easily punished.


Today, it is forbidden for New Zealand gambling companies to offer online gambling services to New Zealanders. However, foreign casinos are not under this law, allowing for New Zealanders to connect with these platforms online and do their wagering over the internet.

No one wants to be cheated of their hard-earned money, so much research must be done to ensure that the sites available are safe and protect the privacy of players. Nevertheless, gambling will always be a pastime for New Zealanders, and in-country gambling will always be the preference.



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