“Despite having a small population, New Zealand has a thriving gaming market that is open to other overseas online gambling brands.”
In New Zealand, gambling is a perfectly legal and favorite pastime of the adult population. New Zealanders enjoy many races and sports, slots or pokies (as called in the country), and both land and online casinos which are the main forms of gambling existing in the country. Despite its close proximity to Australia which is its neighboring country, New Zealand has remained distinct with its culture, character, and government with both countries having slightly different views when it comes to gambling.
Despite having a relatively small population, New Zealand maintained a thriving gaming market with New Zealanders already wagering to over NZ$ 2 billion a year. In fact, statistics show that with pokies alone, which are mostly available for play in bars and hotels, a turnover of NZ$ 10 billion was reported while NZ$ 9 billion was returned in prizes in 2008. Calculating player losses lead to over NZ$ 900 million worth of money that the citizens are willing to gamble for slots alone. This only shows the enthusiasm of New Zealanders in having their own thriving market despite having a small population of players.
Fortunately, New Zealand does not monopolize its players when it comes to online gambling. It remained its doors open for other overseas online gambling brands to enter its lucrative gaming market.
Gambling Laws in New Zealand
All forms of gambling in New Zealand are regulated by its Department of Internal Affairs that keep all gambling activities fair and honest. In order to regulate the legality of gambling in New Zealand, a Gambling Bill called The Gambling Act 2003 was passed to carry out orderliness in the gaming market of the country. This means that any gambling activity that takes place in the country that has not been authorized by the Gambling Act 2003 is considered illegal. This act also prohibits remote interactive gambling in New Zealand; however, it is not illegal for someone in the country to gamble over the internet on an online gambling site that is based outside New Zealand.
The Gambling Act carries the responsibility to:
- control the growth of gambling in the country
- facilitate responsible gambling
- give authorization to legal gambling companies
- attend to issues and minimize problems caused by gambling
- ensures fairness and integrity of games in gambling games especially in online casinos
- ensure that profits from gambling benefit the community
- facilitate community involvement in the decision-making related to the implementation of gambling laws and regulations
Unlike the gambling laws and regulations in countries like Sweden that seem to drive its market to a monopoly, New Zealand’s gambling laws are more relaxed which makes it quite open for a larger gaming market. Because of this, there is a wide range of online casinos to choose from. On the other hand, NZ’s authorities do not have jurisdiction over online casinos. This means that they are not responsible for any inconveniences that may occur between overseas-based casinos and the players from New Zealand.
It is absolutely legal to have your transactions on an online casino as long as the casino operator is not based in New Zealand. Players may have their deposit and withdrawal transactions with the casino as long as it accepts NZD as currency. When it comes to tax, as long as New Zealanders play on online casinos that are based overseas, they will not be charged with income tax in their winnings.
Since New Zealand authorities do not have a jurisdiction over foreign operators, overseas casinos are not liable for any loss or fraud cases affecting the players. However, when choosing online casinos to join, players must, of course, make sure that the online casino uses security measures such as encryption to secure the information and financial data of the players.
Checking for credentials such as a legal license or a certification from a highly-regarded testing authority such as eCOGRA from the online casino will guarantee its reputation as an online casino. This would also guarantee that the casino is secured and regulated by governing authorities that support responsible and safe gambling. Before an online casino is licensed to operate legally, it has to undergo a series of stringent testing standards. These credentials can be mostly found at the bottom of the online casino’s homepage.
The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand offers special services such as counseling, support groups, and help lines to help minimize and prevent the problems caused by gambling addiction. Every online casino must encourage their players to read on the Responsible Gaming Guide in the casino before playing games.
Finding the Best Online Casino for New Zealand Players
Finding a good online casino that caters to New Zealand players is easy since there are a lot top online casinos that accept NZD. Here are some of the factors that you should check when choosing the online casino to trust:
Theme and Graphics
The theme and the quality of graphics can influence a player’s game experience in the casino; therefore, it is important that the casino’s visual and graphics performance does not bother your casino sessions.
Promotion and Bonus
Choose an online casino that offers good welcome offer for you to use when you get started with the online casino.
Game Selection and Software
Choose an online casino that offers a great selection of games from trusted game providers.
License and Security
Check the online casino if it is licensed under a legit gambling authority.
Choose an online casino that offers a wide selection of payment options and accepts NZD as currency.
Know the pros and cons of the online casinos by browsing reviews from the internet about the online casino. Always check for the online casino’s license to make sure that it is safe to transact with and is regulated by an authority.