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What the law says about online gambling in NZ

Presently, there are no specific regulations regarding online gambling in New Zealand. The main reason is that the current NZ Gambling Act was created back in 2003, when the government could not effectively predict the implications the Internet would have on the gambling industry in NZ and worldwide. That being said, the Kiwis are pretty much allowed to play at offshore online casinos legally, because there’s currently no law that would state otherwise.

That’s why NZ casinos online are based outside the NZ jurisdiction. Domestic gambling in NZ is prohibited aside from authorized providers, like Lotto NZ and TAB.  With that in mind, let’s have a look at what the law says about online gambling in NZ.

The current legal landscape of online gambling in New Zealand

As mentioned before, online gambling is pretty much prohibited in NZ and you can only play at offshore casinos. The government tries to discourage gambling because they believe it’s bad for you and because the offshore establishments don’t give back to the  NZ community. Therefore, some banks will not approve of online gambling transactions, such as deposits and withdraws.

Of course, there’s always a work around for those still willing to play their favorite casino games and enjoy the entertainment these games provide. Moreover, the government of NZ has finally decided to consider the issue of online gambling regulations.

Are there any plans to change the laws around online gambling in the near future?

Back in 2019, the Minister of Internal Affairs has announced the release of the summary of submissions report from public consultations regarding online gambling in New Zealand. As you might imagine, the next step is to discuss the issues and consider the benefits if online gambling is made legal in New Zealand. This may take years as bureaucracy is often in the way of such procedures but, at the very least, the government is willing to update their outdated laws regarding online gambling.

How do the laws around online gambling compare to those in other countries?

The laws around online gambling vary from country to country. In some countries, online gambling is completely legal, while in others it is illegal. There are also some countries where online gambling is only partially legal. In other words, it quite a complex issue. For example, up until recently both online and offline gambling and betting were illegal in the U.S. with a few exceptions.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 banned all gambling and sports betting activities until the law was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017/18. Today, each state in the U.S. is free to regulate gambling as they see fit. Other countries have similar regulations that allow or ban online gambling but none of them can actually prohibit offshore casinos nor prevent their citizens from playing at these establishments.

So far, nothing has changed regarding online gambling in New Zealand since 2003. However, plans are being made to change all that. How the debate will turn out is anyone’s guess, but we’ll have to wait and see what the politicians come up with

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