Pop into most major casinos, and you will see that players from New Zealand are often welcomed at their domains. Gambling has regularly been a part of the lifestyles of the country, and New Zealand has some of the most liberal gambling laws in the world when it comes to betting, even wagering online. If you are based in New Zealand, you can seemingly play at all major online casino sites. However, that doesn’t mean to say that New Zealand has fully legalised online gambling. Far from it. It just means that they are more laid back and easy-going about online betting. How and why? Let’s find out…
Is Online Gambling Legal in New Zealand?
The million-dollar question is, is online gambling legal in New Zealand. Oddly enough, no. New Zealand does have a law (the Gambling Act of 2003) which prohibit online gambling unless the government authorizes it. According to the law, remote gambling (internet gambling) and sports betting are off the table. However, there is a loophole, and you don’t have to be a lawyer to see the flaw with it.
The Gambling Act of 2003 expressly forbids New Zealand’s citizens from betting online at any casino in New Zealand. The key part of this sentence is “any casino in New Zealand”. As New Zealand does not award online gambling licenses, all the casinos which exist online are based offshore. They are in a very real sense, not New Zealand casinos. This loophole, or grey area if you will, allows New Zealanders to play at any online casinos, provided they are based offshore, and as mentioned, all of them are.
In practical terms, this means that while land-based casinos are governed by the laws of The Gambling Commission, offshore operators are free to offer their services to players based in the country.
New Zealander Online Casinos
There is no such thing as a New Zealand online casino in the very definition of the term. All online casinos are licensed and located offshore. What New Zealand does have are land-based casinos and betting outlets, and these are legal for locals to play at, provided they are aged 20 or over.
If you wish to wager online while living in New Zealand, you will need to visit an offshore casino. Fortunately, New Zealanders have the pick of the litter when it comes to finding somewhere to play their favourite games.
Offshore Casino Sites for New Zealander Players
Any online casino located outside of New Zealand is most likely open for business. They can attract Kiwis by offering the New Zealand dollar (NZD) as a currency option, by ensuring that New Zealand support options and payment methods are promoted, and by theming their casino so that it appeals to citizens of the country.
Most of the major casinos which accept players from New Zealand tend to be licensed out of the United Kingdom, Malta or Gibraltar. However, these sites may also hold Curacao licenses or certifications from elsewhere. New Zealand does not instruct its ISPs (internet service providers) to cut off access to these foreign and offshore casinos. Nor do New Zealanders need a VPN (virtual private network) to play at those sites. There are no punishments in store for New Zealanders who choose to play at offshore casinos, as the government essentially turns a blind eye to it.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
Over 80% of the country’s population gambles in some way, shape or form. Admittedly, most play lottery games, though a good number visit online casinos. Attempting to cut off internet gambling options for such a substantial number of the population would be incredibly harsh, and that is not something New Zealand has in the pipeline.
However, New Zealand does lose out on a lot of revenue. Winnings are not taxable at offshore casinos. New Zealanders can keep all their winnings and do not have to pay a cent on income tax payments through them. This may be an area where New Zealand decides to experiment with in the future. As for a general rule prohibiting access to offshore casinos? Nothing could be further from reality at the minute.
Top New Zealander Casino Sites
New Zealanders do not need to search for hours to find a site which accepts them. Almost all major online casinos are quite open to accepting players from New Zealand. The Oceanic nation is high-up on those casino’s hit lists, so expect plenty of top sites offering the NZD currency. Moreover, because New Zealanders can access virtually every major online casino around, they really can afford to be quite picky with which site they go with. There is no excuse for playing at rogue or blacklisted casinos. Instead, Kiwis can play at some of the very best around. You can check out some of those sites right here on this page.