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Is gambling legal or illegal in New Zealand?

Unless the New Zealand casino is authorized by the Gambling Act of 2003, gambling is illegal. This act also prohibits specific types of gambling according to four classes. The exception is gambling controlled by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

Each class contains different turnovers and maximum prizes in addition to when licensing is required and which companies or individuals can legally conduct gambling operations. Any gambling activity not included in these specifications is prohibited in New Zealand casinos.

Class 1:

The prize for Class 1 gambling must not exceed $500. Individuals are prohibited from conducting Class 1 gambling.

Class 2:

The total value of the prizes must be between $500 and $5,000. The potential gambling profits must be more than $500 without exceeding $25,000. A license is not required for Class 2 gambling. The Gambling Act defines which societies can legally conduct gambling.

Class 3 and 4:

The prizes for Class 3 gambling must have a total value of more than $5,000. Class 4 gambling is usually in reference to gambling involving machines manufactured for gaming. A license is required to conduct gambling for both Class 3 and 4.

Online casino guide for New Zealand players

Players have been enjoying kiwi online casinos for numerous years. Despite the periods of time where strict regulation was enforced, numerous types of gambling are now regulated and legal by the Department of Internal Affairs including:

• Mobile slot machines or pokies
• Horse racing
• Sports gambling
• Lotteries
• Gambling at online casinos provided they are not located within the borders

In order for you to gamble legally online, the casino you choose must not be located in New Zealand. You can find a wide range of online casinos outside of the border offering the majority of games you find in a typical casino including all of the excitement and fun. If you want to gamble with an operator based in New Zealand, you are limited to playing at any of the six land-based casinos, sports or racing betting, lottery games and gaming machines including slots.

Since there are no online casinos in NZ, you need to be aware of the laws and gambling regulations in place for other countries. Since New Zealand is now considered one of the popular countries for gambling, you will discover a lot of international online sites offer gambling in your country. Your best option is to make certain the online casino you choose is certified by a reputable testing agency such as eCOGRA.

You also need to ensure the online casino is licensed for the country in which it is based. You can usually find these types of credentials on the bottom of the homepage for every respected and reputable online casino. If you are unable to find this information fairly easily, you should consider it a red flag and choose a different casino.

You have numerous resources available for gambling addictions. New Zealand has a Problem Gambling Foundation offering support groups, counseling and helplines for gambling addictions. If you are interested in receiving help for yourself or a friend or family member, there are meeting locations and times and educational materials posted on the official website of the organization.

Best New Zealand online casinos

There are not a lot of brick and mortar casinos in New Zealand. Kiwi online casinos are an excellent alternative for online pokies in NZ. You will discover thousands of options including card games, table games, slots, live dealer games and video poker. You can enjoy the experience of playing in an authentic casino with just a few clicks of your mouse.

New Zealand slangs for gambling

The most common slang in New Zealand is punter for players interested in gambling, slot machines are referred to as pokies and bowling for players making more than one bet from different locations simultaneously.

Popular New Zealand gambling banking options

Every live casino New Zealand has slightly different banking options. Due to the security features imposed by the casinos including encrypting, regulations enforced by gambling laws in New Zealand and testing and auditing, you can be assured your money is safe with any reputable casino. The safest and most popular banking options are defined below.

Credit and debit cards

The most common and convenient banking options for both deposits and withdrawals are credit and debit cards. Since the middleman has been eliminated, the chance of any issues with your transaction is significantly decreased. The most widely accepted cards are Visa, Mastercard, credit cards issued by individual casinos and American Express.

Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards are popular because you can determine the amount of cash you want to place on your card before loading it into your account with a New Zealand casino. This banking option is secure because there is no connection to your bank account. You will need to take the time to purchase your card from one of the shops. Prepaid cards require an authorization process with two specific steps.

Although you can make a deposit with your card, you will not be able to use it for withdrawals. Your deposits are immediate and there are generally no fees. The most popular prepaid cards include Neteller, Paysafecard and Entropay.


If you are concerned about online casino security, consider using an e-Wallet because it offers you an additional safety level. You will need to complete a two-step process when you make a deposit. The transfer of funds must be authorized to your e-Wallet before the funds can be transferred to the account you have with the casino. The same method is used when you make a withdrawal.

The advantage is every transfer you make between accounts is instantaneous. When you use a credit or debit card, the majority of transactions require between three and five days before they clear. The most popular e-Wallets include Skrill, PayPal, POLi and InstaDebit.


Although e-Checks are not as popular, you can use them in the same way as a traditional check. This is different than writing out a standard paper check and sending it to the casino because it works electronically. Although this banking method is one of the most secure, it requires a lot more time than the other methods.

This payment option must be carefully checked by the casino to make certain everything is correct. This is the reason your check will take about a day longer to clear than most of the other methods. If you are in a hurry, consider a different option.

EFTs or banking wire transfers

Many of the secure online casinos accept wire transfers. This enables you to directly transfer money from your bank account to your account with the casino. This option usually requires more time than most of the others.

Who regulates gambling in New Zealand?

The Gambling Commission regulates all gambling conducted in New Zealand. The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for The Gambling Commission. The commission was created in 2003, regulates all licensed casinos, determines licensing conditions and approves the agreements between holders of the venue license and the casino operators.

The Gambling Act of 2003 provided critical legislation. The goal was to replace some of the gaming acts incorporated in the past. Unfortunately, these acts were not appropriate for modern gambling. The new legislation created required appealing the 2003 Casino Control Act, the 1977 Gaming and Lotteries Act and a portion of the 2003 Racing Act.

The 2003 Gambling Act was created for the facilitation of responsible gambling, determining which types of gambling were legal and significantly decreasing any harm initiated through gambling. This act outlawed both remote gambling and bookmaking. It is also illegal to advertise virtual sportsbooks and casinos located overseas. Anyone infringing on this act will receive a $10,000 fine.

The Gambling Act created four different classes to determine which gambling activities are legal. Any gambling activities not included in the four categories created by this act are considered illicit. This did not become an issue until much later when online gambling was created and began to gain in popularity. Once this occurred, specific amendments became necessary.

One of the most important restrictions encompassed by the Gambling Act is making the legal age for gambling in New Zealand casinos 20. This restriction is only applicable to the brick and mortar casinos and not online casinos in New Zealand. The Gambling Commission is extremely significant because it is responsible for all licenses issued to land-based casinos.

This law has been in effect since 2004 and also concerns all of the decisions and complaints handled by the Department of Internal Affairs for overseas casinos. Important contributions are also made by the Ministry of Health regarding problem gambling.