There are a number of rules and regulations in New Zealand that pertain to the operation of casinos and gambling activities in general. If you are interested in running such activity, it is imperative that you are familiar with these rules.

Obtaining a License

If you plan on running a gambling activity with prices that exceed $5,000, you will need to obtain a license from the Gambling Commission. This will require you to fill out and submit an application to this particular regulatory board. Anyone who wants to conduct Class 3 or 4 gambling activities must be licensed to do so.

There are a number of application forms for various activities, including Lottery, Game of Chance, Housie, Calcutta, Lottery, and others. It is important that you look through these different applications to find the ones you need to submit.

If you are going to offer slot machines to the gambling public, you will need to fill out and submit an application for a Class 4 license.


It is also important to note that commissions paid to anyone who conducts Class 1 and 2 gambling activities is not allowed.

Prohibited Prizes

Prohibited Prizes

There are certain types of prizes that cannot be given to winners, including:

  • Tobacco products
  • Firearms or explosives
  • Liquor
  • Vouchers for sexual services
  • Vouchers for any property mentioned above


Those who want to run a lottery do not need to obtain a license, provided the total winnings do not exceed $5,000. If the total winnings are more than $5,000, you will have to obtain a license from the Gambling Commission.


Societies are allowed to run Housie games. Individuals may run these games, but only under very specific circumstances. You do not require a license for running housie, but only if the session does not exceed $5,000 in prizes. The turnover must be $25,000 or less. Otherwise, a license is required.

Games of Chance

Games of Chance

Anyone who wants to run games of chance will need to obtain a license if the prize amounts exceed $5,000 per session and more than $25,000 turnaround.

Prize Competitions

Prize competitions are defined as gambling activities that involve some element of skill or knowledge. This includes sports competitions like tagged fishing contests. These activities do not require a license if the prize money does not exceed $5,000 per session with a $25,000 or less turnover.

Final Thoughts

It is important that you follow all New Zealand laws and regulations if you are going to offer or host any gambling activities. While obtaining a license is not always required, you still need to be aware of all the rules. This will serve to keep you from getting in any legal trouble. There are some fairly steep consequences for being caught conducting illegal gambling activities in NZ. The Department of Internal Affairs website has all of the information you will need to when it comes to running gambling activities in this country.