New Zealand definitely has a reputation for having some of the strictest laws and regulations regarding gambling and casinos.
History of New Zealand Gambling Laws
The first piece of legislation pertaining to gambling in New Zealand was the Gambling Act of 1908. This act made it illegal to engage in any type of gambling, unless you were betting on horse races. In 1977, the NZ government passed the Gaming and Lotteries Act. The Casino Act of 1990 made slot machines legal(Must Watch). It wasn’t until 1994 that this country saw their very first casino.
The Gambling Act of 2003 specifically defined gambling as “all live activities”, as well as online casinos, online poker, online bingo, online lotteries, and all forms of mobile betting.
Current Gambling Laws
Gambling is illegal in New Zealand for anyone who is under the age of 20. You must be at least 18 years old to participate in any sports betting, which includes horse racing, lotteries, or scratch cards.
Those who live in New Zealand are allowed to gamble at international casinos that are not based in New Zealand. These casinos offer a wide range of games, including poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, slots, keno, and much more. NZ residents cannot gamble online through any casinos that are based within their country. This is specifically against the law and comes with some fairly harsh penalties for both players and operators.
New Zealand Gambling Commission
The New Zealand Gambling Commission is responsible for licensing all casinos within the country. This regulatory body was established as a result of the Gambling Act of 2003. It reviews all applications for licenses and hears appeals on decisions made by the Secretary of Internal Affairs. They have the ability to revoke a casino’s license if such action is ever deemed necessary.
Purpose of New Zealand Gambling Laws
While many of the gambling laws of New Zealand seem unusually harsh or strict, they exist to promote fair and responsible gambling. These laws also exist for the purpose of controlling the growth of this industry within the country. They have been very effective in minimizing dishonest or fraudulent gambling enterprises and activities throughout the years.
There are four different gambling classes in New Zealand that you should know about.
The first class is related to individuals gambling in a private setting. The law states that any winnings that exceed NZ$500 is not allowed. The host is not allowed to profit at all, as all proceeds must go to the winner.
While a club or society that wants to offer gambling doesn’t need to obtain a license, prizes cannot exceed NZ$5,000. Turnover has to be greater than $500 but not more than $25,000.
Classes 3 and 4
Classes three and four of NZ gambling law have to do with casinos that have tabletop games, machines, or a combination of the two. These establishments must become licensed from the Gambling Commission. Class 3 applies to prizes that total over $5,000, whereas Class 4 applies to gambling machines.