Generally, online gambling is on the rise globally. It is the same in New Zealand. Improved internet penetration plus the affordability and availability of smartphones has made it easier for everyone to access online gambling platforms.
While there aren’t any standard regulatory policies guiding the online gambling NZ market at the moment, the industry is still very active. Thousands of people visit gambling sites daily to partake in various forms of betting.
In this article, we will show you five peculiarities of the New Zealand online gambling market you should know.
Local online casinos are banned
Unlike regions like the UK and USA where residents can play at online casinos operated from within the country, Kiwis do not have this privilege. According to Safer Gambling Aotearoa, no company based in New Zealand is allowed to offer types of online casino games such as roulette or virtual poker.
However, playing online casino games at offshore iGaming sites is not considered illegal. You can also bet at online bookies and lottery sites hosted in other countries without risking being in contravention of any New Zealand laws.
Only 2 Online Gambling Sites are Controlled Under New Zealand Law
If you want to gamble online on a platform hosted in New Zealand, you have two options – TAB and the New Zealand Lottery Commission (Lotto NZ). Only these two are permitted to offer online gambling services to residents in New Zealand.
Lotto NZ was established in 1987 and currently operates under the Gambling Act 2003; Crown Entities Act 2004. Its responsibility is to organize, promote, and conduct lotteries in the country. All net profits gotten from the lotteries are received by the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and are used to support different community projects and agencies such as the New Zealand Film Commission, Creative New Zealand, and Sport New Zealand.
Similarly, TAB is New Zealand’s only legal racing and sports betting agency. The website focuses more on horse racing but also features other sports like American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Football, and Esports.
The Legal Gambling Age Differs
When it comes to the legal age to gamble in New Zealand, it depends on the particular activity. For example, there are no age restrictions when you participate in lotteries like Bulls Eyes, Keno, Play 3, or Lotto. However, if anyone under 18 years old wins a prize bigger than $1,000, their parents or legal guardians must sign an acknowledgment form before the winnings can be claimed.
When it comes to instant games or frequently drawn lotteries, it is illegal for persons under the age of 18 to buy tickets or participate. To bet on horse racing or sports, you have to be 18 years or more. These age restrictions also apply when you bet online at Lotto NZ or TAB.
To play at a land-based casino in NZ, you have to be at least 20 years old. However, since there are no online casinos in NZ, this law may not apply. The legal gambling age at most offshore casino sites is 18 and above.
Pokies are the Most Popular Forms of Casino Games
In New Zealand, gaming machines such as pokies are very popular. You can find them at restaurants, pubs, or clubs. In the same way, online pokies are popular at offshore gambling sites that accept Kiwis as well. You’ll find thousands of online pokies available on such sites.
A High Percentage of Asian New Zealanders Gamble Online a Lot
According to several reports, many Kiwis of Asian origin gamble online. A survey carried out in 2022 revealed that over 80% of the Asian New Zealand respondents have engaged in online gambling and gaming within the past 12 months. The most popular activities among them were lotteries and online scratches, video games, and sports bets.