🕒 5 minutes read

Is it Legal to Play Online Pokies in New Zealand?

🕒 5 minutes read
Greg Foster April 9, 2024 5 min read
Is it Legal to Play Online Pokies in New Zealand

Gambling in New Zealand is a fantastic pastime; however, this is mostly done at land casinos or through licensed figures, like TAB and Lotto NZ. There aren’t any New Zealand-specific online casinos for gamers to enjoy, so visiting international online platforms is the way to go. The question on every gambler’s mind is: is this legal? Today I dive deep into how this is regulated within the country and how it may affect online players.

Gambling Laws

According to New Zealand’s gambling laws, remote gambling is illegal unless it is specifically enforced by the 2003 Gambling Act, but betting online is allowed. This means that players can still enjoy gaming on sites that are based overseas, including digital Sportsbooks and horse racing. This can be tricky, though, since the consumer protection law no longer applies if you choose to play on an international platform. To make it easier, and know that you are safe when gambling online, there are many reputable online casinos that are trustworthy and secure. We have a range of reviews and recommendations for these platforms, so be sure to check those out prior to committing to an online casino.

In the 2003 Gambling Act, it states that the legal gambling age is 18 years old, and those above this can bet on sports, play lottery, and enjoy scratch cards. The Department of Internal Affairs within this Act promote security and enforce regulations to online and land-based gambling businesses within New Zealand, so any place without valid licensing is closed down.

According to this 2003 Act, the regulations are strict, making it impossible for new casino licenses to be granted due to the current laws. This makes it hard for Kiwis to hold onto hope that New Zealand-based gambling sites, and even betting sites, will be up and running under legal jurisdiction anytime soon.

Gambling Market

Since there are no state-owned online casinos, the lottery providers are currently taking over the gambling market in New Zealand. Kiwi players are keen to play pokies and casino games online, however since the law forbids these kinds of acts, the international platforms – that don’t support local communities – are a gamers closest friend.

The New Zealand Lottery Commission has legally been allowed to permit online lottery sales since 2008, and is currently the only licensed vendor of gambling and internet casinos. Kiwi payers have limited access to online gambling providers within the country, so outsourcing to international sites is the best option. There is no legislation to say it is legal to gamble at online international platforms, however there is no regulation to say it is illegal either.

Online Gambling

Kiwi players spend millions of dollars each year playing at offshore online casinos. Since there are only 6 land-based casinos across New Zealand, horse racing and sports betting are increasingly popular. Online gambling, however, is taking over since there is more variety in games and higher amounts to win.

Online pokies are now second-nature to Kiwi players, with their first choice being land-based pokie game machines. Jackpots, poker, blackjack, and roulette are the most popular choices for both online and in-person games, with a percentage of Kiwis engaging in sports betting and lottery ticket purchasing.

Online gambling overseas can have its limitations though. Since $NZD is not widely accepted across all countries, this can become an issue when finding an online casino to play at. Many places are also restricted to only accept specific countries, and New Zealand is generally not on that list.

Within New Zealand, it can be hard to find reputable international online casinos to play at. This is due to there being a legislation that overseas gambling operators cannot advertise within New Zealand. This can cause risks, like choosing the wrong casino that isn’t trustworthy, and then not being covered by insurance or community protection from the New Zealand Government. To assist with finding a secure, safe casino, we have several articles that have in-depth lists and information. To start, however, I provide some of the most useful tips for staying safe below.

Finding Reputable Online Casinos

To stay safe online, I recommend checking all international platforms for reputable licensing and regulation from authority figures. Some of the most common bodies for online casinos include the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The next step I suggest is to find reviews for sites. If there are lots of consistently negative comments for a platform, I suggest steering clear of it. We have a list of recommendations for New Zealand-accepting casinos, so be sure to visit our reviews to confirm your choices.

Another way to find a secure site is by checking a site’s banking methods to see if they accept reputable and common options. Those who accept minimal options may have something suspicious going on, so it is always better to be safe than sorry. Different categories and varieties of gaming choices is always an asset to have, so finding this out before committing to an online casino site is another great step to take. Sites that have gaming titles from reputable developers, such as Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, and Evolution Gaming, implies that they are a great casino to visit. A final, and crucial, step to finding a secure casino is to ensure they have excellent customer service. This can be found through player reviews and on their ‘Contact’ pages; if they only list one or two options with no guarantee of response time, it’s a definite no.


Online gambling within New Zealand is impossible, so resorting to overseas platforms is the only way to go. This can be tricky and scary, so finding reviews and reputable software suppliers on a casino can help you find a reputable site to gamble at. With all of the gambling Acts and laws surrounding this, gambling at an offshore casino is in the grey area; you are not doing anything illegal, but it also isn’t specified as legal either. Staying safe when gambling online is important, so be sure to follow our guides and tips to find a secure casino.