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Laws and Restriction of Online Gambling In NZ

Gambling Law NZ

A number of New Zealand pokies fans have approached us regarding the legality of playing online pokies and whether or not they could possibly land themselves in hot water from playing at online casinos.

Well the fact of the matter is that Kiwis are actually legally allowed to play online pokies and this is according to New Zealand law!

More precisely, the Gambling Act of 2003 states that it is not in fact illegal for a citizen of New Zealand to participate in gambling over the internet so long as that website is not based in New Zealand.

This means that it is perfectly safe and legal for Kiwis to gamble online, and it is even safer when choosing one of our recommended online casinos for New Zealand payers!

To further clarify the position of New Zealand citizens who wish to gamble at online pokies for real money, take a look at these important facts about our gambling laws:

  • No tax on your winnings: There are currently no provisions that have been set aside within the guidelines issued by Inland Revenue pertaining to taxation on winnings from online gambling activities. The Inland Revenue guidelines only include taxation of revenue generated from land-based gaming machines, in other words, the ones down at the pub!
  • No legal liability: Kiwis that want to gamble online may do so without fear of prosecution under New Zealand law (as we mentioned in the Gambling Act of 2003)
  • Online poker is also legal: Kiwi poker playing fans can also enjoy online poker games and gambling as this also falls under the same category as online gambling under the Gambling Act of 2003.
  • Online sports betting: This is an area of some confusion due to the New Zealand Racing Board which controls all inland sports betting via the TAB. The distinction needs to be made however, between real and virtual sports betting. Online sports betting which is offered by overseas sports betting sites also falls under the same category as online poker and pokies, therefore legal for Kiwis.

So there you have it, it is perfectly legal for you to enjoy great online pokies from our recommended list.

Online Gaming and Licensed Pokies

Whether it’s online pokies, casino games like roulette and blackjack, bingo or anything else, online gambling is more popular and profitable than ever. It seems that not a month goes by without a brand-new online casino joining the ranks of world-class gambling options on the internet.

Due to the rapid growth of online pokies and casinos, governments have had to think of ways to regulate the process to make it as safe and secure as possible for everyone involved. It is therefore important for all online casinos to get an online casino license in order to legally operate within its territories and accept players from around the world. With this license, online casinos can avoid any problems with the law and gain the confidence of its players.

What is a Gambling License?

In order to play pokies and other casino games online, casinos must receive a gambling license. This gambling license is a certificate of authority issued by a licensing authority in a particular jurisdiction. This is required for all  websites offering online pokies in New Zealand

Online Gambling Jurisdictions

Online gambling is prohibited in many countries, therefore most online gambling licenses are issued by jurisdictions of ‘offshore’ countries likes Malta, Gibraltar and Curacao. There is usually an authority within these regions that issues online casino licenses and for regulating these licenses. In order to receive a license from a particular jurisdiction, online casinos must not only meet the criteria, which varies depending on the jurisdiction, but base at least part of its operations within the region.

Obtaining a casino license can be a complicated process and includes various procedures and fees.

Curacao – The Curacao Gaming Control board has been operating since 2002 and is the main jurisdiction for issuing gambling licenses on the island of Curacao. This gaming authority has broad certification and many licensing offerings, making it a good option for new online casinos due to its costs and time frame.

Malta–Malta is the first country in the European Union to introduce regulations regarding remote and online gambling. Malta is one of the most renowned and respected authorities around and obtaining a license from Malta really boosts the validity and credibility of your online casino.

United Kingdom – Online casinos based in Great Britain are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Online casinos must obtain a remote license from this board in order to accept players from the UK and operate within this region.

Gibraltar – Gibraltar is another popular gambling jurisdiction offering licenses to online casinos in Europe and around the world. Here, you can receive a license for your online websites that include online pokies, betting and sportsbooks.

Alderney – Alderney introduced its ‘free market approach towards online gaming in 2005. The Alderney Gambling Commission was created to issue online casinos in this jurisdiction with licenses.

Isle of Man – The Isle of Man’s regulatory body issues online casino licenses that is backed by the Online Gambling Regulation and the Electronic Transactions Act. The Isle of Man is one of the most popular jurisdictions to obtain a gambling licenses, although it is known for its strict requirements and professional, unbiased monitoring.

Kahnawake – The Kahnawake Gaming Commission offers online casino and poker licenses as well as companies operating online sportsbooks.

Requirements for Online Gaming Licensing

One of the main roles of a gambling control board is to issue gambling licenses. The requirements for a license will be based on the jurisdiction’s gambling controlling act and will vary between regions. Some jurisdictions, like Malta and Isle of Man, are known for their strict requirements, while others, like Curacao, are easier to obtain. In general, gambling authorities will likely look at the following before issuing a license:

  • Does your site meet certain standard of honesty, integrity and good character?
  • Can you provide detailed financial and organisational information about your gambling establishment, its partners, owners and associates?
  • Can you provide employment and criminal information on certain individuals within your organisation?

As a general rule of thumb, the requirements and standard set by a gaming authority to obtain a license is similar to what you would expect from financial institutions like banks and insurance companies. The reasons for the strict requirements are to prevent people/companies involved in organised crime and fraud or organisations that lack financial stability to receive a license.

Online Gambling License Costs

Once you have established that your company is able to meet the requirements of a jurisdiction, you must also be aware of the costs involved in receiving a gambling license. Costs to consider include initial licensing costs, ongoing licensing costs, maintenance costs, tax costs, benefits and more. Online casino operators are required to pay these costs in order to successfully receive your gambling license.

Something to remember

While we have clearly demonstrated that it is perfectly legal for New Zealand gambling fans to enjoy online pokies, poker or sports betting, it is still important to ensure that you choose reputable and safe online gambling destinations.

That is why we recommend that you stick to our best online casinos NZ list and also visit our top 10 pokies tips page for reviews and tips on banking, bonuses and much more!