New Zealand is a beautiful island country, with wonderful nature, a vibrant culture, and a caring government. By this last, we mean that their law-making process is such that you feel safe. A great example of this is their gambling laws. New Zealand online casinos are regulated by several bodies and authorities, and you can be confident about where it is best to play, and which are the places that should be avoided. HolyMoly Casinos are here to give you the details of the history of gambling in New Zealand, and explain something about New Zealand online casinos and the current laws that pertain to them.
Top Rated New Zealand Casinos 2020
The History of New Zealand Gambling
Let’s start with the history. A long time ago, when there were only jungles on the islands of New Zealand, the first gamblers appeared. Okay, that’s a bit far-fetched. Maybe it’s better if we stick to the dates and facts, and not milk it for all it’s worth. So, it all started with the appearance of the first ‘Art Union’ in 1877. It was the first lottery set up for charitable purposes and the funding of charities. In 1933, the first national lotteries began operation and proved to be very popular. With this popularity came the first criminal activity focused on the lotteries. To regulate the sector and reduce the level of crime, the Golden Kiwi Lottery was introduced by the national government. Since 1961, the field of gambling has been regulated, and therefore legal.
Horse racing has always had a questionable reputation with governments of various countries. It was banned in New Zealand in 1920 and became legal again only 41 years later, in 1961. Presumably, it was just a question of finding the most appropriate means of regulating the sector.
Ever heard of pokies?
During the next 26 years, there were no other gambling activities in New Zealand. But 1987 was the year of change. First, in that year the New Zealand Lotteries Commission was established. It became one of the first regulatory authorities for the gambling sector. Second, a thing called ‘Big Wednesday’ was growing in popularity. It included lotto, keno, and scratch cards. Gambling entertainment was becoming more diverse, although there was still a long way to go before the arrival of the first New Zealand online casinos. The most significant event of 1987 was the appearance of the first slot machines. They could be found in bars and hotels and were installed mostly for charitable purposes. Kiwis, by the way, call slots “pokies.” The name is also commonly used by Australian gamblers.
Starting from 1 July 2009, all slot machines had to display certain information to players. The main idea was that you should be aware of how much time you’ve spent playing, and how much money you’ve lost so far. This was done in an effort to avoid gambling addiction. However, in the course of thinking about people, they forgot about the crime rate. In 2010, there were so many slot machines that it was impossible to watch them all. The level of gambling crime was critical, but they introduced a list of acts to change this situation for the better (we’ll talk about those a bit later). One more interesting fact: today there are over 19,000 slot machines across the country. It’s fair to say that it might be easy to get hooked on gambling with such temptation on every corner.
The first land-based casino in New Zealand opened in 1994. Currently, there are six brick-and-mortar casinos operating in the country:
- Dundelin Casino;
- Christchurch Casino;
- SKYCITY Auckland;
- SKYCITY Hamilton;
- SKYCITY Queenstown;
- Lasseters Wharf Casino.
These are well worth a visit. There are actually five cities that boast gambling facilities, the best-equipped of which is Queenstown, with two casinos. If you are a gambler who likes to try different places, you should visit this town. But if you’d rather see the largest New Zealand casino, go to the SKYCITY, Auckland casino. Sorry for this small digression, but we hope it was interesting. Let’s return to the history now, before we go on to focus on New Zealand online casinos in detail.
In 2008, the first online lotto tickets became available. That year was also notable for the establishment of the first regulatory body for sports betting - the Totalizator Agency Board (TAB). New Zealanders are really fond of sports, their favorites being cricket and rugby. Predictably, most bets placed in the country are on those two sports.
Now that the history lesson is over, a bit more about the laws and regulations of New Zealand. The main body controlling gambling is the Department of International Affairs. Actually, there are two more authorities which deal with this sector: the Ministry of Health and the Gambling Commission. The most common misconception is that gambling laws in New Zealand and Australia are similar. They are not!
The main document to focus on is the Gambling Act (2003). It was created to control the sector, minimize harm to users, facilitate and ensure fairness, and limit crime. The most recent additions were made in 2015, in the Gambling Amendment Act. They divided the gambling fields into four groups according to the size of turnover.
The main things you need to know about gambling law in New Zealand are:
- International gambling is prohibited by law, but in reality you won’t be punished for playing at foreign online casinos;
- You have to be 20 years old (not 18, as usual) to play at land-based and online casinos;
- You don’t have to pay any taxes on your winnings at online casinos, unless you are considered to be a professional gambler. If it’s just a hobby, there is no taxation;
- The advertising of foreign online casinos is illegal.
The HolyMoly Casinos team hope that all your questions have been answered, but we’ve got still more facts for you. Read on!
Non-commercial gambling generates funding for a wide range of community purposes, such as hospitals and education. Remember, however, that laws may change, so go ahead and choose the best online casino in New Zealand while you have the chance.
There is real concern about the problem of gambling addiction in New Zealand. Here are three resources that can help in dealing with it:
- Statistics and Information on Gaming in New Zealand;
- The Problem Gambling Library;
- Gambling Helpline.
As you can see, the organization of the law relating to gambling in New Zealand is such that you are effectively free to choose anything you want and gamble wherever you like.
How to Choose an Appropriate New Zealand Online Casino
We’ve prepared a list of things you should know before playing at New Zealand online casinos:
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These are only the main issues. We’ve made your choice easier by creating a list of the best online gambling sites in New Zealand.
TOP Online Casinos New Zealand 2020
Here is a list of the top New Zealand online casinos:
- Yeti Casino;
- Guts Casino;
- Vegas Hero Casino;
- Golden Star Casino;
- Barbados Casino;
- Casimba Casino;
- LetsBet Casino;
- Joreels Casino;
- Red PingWin Casino;
- 7 Gods Casino.
[BONUS CARDS FOR YETI, GUTS, VEGAS HERO, GOLDEN STAR, BARBADOS]
Before you choose one of these wonderful casinos, read our reviews, to find out more about each of them. We hope that this information was helpful to our New Zealand users!