Many forms of gambling/betting are legal in New Zealand and have been for many years. However when it comes to online betting the situation isn’t quite as straightforward.
Legislation states that whilst online gambling is illegal in New Zealand it is not illegal to use overseas providers. Totally bizarre but that’s how things currently stand… which is good news for punters as it means some of the biggest and best bookmakers operate services in the territory.
Check out all you need to know in regards to gambling laws and legislation in the country and also check out a list of New Zealand betting sites which you can use to bet with on the internet.
Key Facts: Online Gambling In New Zealand
- Majority of land based gambling is legal as set out by Gambling Act 2003.
- Remote interactive (or online) gambling is deemed illegal in New Zealand.
- HOWEVER it’s NOT ILLEGAL to use overseas providers to gamble with online.
- Many betting sites to choose from and use legally.
- Legal age limit 18+.
New Zealand Betting Sites: Top 5
The following is a list of the best betting sites for residents of New Zealand:
Gambling Law & Legislation: Timeline
The best way to really understand the legality of gambling in any country is to trace the path of the legislation passed within that country over the years. The following timeline describes that path for New Zealand:
1971 – The Racing Act
Following a period where a hodgepodge of different legislation made the situation in New Zealand very complicated, the Racing Act of 1971 was passed to clarify the legal situation regarding sports betting in the country. The act established the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) and gave the organisation a monopoly over legal totalisator and fixed odds betting on greyhound and harness racing, galloping and during sporting events.
1977 – Gaming and Lotteries Act
The Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1977 permitted non-commercial organisations to run lotteries, prize competitions, games of chance and instant games to raise funds for community purposes. The act also set down the regulatory rules for such activities and determined when they needed licensing and how such licences could be sought.
1990 – Casino Control Act
Passed in 1990, the Casino Control Act made casinos that operate for private gain the first fully commercial form of gambling to be allowed in New Zealand. The act did, however, emphasise that it did so due to the employment, tourism and economic development benefits which such organisations could provide for the country.
2003 – Gambling Act
The Gambling Act 2003 is the main legislation relating to gambling in New Zealand as things stand today. The act repealed the Casino Control Act 1990 and the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977 and integrated them into a single Act. That act re-affirmed which forms of gambling were legal in New Zealand and placed them into classes to determine whether they needed to be licensed.
Section 9 (2) (b) of the act also prohibited ‘remote interactive gambling’ and defined it as:
gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device
It did also go on, however, to clarify that:
it is not illegal for someone in New Zealand to participate in gambling over the Internet if that website is based overseas
Advertising to New Zealand citizens by those overseas based providers, however, is illegal.
2003 – Racing Act
Repealing the 1971 Racing Act, the Racing Act 2003 was passed in order to facilitate betting on galloping, harness, and greyhound races, and other sporting events, and to provide effective governance. The act also created the New Zealand Racing Board as a new organisation to take over the monopoly over the industry previously held by the TAB.
Do Players Get Taxed On Winnings?
Now that we’ve established exactly what forms of gambling are legal in New Zealand and under what circumstances, all that’s left is to discuss how the gambling industry is taxed in the country.
When it comes to punters themselves, the news on that score is wholly positive. Winnings garnered either through the legalised forms of gambling within New Zealand itself or through gambling online with overseas based sites are not subject to income tax.
Online Deposit Options & Methods
As we have discussed at length, there are no New Zealand based online gambling providers as ‘remote interactive gambling’ is illegal in the country. Betting with overseas based sites, however, is entirely legal and as such all manner of deposit options with those sites are possible for New Zealand punters.
In most cases, depositing via debit or credit card is the easiest for punters as this can be done easily and securely, and money is transferred almost instantly. For some, however, a degree of privacy may be desirable and as such an e-wallet service which can provide a buffer between a gambling site and the punter’s bank account can be beneficial.