What You Should Know about Online Gambling in New Zealand

Tuesday 15 September 2020, 9:01PM
By iCasinoReviews

The gambling industry in New Zealand is ruled by land-based casinos. There are six of them operating on different locations across the country. The Gambling Act 2003 strictly prohibits bookmaking and remote interactive gambling. This means that horse race betting, sports betting, and online gambling are illegal activities under the gambling laws NZ. 

It’s important to understand the regulations of your government, so you’ll avoid making expensive mistakes and lose money in the long run. There is a twist: the citizens of New Zealand can play at online casinos that have been licensed outside the country. Advertising of these sites on the territory of the country is banned. However, the government cannot sanction citizens who use them.   

After reading this article, you’ll know where to start and which casinos you should use to play real money games and increase your chances of winning. Let’s get started!

What Do the New Zealand Online Gambling laws Say?

If you are a new resident or visitor in New Zealand, you might be wondering what gambling law applies to you when you visit casinos. In general, there is a single act imposing stringent regulations on gambling. Despite all expectations, the rapid technological advancement and the pressure from the citizens did not bring any changes.

The initial regulations against gambling were made in the 1920s, when the government prohibited bookmaking. At that point, only on-track horse betting was allowed. In 1961, horse race betting was also prohibited under the law. That changed with the Racing Act 2003, which allowed sports and race betting entertainment only when offered through the NZ Racing Board. The Racing Industry Act 2020 established TAB NZ as the only provider for sports and racing bets, but it liberalized the industry by allowing TAB NZ to launch new betting products.  

The Parliament took a lot of time to allow casinos and lottery games. That happened in the 1980s. The first casino opened its doors in 1994. At the moment, only six casinos operate across the state:

  1. Christchurch Casino
  2. Dunedin Casino
  3. SkyCity Auckland
  4. SkyCity Wharf Casino
  5. SkyCity Queenstown
  6. SkyCity Hamilton  

Currently, the industry is regulated under the Gambling Act 2003, which hasn’t been updated. It is very strict, saying that no new casino venue licenses can be granted according to NZ gambling laws. This law leaves no space for licensing gambling websites whatsoever.

Due to that fact, New Zealand gamblers turn to offshore gambling services, which can easily be accessed without breaking any casino laws.  

Choosing Legit Sites

It’s natural to start wondering why you should trust online gambling that haven’t been licensed under New Zealand online gambling laws. If you are starting your gambling journey, you need to be extremely careful when choosing an online site to play your favorite titles.

How do you know if an online site is legit? You should start by looking at the licenses and the authorities that regulate the online site. All reputable sites are usually licensed and regulated by popular gambling authorities. These sites display their licenses on their official page. If you fail to see these licenses, don’t sign up.

You should also look at the user reviews on the gambling site you’re interested in. How do other players rate the online site? It’s normal to find a few players who’ll leave negative feedback and poor ratings. However, if most of the players leave negative feedback, you should avoid using that site. If you don’t, you could be the next one leaving a negative comment.

The variety of games is another critical feature that you shouldn’t ignore. Reputable online sites tend to have a wide selection of games to keep their players entertained. These games are created by some of the best developers in the gambling industry: NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, Evolution Gaming, and a few others. A casino site that has a handful of games should be avoided. Remember: you are gambling not just to win money but to have fun as well. And a casino with no options ain’t fun.

Other things that you should look at include: banking options, customer service, casino bonus and promotions, and safety measures. At the end of the day, you want a stress-free NZ gambling site that will entertain you and increase your chances of winning.

Banking methods in New Zealand

As an avid gambler in a new territory, you are probably wondering how you’ll move money from your bank to the casino account and vice versa. Since the casino laws NZ prohibit online gambling, won’t the bank block that transaction? That’s the trick: playing in NZD casinos licensed abroad is not prohibited by the law. That’s why the banks will allow you to use your card to make deposits.

The best thing about online gambling is there are a lot of banking methods that you can use to move money.

Some of the common banking methods that you’ll find on NZ gambling sites include Visa, MasterCard, Paysafecard, Neteller, Skrill, and Bitcoin to name a few. As you begin looking at different sites, you’ll notice that the banking options do vary between competing sites. This is why it is important to find an online casino with banking options that will fulfill your needs. All payment methods that we’ve listed here are safe to use thanks to their security protocols and encryptions.

Mobile gambling in New Zealand

If you are the type of player who prefers playing casino games using your mobile phone, you’ll have a great time exploring offshore sites that accept NZ players. Gambling using a mobile phone or tablet is the new standard in the industry. The majority of online casino sites are making it easier for players to access the entire offer through their mobile platforms. You can either play on the website or download a mobile app (when available). Mobile platforms will allow you to play on the go and even withdraw your winnings.

To see what casinos have apps and mobile-responsive sites, we recommend you to check out individual reviews of gambling sites.

Best Games to Play in NZ Casinos

You should always go for games that you understand and love to have a great experience. These casino games should be practical and within your budget. While games with a low house edge are easy to win, the cash prize will be low. On the other hand, games with a high house edge are difficult to win. However, they do pay off in case you win.

Since a small win is better than a loss, new players need to take it easy and start off with games that have a low house edge. Those are: single-deck Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Three-Card Poker, and slots.

Withdrawing Your Winnings

To withdraw your winnings, you need to ensure that you’ve logged in to your account. Next, head to the payment section and select the withdraw option. If the website made a banking method available for your country, it means that it works.

Creating an account or linking your card as early as possible will save you a lot of time in the long run.


Despite the restrictive online gambling NZ law regarding online gambling industry, you can gamble safely and legally on websites licensed by foreign authorities. All you need to do is understand your rights and obligations as a gambler, and choose an online casino that adheres to these laws. Looking at other aspects such as the offer of games, payment options, licenses, and customer service will greatly improve your experience.