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Current Legal Status of Online Casinos in New Zealand

Diesen Artickel einschätzen Are online casinos legal in New Zealand? Find out more as we take a deep dive into the issue. Virtuell Worlds Land! - Current Legal Status of Online Casinos in New Zealand

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed much of the world’s population into lockdowns, forcing hundreds of millions of people to stay at home. Although it’s definitely a lot better in New Zealand, thanks to the timely, decisive, and apt responses from the government, there are still necessary lockdowns that had people cooped up for weeks on end.

With nothing much to do, many have turned to the various online entertainment options available to them to pass the time. For players looking to play real money casino games, whether they live in remote areas of the country or in the cities, they had nowhere else to go except to flock to any online casino that they could find. After all, online casinos are not restricted by the same limitations as brick-and-mortar casinos.

Fortunately for gamblers, this doesn’t mean that there are no regulations whatsoever for these online casinos. If they want to operate legally in New Zealand, they must adhere to stringent laws.

The Gambling Act of 2003

Before we dive into the semantics relating to the legality of online casinos in New Zealand, we need to understand the law that governs gambling activities in New Zealand as a whole first. This is where the “Gambling Act of 2003” comes in.

The Act itself contains many provisions, some of which are used to define strict regulations to make sure gambling operators and providers are fair and honest to their customers, while others focus on laws that are designed to encourage responsible gambling and minimize the harm caused by problem gambling.

The Act also classifies gambling activities into four classes with any form of gambling that doesn’t fall into any of these four classes being prohibited and illegal. Both Class 1 and 2 offer a prize or turnover that is of a much lower stake, and thus, do not require a license as long as it is conducted by an individual (for Class 1) or authorized societies (for Class 2) as defined in the Gambling Act.

Class 3 and 4 are what we need to take a closer look at if we are to determine the current legal status of online casinos in New Zealand. Both classes offer prizes exceeding $5,000 in value but the only difference between Class 3 and 4 is that Class 4 usually refers to gambling that uses gaming machines while Class 3 is mainly used for all other forms of gambling that don’t fall under the Class 4 categorization. If a gambling activity, such as those conducted by the casinos in New Zealand, falls under Class 3 and 4, it is legal provided that the operator has a license to carry out such activities.

Getting a license in New Zealand, however, is notoriously difficult, mainly because the government made sure that only two state-owned institutions, namely The Lotteries Commission and the Racing Board, monopolize most of the gambling industry in the country. There’s actually a very good reason behind this – they wanted to ensure that the money made from gambling goes towards benefitting the Kiwi community.

The Gambling Act of 2003

The Legal Status of Online Casinos in New Zealand

So, this begets the question – does the Gambling Act of 2003 apply to online casinos? Well, the answer is a bit of both.

By law, the New Zealand government only recognizes The Lotteries Commission and the Racing Board as legal gambling operators and hence, they would be able to conduct what is called an “approved form of remote interactive gambling” a.k.a. online gambling. What this means is that if there are any online casino sites that are operated locally, they would most definitely be illegal. Anyone caught playing on those sites will be liable on conviction to a hefty fine of up to $10,000.

This isn’t the case for online casino sites that are based overseas. Since these sites are operating from locations in countries that are beyond New Zealand’s jurisdiction, the Gambling Act of 2003 can no longer apply. Instead, offshore online casinos – at least the legally licensed ones – are subjected to the gambling laws of their respective home countries, which means that gamblers playing in those online casinos will have some amount of legal protection and recourse in case of any disputes. Consumers’ privacy and data protection are also subjected to the laws of their respective home countries.

Play at Licensed and Legal Online Casinos at

It is just impossible for the common Kiwi to know if an online casino site they want to play in is licensed and legal without doing plenty of time-consuming and tedious research themselves. This is even more so if you consider the fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands of these sites, all vying for your attention. This is one of the main reasons why was set up in the first place!

On the website, you can browse through aggregated lists of legal online casinos in New Zealand through These online casinos are all extensively reviewed by their experienced and unbiased experts, with convenient takeaways like their pros and cons in simple bullet points, as well as a list of the bonuses you’d get if you sign up.

As an established and trusted site, also offers plenty of exclusive bonuses and promotions that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, thanks to their partnership with New Zealand’s most popular online casinos. This includes no deposit bonuses, enhanced welcome packages, special reload promotions and exceptional cashback deals. However, many of these promotions are limited-time-only so you’ll want to hustle if you want to get in on these deals.

The Final Takeaway

Offshore online casinos may be legal for Kiwis to play in, but the kind of protection afforded by the Gambling Act of 2003 will not apply here. The onus is on you to take responsibility and only play in online casinos that have the right licenses and the right kind of safeguards for their players. Thankfully, sites like can help you by doing all the heavy lifting just so you don’t have to!

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