Is It Legal For New Zealanders To Gamble Online?

gamble online

At the start of 2022, internet penetration in New Zealand recorded new heights, at 94.9% of the total population. This statistic shouldn’t come as a surprise, as this island, located southeast of Australia, boasts a modern telecommunications infrastructure, thanks to its government’s efforts.

Most New Zealanders use the internet daily for work, shopping, communication, and entertainment. One relatively popular pastime involves gambling on casino sites.

As more people familiarize themselves with the wonders of the web, many have stumbled upon the plethora of online gambling outlets. Are you asking yourself, “Are internet casinos going to get me into trouble?” Let’s answer this question as succinctly as possible.

The Legality Of Gambling Online In NZ

As so many businesses are trying to make the most out of this emerging industry, you need to equip yourself with some knowledge. You do not want to accidentally break any laws while engaging in this newly found hobby.

We know that gambling is legal and regulated in New Zealand as there exist land-based casinos around the country. What about internet casinos?

Implications Of The Gambling Act 2003

If you’re itching to take a flutter, it’s wise to read up on The Gambling Act of 2003, which governs casinos and gambling in NZ.

This act covers the buying of lottery tickets, participation in sports bets and horse racing stakes, and joining a land-based casino, among others. For some activities, you need to be 18 years old to partake, while for others, the legal age is 20.

Do note that while there are regulations pertaining to gambling in New Zealand, online casinos are illegal in the country. The government does not allow residents to use local online gambling operators, with the exception of the lottery and TAB.

Nevertheless, the restrictions do not apply to gambling sites, online casinos, and sportsbooks based outside of New Zealand. Laws are less restrictive for punters as opposed to the businesses that offer such services.

Online Gambling Options For New Zealanders

As mentioned above, the only two operators that can offer internet gaming services to the people of NZ are the New Zealand Lottery Commission and TAB, a racing and sports betting agency. Other companies do not have permission to operate.

However, Kiwis can still access offshore casinos to enjoy some gambling fun. These operators find a warm welcome in NZ. It’s worth noting, though, that they have limitations in terms of advertising and risk $10,000 for every breach.

As a resident, you only need to do some research to find a trustworthy operator. You’ll want to engage with one boasting good reviews from other players. Companies such as are a good starting point.

Safeguarding The People

Why does New Zealand only permit two state-owned companies to control a big piece of the country’s gambling pie? The answer lies in the ease of monitoring and a return of revenue back into the country’s funds.

The money that returns into NZ’s coffers goes towards community engagement and social development. There are health and wellness programs in place to aid in education. Suffice it to say, the country believes that the money does its share by researching measures to control the effects of problem gambling.

Unlike draconian governments that completely ban all gambling activities, New Zealand takes another approach. It believes that punting is a fun and possibly lucrative activity. A middle ground is the aim, where monitoring is simple, and profits lead back to the well-being of the people.


Gambling legislation has never been an easy task to undertake. Nonetheless, the Kiwis seem to have found the sweet spot between regulation and giving the people what they want. As a punter, the key is maintaining a safe and enjoyable experience.

It’s easy to fall prey to illegal operators and have your money fall into the wrong hands. As long as you aim for licensed operators with good standing, your financial and personal data will remain secure. Then, you’ll be free to play and focus on the beauty of the game.

Nicole Middleton
Nicole calls herself a typical millennial girl and thrives on her share of social media, celebrity gossip, and all things viral content. She’s a big fan of pop music and plays the guitar as a hobby.