There are certain types of gambling that is not covered by the Gambling Act of 2003 and for those who gamble outside the law within New Zealand are considered criminal and will constitute to heavy fines and even imprisonment. The act is taken from the existing framework of laws in the UK, France and in the US.
the Kiwi lawmakers are learning from other parts of the world where gambling is legal and has become an important part of society. Places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City or Macau are places where gambling plays an important role.
These places have helped lawmakers come up with laws that are keen on protecting its citizens.
When the law allowed casino gambling in New Zealand in 1994 there has been a steady demand for more casino establishments however the government has been very careful and managed the growth of casino gambling within New Zealand to guarantee efficient enforcement and regulations.
The government of New Zealand recognized the dangers gambling decades ago. These dangers range from gambling addictions, financial ruin and emotional disorders that breaks apart families and friends.
The Gambling Act 2003 guarantees the Kiwis that the harmful effects of gambling are managed and minimized. They are informed and educated in responsible gaming. They have a guarantee of having a fair chance of winning.
The growth of the gambling industry is also being regulated by the act and at the same time, they encourage the industry to have a community responsibility. And the allowable gambling activities are controlled to guarantee fairness to the players.
And in the case of online casinos, the New Zealand Gambling Act of 2003 does not provide prohibition for players to play at a website that is based in another country. Since this interpretation of the law allows gambling at online casinos that are based outside New Zealand there has been a noticeable increase of Kiwis gambling online.
For the gamblers that are playing online the laws in New Zealand does not apply, provided the website is based in another country. Their playing will however be subject to the laws of the country where these online casinos are operating.
This also means that New Zealand can do very little to help in cases where players might want to dispute or file a case.
Betting on sports websites based outside New Zealand is also allowed provided that the website is based on another country with the same clause as online casino gambling.
A Kiwi player who plays over the internet on a website that is based in another country may not be considered a criminal activity or prohibited.
But it is important to note that these players will be subject to the danger of losing their personal information when they are exposed to a fraudulent website or phishing sites.
The Kiwi has four classes of gambling and each class is clearly defined by the Gambling Act of 2003. The Gambling Act of 2003 is basically only for New Zealanders and is conducted within the borders of New Zealand.
The laws were designed by the government to minimize the harmful effects of gambling. The Kiwis are some of the most enthusiastic and active players in the world and gambling in New Zealand has become a billion-dollar industry.
The original framework for the laws was based on the existing laws found in the UK, France and the US.
The Gambling Act of 2003 also allowed a more lenient approach to gambling and it resulted in more pokies and fruit machines operating within the different hotels and establishments in New Zealand.
The act has undergone changes and amendments in 2005 and 2015 and this is to allow better regulations and enforcement by the government. The players have also received better protection from casinos giving everyone a fair chance of winning.
The Gambling Act of 2003 defines the four classes of gambling:
Class 1 is basically for individuals that wagers in their own private setting. The law also states that prizes should not be greater than NZ$500.
This is for society or clubs that offer to gamble but prizes only fall between NZ$500 to NZ$5,000. The turnover must also not exceed NZ$500 and should not be more than NZ$25,000.
Class 3 & 4
This is applicable to major casino operators that offer table games and/or electronic gambling machines. Casino operators should have a license issued by the Gambling Commission.
Casino operators in New Zealand are normally renting from hotels and resorts. So before they could get a license to operate they have to first pass the provisions under the Rental & Property Law of New Zealand and the Employment Laws.
Casinos must operate under conditions where the safety and health of their clients and employees are protected.
And since casino operators also go to great lengths in guaranteeing the well-being of their own employees the safety measures also extends to the guests.
The SkyCity Entertainment Group have announced a partnership with Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) to launch a new online casino aimed at Kiwis. According to BestNewZealandCasinos.com the online casino will he owned by a subsiduary of SkyCity Entertainment Group that will be based in Malta.
New Zealand Online Gambling Law
New Zealand’s Gambling Act of 2003 does have a provision related to online gambling. The act itself states.
Section 9(2)(b) of the Gambling Act 2003 prohibits remote interactive gambling. The definition of remote interactive gambling includes “gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device.
Communication devices can be defined as:
- Smart Phones
- or similar devices
Gambling is prohibited and illegal unless it is:
- authorised by or under this Act and complies with this Act and any relevant licence, game rules, and minimum standards; or
- authorised by or under the Racing Act 2003 and complies with that Act and any regulations made under it; or
- private gambling.
The following types of gambling are prohibited and illegal and are not authorised by and may not be authorised under this Act:
- remote interactive gambling
Exceptions to the rule
Remote interactive gambling does not include gambling by a person in New Zealand conducted by a gambling operator located outside New Zealand.
This is the reason that SKYCITY Malta ltd was created in Malta. It was to allow SkyCity to accept New Zealand casino players. Even though SkyCity Entertainment Group is located in New Zealand and operates SkyCity Auckland, the subsidiary that owns the casino will be based outside of New Zealand, making it completely legal for it to service Kiwis
Will SkyCity Online Casino be able to advertise?
It is unlikely that SkyCity will be able to promote its online casino to its existing player player base as the law clearly states:
Advertising overseas gambling is prohibited under section 16 of the Gambling Act 2003. An overseas gambling advertisement is any communication that publicises or promotes gambling, or a gambling operator, when that gambling, or operator, is outside New Zealand. It is also any communication that is reasonably likely to induce people to gamble outside New Zealand. Section 16 makes this an offence under the Gambling Act and carries a fine of up to $10,000.
More Information on the casino
Best New Zealand Casinos has an excellent review and detail on what products and features will be available at the SkyCity Online Casino.
The Gambling Act 2003 does not allow remote interactive gambling as stated in Section 9(2)(b). The law defines remote interactive gambling as “gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device.”
The section also defines communication devices to be computers, telephones, cellphones, radios and/or similar devices. An example would be when you sell lottery tickets online and this also includes casino websites operating within New Zealand.
However, the law also provides some exceptions. Like sales promotions in the form of the lottery but sales promotions that are not in the lottery will fall under the remote interactive gambling prohibition.
The remote interactive gambling law is only for New Zealand and does not include gambling being conducted in other countries. So, a Kiwi player who plays over the internet on a website that is based in other countries will not be violating the law.
It is important to note that players will be subjected to the laws of the country where the website is operating.
There is also the danger of getting your personal information exposed by fraudulent websites or phishing sites. There are many of these sites and most of them will look and feel very legal to those who will not take the time to investigate.
It is always best practice to research the websites first before engaging them or before sharing your personal information. Research their licenses and certificates and check the governing bodies of those certificates to validate them.
Ministry of Health’s Involvement in Legal Gambling
It is also important to note that most Kiwis who enjoy online gambling are betting on websites that are operating in other countries. The Ministry of Health has been working hard for many years helping individuals that have developed mental/emotional problems due to gambling.
Gambling-related health issues have a large provision under the New Zealand Medical Laws. New Zealand has always been one of the world’s advocates in providing free medical healthcare.
They have also been working hard on providing guidance to casino establishments and betting establishments to guarantee that gamers are protected and educated from the harmful effects of gambling but they can do little when some gamblers are doing their betting on websites that are outside of New Zealand.
The Gambling Act of 2003 has a hefty fine for those caught participating in unauthorized gambling. Fines can reach $10,000 for individuals and organizations can be fined up to $50,000 so it is best to just follow the laws governing gambling to avoid problems.
The Gambling Act 2003 governs and regulates gambling in New Zealand. The Department of Internal Affairs heads the government in regulating gambling within the borders of New Zealand.
Ever since the law allowed casino gambling in New Zealand in 1994 there has been a steady demand for more casino establishments however the government has been very careful and deliberate in allowing operators from building such establishments.
Early on the government of New Zealand has already recognized the dangers that come with legalized gambling. Dangers such as gambling addictions, financial ruin and emotional harm that comes when gambling becomes irresponsible and uncontrolled.
These laws also govern the property and rental agreements of the legal land-based casinos in the country.
There are three top legal casinos in New Zealand that are worth checking out.
SkyCity Auckland is a world-class casino with 100-tables and the latest games. They offer entertainment, activities and a spectacular 360-degree view of Auckland. The resort also offers world-class hotel rooms and restaurants.
This casino is located in the Southern Cross Hotel and they offer world-class service, opulence and first-class gaming. They have popular table games and 180-gaming machines.
They also offer world-class entertainment, rooms and restaurants. A great place to visit for the gambler looking for elegance and good taste.
The Christchurch Casino offers an impressive array of games. They have 500 slot machines with 36 tables. They also offer promotions and loyalty program for their gamers.
Now, these three casinos have passed the scrutiny of the Department of Internal Affairs, the body that governs and authorizes gambling within New Zealand. The New Zealand Gambling Commission have reviewed their application and found their requirements to be complete and up to date.
And that is why gambling in these casinos can be rewarding for most people. Because part of the provision of the Gambling Act of 2003 is that these casinos must provide a fair chance for players to win and illegal activities in these establishments are almost non-existent.
In the case of online casinos, the New Zealand gambling laws do not provide clear coverage except for those that are locally based. The interpretation right now is that gambling at online casinos that are based outside New Zealand is not illegal.
There has been an increase in online gambling in New Zealand in recent years.
Now, for players that have engaged in online gambling, they may not be subject to the laws in New Zealand but their playing is subject to the laws of the country where these online casinos are operating.
And that also means that New Zealand can do very little in cases where players might want to dispute or file a complaint.
Betting on sports websites based outside New Zealand are also allowed and the same with online gambling in cases where there are disputes or complaints the government can do very little.
However for casinos or betting establishments based in New Zealand the regulatory bodies guarantees safe and fair gaming. This gives Kiwi players a measure of security and peace of mind.
Rental and Property Laws
Another thing that reinforces safety in these gambling establishments is the rental and property laws in New Zealand which has a strict regulation on how buildings are being maintained.
Hotels and resorts that have casinos normally rent out their spaces to casino operators.
And before casinos can be allowed to operate the regulatory body for the New Zealand Rental and Property Law which under The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 ensures that establishments or buildings are well maintained and has safety and health standards.
Because casinos have so many guests that are coming and going there are health risks involved. It was found in a study conducted in a casino in another country that a casino chip has more bacteria on it when compared to a toilet handle.
But because of the health standards being enforced by the property and rental law, casinos now have to make sure that their chips and their casino are well sanitized.
Gambling in New Zealand is governed and authorized by the Gambling Act of 2003. The law ensures that casinos operate within the regulation and the Department of Internal Affairs enforces and licenses these casino establishments.
The Gambling Act of 2003 in New Zealand helps to manage and minimize the harmful effects that are caused by gambling. The Act enables the gamblers to be educated about responsible gaming.
It guarantees the players a fair chance of winning. The criminal groups that operate in gambling places are also discouraged.
The act also manages the growth of the gambling industry. It helps encourage the industry to have a community responsibility and then control the allowable gambling activities
As mentioned, the Department of Internal Affairs provides the licenses for casinos and for non-casino gambling activities. They also take care of educating the public about gambling and those laws that govern them.
There are other government offices that help regulate, monitor and enforce the gambling laws of New Zealand. The New Zealand Gambling Commission and the Ministry of Health of New Zealand are two other offices that help to ensure that the public will always get the benefits of gambling.
The New Zealand Gambling Commission is an independent constitutional department that was established under the Gambling Act of 2003. The commission reviews all casino licensing applications and they can make the appeals to the decisions made by the Secretary of Internal Affairs.
The Department of Internal Affairs
The decisions made by the Department of Internal Affairs are also enforced by the commission. The New Zealand Gambling Commission fulfils the following roles in government in the gambling industry.
They can also revoke or change the conditions stipulated in the license. And all appeals between operators and license holders pass by them. And finally, they assume an advisory position in gambling issues.
The Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health of New Zealand helps the public by ensuring that this industry operates within the laws. They make sure that gamers are protected from the dangerous effects of gambling such as depression, anxiety and mood disorders.
They also help to promote public health by preventing and reducing the harmful effects of gambling. They provide services to treat and assist problems that gamblers and their families encounter.
Since gambling also has an addictive effect the Ministry of Health of New Zealand also helps those who already are addicted and educates those who are not.
To date, the ministry has already recorded several such cases and continues to provide lawmakers with valuable data in order for them to come up with new laws and update existing ones.
Law on Photo Recording
New Zealand has another law that helps protect gamblers and establishments. And that’s the law on photo recording. In New Zealand, it is illegal to take pictures or videos of people when they have not given their consent.
An important figure for example who had decided to gamble in a casino would be protected by random paparazzi from being caught in a compromising situation because the photo recording law protects him and his privacy.
The photo recording law specifically says that it is illegal to stop other people’s moments of enjoyment.
Gambling goes back to the Palaeolithic Age, the time where man was still not able to record history. And so, we could confidently say that gambling has been a part of human culture and development for thousands of years.
In other parts of the world, gambling is legal and an important part of society. Places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City or Macau are places where gambling plays a very important role. And they provide more than just entertainment.
Big casino companies build resorts that create jobs and opportunities to their communities.
For example, there was a time not long ago when Las Vegas was nothing more than a big piece of land with nothing but sand. Macau was nothing more than a sleepy port two centuries ago.
When gambling houses became popular and business became lucrative the area around simply grew with it.
Growth in Tourism
So, in 1961 when gambling laws here in New Zealand became more lenient sports betting also grew and that also encouraged the development of better sports arenas. Horseracing was the first sports betting that was allowed here and gambling helped in its growth.
When the other sports gain popularity and betting became allowed it made the games more exciting.
Sports like Aussie football, cricket and tennis started to develop and their growth followers and popularity has increased tax revenues and helped the communities where these teams are based.
Increased Tax Revenue
To date, there are 33-horseracings events in New Zealand with about six land-based casinos, several football teams and tennis arenas.
There are also several big casino companies that are looking to build and develop more resorts however the government is making sure that growth of the industry is managed well.
But we cannot take away the fact that sports betting and casino gambling has helped New Zealand in terms of tax revenue, development and in creating job opportunities.
The good thing about New Zealand despite its strict approach to gambling is that they value privacy. In countries like the US for example, privacy belongs to the second tier when it comes to its value, while in New Zealand, the privacy of its citizens or the individual is being carefully looked upon.
In recent years there has been an increase in support to make privacy a right of an individual which is important for people who are into gambling.
Gambling is a personal sport and for as long as the individual is not causing any damage or affecting the lives of his friends and relatives in a negative way then his/her personal information should be protected.
The Department of Internal Affairs is the governing body for the casino laws in New Zealand. They issue licenses and certificates to all land-based casinos here in New Zealand. There are six casinos operating here and all of them are being regulated and monitored to ensure that that they comply with all the laws.
Manage and minimize the disadvantages that are caused by gambling
Gambling is a game where you bet that your instincts are better than the other. And that means that one side will earn money and the other will lose. And for those who will be losing money, it would mean financial ruin followed by depression, anxiety and mood disorders. So, it has become important for the government to reduce these risks.
Educate gamblers about responsible gaming
To ensure that gambling remains a healthy recreational and exciting activity it is important that education is provided. Gamers should understand how gambling can financially and emotionally affect them.
Guarantee the players a fair chance of winning
Casinos can easily manipulate their tables and machines to make sure that they make money all the time. However, casinos cannot operate if they do not also give the gamblers a fair chance of winning. Gambling can only really flourish if there’s fairness in the games.
Remove the criminal groups or syndicates in all gambling establishments
Since gambling involves a lot of money it is unavoidable that it will attract criminals and syndicates. All criminal activities involve dishonest games and/or fraudulent transactions and so the government is taking a strong stand in curbing them.
Manage the growth of the gambling industry
The growth of the gambling industry has to be managed as well to guarantee that enforcement can be done efficiently and regulations are updated accordingly.
Encourage the industry to have community responsibility
Casinos and resorts can quickly grow a community by providing the locals with much-needed work and revenue.
The increased tourism will also increase activities and create more opportunities so it is vital that casino resorts also take care of their own communities and guarantee that a good portion of their revenue goes to local development.
Control the allowable gambling activities
The Department of Internal Affairs also controls what games casinos are allowed to offer and this further ensures that gambling remains fair and activities have reduced disadvantages.
It is important to note that New Zealand laws bear a close similarity to the laws found in the UK and France. For example, some of the basic laws in New Zealand like family laws were practically copied from the same principles that form the family core laws in the UK.
But over the years New Zealand lawmakers have made their own adaptation. For example, divorce is no longer allowed under the New Zealand family law even though the principles behind the family law came from the UK where it is legal.