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New Zealand Gambling Act 2003: Key Points

New Zealand holds a record when it comes to gambling. The Gambling Act 2003 was released to control the growth of casinos where New Zealanders can register and play with the list of rules that needs to be maintained and monitored. One must remember to practice responsible gambling in order to minimize any harm caused by online gambling. 

The table shows the year-end money generated through gambling in New Zealand in the year of 2020:

NZ Racing Board$315 million
Lotteries$631 million
Gaming Machines$802 million
Casinos$504 million 
Total $2,252 million

Gambling Classes

Any form of gambling that does not adhere to these classes is prohibited.

Class 1: 

Class 1 gambling comprises rewards not greater than $500. This type of gambling can be conducted by an individual and all the winning amount including its interest must be given to the winner. One does not require a license to conduct. 

Class 2: 

In this one, the piece ranges between $500 and $5,000. The potential turnover cannot exceed $25,000. For conducting Class 2, one does not require a gambling license but it must be conducted under the supervision of or by societies. One can find about societies as they are mentioned in the Gambling Act. 

Class 3: 

Prizes or rewards awarded to the winner in a gambling game cannot exceed $5000. To conduct a Class 3 gambling contest, you would require a license. Class 3 gambling is mostly conducted by “gaming sessions” or also known as “casino evenings”. 

One will find such activities in large-scale lotteries or instant games. This, too, needs to be run by a society or a corporate society. When one conducts this, the purpose should be under the category where the money raised is for an “authorized purpose”. 

Class 4: 

Class 4 is unique as it involves the use of a gaming device or machine outside a casino. You would need a license for this too. Not mandatory but societies can run this and the cause of conducting the games needs to be for “authorized purposes”. 

For more information, one can check out sections 22 to 31 of the Gambling Act.

Foreign Remote Gambling Is Allowed

Under Section 9, it is stated that remote gambling is prohibited. That is, a person from New Zealand is forbidden from gambling that includes interaction through “communication devices”. One cannot use computers, radios or phones to gamble. 

But according to the Act, foreign remote gambling is not prohibited. So, if you participate in gambling on a website that is based overseas even though you are in New Zealand, it is not illegal. But there are complications to this. Such as if you become a victim of fraud, the New Zealand government will provide no protection. 

Also, it is risky to provide credit details across the net. But, taking into consideration that technology is changing the face of gambling all over the world, the laws might change in the near future. You must remember that the penalties for participating in illegal gambling are steep. Fines can range from $50,000 for organizations and $10,000 for individuals. 

New Zealand Gambling Licenses

Gambling licenses for reputable NZ casino sites are issued by the Gambling Commission. The Gambling Commission is an independent body that falls under the Gambling Act 2003. The Commission will hear the licensing applications and choose to either approve them or deny them according to the decision made by the Secretary of Internal Affairs. You will find the forms at their website.  

Age Restrictions

You have to be at least 20 years of age if you want to enter a casino and gamble. If you do enter a casino while underage, you might have to pay a fine of up to $500. Many casinos can hold you under the trespass order and you will be barred from entering any casino for the next 2 years, even if you turn 20.

New Zealand Lottery

The Lottery is the most popular form of legal gambling for New Zealanders. It is mostly run by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission. Established in 1987, it runs under the Gambling Act 2003. The Lotto has the top prize of NZ $4 million! You can purchase lotto tickets by selecting a number and the tickets are extremely cheap. They are only $0.70 per line. 

The least expensive Lotto dip if you are playing casually is known as Basic Lucky dip which costs around $5.60 for eight lines. Other games similar to Lottery provided by New Zealand Lotteries are Powerball, Draw Machines, Winning Wheel, Keno, Bullseye, and Instant Kiwi. 

Ending Thoughts 

Given that New Zealanders are enthusiastic when it comes to regulated gambling, knowing the Gambling Act 2003 can be beneficial. They will help give a better idea to the gamers and the ones who want to conduct gambling activities.

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