Find out about New Zealand’s gambling laws

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There’s nothing quite as thrilling as heading out to a casino to experience the excitement of gambling. But obviously, playing games when the law prohibits it is illegal and could lead to less-than-desirable consequences. Find out everything you need to know about gambling in New Zealand and play safely in style. At the very least, you can rest easy knowing the great games on Lucky Nugget Casino are safe to play in New Zealand!

Are casinos legal in New Zealand?

If you’ve ever seen SkyCity Casino in Auckland then you’ll know for a fact that casinos are legal in New Zealand. The gambling laws came into effect in 2003 with the Gambling Act, which makes sure that casinos are regulated. All games of chance outside casinos – like lotteries or scratch cards – have to raise money for an “authorised purpose,” i.e. charity. It’s also very concerned with minimising harm from casinos, and making sure that procedures are in place to help people with gambling problems.

There are different classes of gambling, which may or may not need a license to operate. Games with no commission and prizes under $500, or between $500 and $5,000, do not need licences. Class 3 games which have prizes over $5,000 all require a licence to operate, as well as paying commission. The final category covers gaming machines outside casinos.

Only specific kinds of gambling are allowed in New Zealand. The Racing Act of 2003 regulates sports betting too, which is also legal but in a slightly different sets of circumstances.

Is online gambling legal in New Zealand?

New Zealand’s relationship with online gaming is slightly strange. Online casinos are, themselves, illegal in New Zealand. Nothing can be registered in New Zealand, with the exception of online games authorised by the Lottery Commission or the Racing Board.

However, the law contains a specific protection: a New Zealander is authorised to gamble on any available site as long as it is based outside the country. International casinos with their headquarters in other countries are permitted to offer games, legally, to the population. It’s also illegal for online casinos to advertise in New Zealand, so that people are less likely to encounter the world of online gaming.

Online gambling is therefore legal in New Zealand, so long as the casino operates from a different country. This means that, technically, there are no legal protections for New Zealand’s gamers. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to make sure your online casino of choice is highly reputable and safe, and would not engage in underhand tactics or illegal practices – so using a trustworthy site like Lucky Nugget means you can game online without any worries.

In summary, then, New Zealand’s gambling laws make it legal to play in registered land-based casinos. It is also legal to play online casino games on websites which are registered in another country, so long as you trust them to be safe and fair. 

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