New Zealand’s national legislature has the typical ambiguous stance towards its online casino industry. While it is illegal to gamble online, the New Zealand authorities have a hands-off approach to Kiwis who gamble online. They also have never prosecuted online operators who accept real money players from New Zealand IP addresses.
The law against online gambling, the Gambling Act of 2003, reads, “Interactive gambling is classified as gambling via a communication device.” The list of communication devices include “computers, telephones, radios, and similar devices.” Thus, mobile casinos are also banned.
Real Money Kiwi Casinos
Most of the top companies ignore New Zealand’s gaming laws. These include William Hill, bet365, Unibet, 888 Casino, Betfair, 32Red, Gala Coral Casino, Boylesgames, and Ladbrokes. This is probably all the selection you need, because these represent the top gaming companies in the UK and the rest of Europe.
In all, 707 different online casinos accept players from New Zealand. Because of the laws against online and mobile casinos, some of the top operators do not accept real money gamblers from New Zealand. That does not mean the Internet casinos which do accept players are shady, though.
Palace Group Casinos
Many Microgaming-powered casinos allow play from New Zealand. Microgaming is a respected software company which is traded on the London Stock Exchange. It was the organizer of the eCOGRA alliance, an industry watchdog group which assures fairness and transparency in online gambling.
Because authorities look the other way, these casino companies ignore New Zealand’s ban on gaming. The Palace Group out of Belize is one such operator. Palace Group owns four online casinos: Spin Palace, Ruby Fortune, Mummy’s Gold, and Cabaret Club. These sites not only accept players, but market to them with special bonuses tailored to the New Zealand dollar. You’ll see promotions for NZ$1000 welcome bonus” and “NZ$1600 bonuses”.
Stanworth Development Casinos
Another example of a gaming operator which accepts play from New Zealand is Stanworth Development. The most recognizable casino owned by Stanworth is Jackpot City, but the Malta-based gaming company owns 5 other casinos. Those sites are Gaming Club, River Belle Casino, Lucky Nugget, Casino Epoca, and King Neptune’s Casino.
These are Microgaming casinos, so they should be trustworthy. Before depositing money in an offshore casino’s account, please do full research. Read reviews, but also go to a player’s forum and see what people are saying. It also might help to see what they say of an operator at an affiliate forum, because this indicates how the business handles money transactions.
Currencies Supported by New Zealand Casinos
The main currency which needs to be supported for Kiwi real money players is the New Zealand dollar. Ironically, the U.S. dollar is supported at more casinos which cater to New Zealand residents than the NZ dollar. In either case, the number stretches into the hundreds of sites. The Australian dollar, the British pound, and the Euro are also payment options at most of these sites.
VISA and MasterCard are accepted at most Kiwi gaming sites. On the rare occasion, one of these credit cards declines. Keep in mind that VISA and MasterCard are banking associations with 20,000 to 30,000 members, so the individual bank tied to your card might decide to decline a payment. Neteller and Skrill are available at most casino sites. In New Zealand and Australia, POLi Payments are accepted.
Benefiting the Community
Like Australia, New Zealand’s lawmakers want to assure that the regulated gaming industry’s revenues benefit their communities. A certain amount of the proceeds must go to building a better society for New Zealanders. Thus, the Gambling Act of 2003 stipulated specific rules to help facilitate that.
People can apply for funding through the casino fund through organizations like Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, while those who believe they have spotted abuses of the program can send complaints to the Gambling Compliance Group.
Also, the Gaming Machines Societies of New Zealand make grants to non-profit community organizations. Some of the Gaming Machine Societies do accept applications for grants from private citizens, and these are posted on the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs website.
It should be mentioned that the Gaming Machine Societies are tied directly to the various land-based gaming venues of New Zealand, including their six brick-and-mortar resort-casinos.
Legalizing Online Casinos
All these grants made from the gaming interests of New Zealand might make one wonder why the national government does not legalize, regulate, and tax online casinos. That is a good question, but perhaps the national government does not believe the resources exist to make such a plan feasible. It is one thing to regulate a handful of land-based casinos; it is another matter entirely to regulate offshore gaming for slots, blackjack and roulette.
Perhaps the infrastructure to do so is in place, though. Most publicly-traded online casino companies likely would comply, so enforcing compliance might not be such a hardship. It might be that the will does not exist so far to pass such a law. If so, at a point, the matter will crystalize and gaming will be regulated.
More likely, the well-established land casinos would prefer not to have the competition. Like in Nevada or among the US’s tribal casinos, the brick-and-mortar casino industry often works against online gambling, seeing it as a natural and deadly rival. If that’s the case, then the casino industry might work to maintain a prohibition on online casinos, seeing them as natural rivals.
If so, the people, the government, and the casino industry of New Zealand are ill-served. Such a prohibition means more money goes to the online casino operators, while less goes to the national government and its community benefits program. Public policy is not always wise.