Even though New Zealand is geographically pretty close to Australia, it has a very distinct cultural character when compared to its fellow Commonwealth nation. This is certainly the case when it comes to what you might call online gambling NZ-style.
Gambling is fairly closely regulated in New Zealand so it is pretty important to understand a bit of the history and current status quo in the island state.
A regulated gambling industry
Gambling in New Zealand Falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Internal Affairs. With New Zealanders wagering more than NZ$2 billion a year, this represents a substantial amount of money that is supposed to be returned to the community under New Zealand law.
Interestingly, the largest cross-section of the New Zealand gambling industry is actually operated by state-owned institutions. One of the reasons for this is that all public gaming is supposed to return profits from these activities to communities.
At the same time, not all gambling activities are legal in New Zealand. Horse racing betting, for example, was declared illegal in 1920. It remains fairly tightly regulated.
Lotteries, on the other hand, have undergone quite a transformation in the last century. The national government’s introduction of the Golden Kiwi lottery in the early 1960s seems to have been intended to revitalize this game. Further developments in the 1980s led to even more modern Lotto games.
Since July 2009, all pokies have to have what is known as Player Information Displays and, The purpose of which is to keep gamblers informed as to how long they have in playing the game, how much money they may have lost and to encourage them to take periodic breaks from the games. Organisations such as Responsible Gambling work to create more public awareness of the risks of gambling and, in general, and offer assistance to citizens who find themselves addicted to them. The state of online gambling in New Zealand The state of the law on online gambling in New Zealand is problematic for the industry.
The 2003 Gambling Act governs gambling in New Zealand. It sets the parameters for permissible gambling as well as the forms of gambling that are illegal. This definition essentially covers most forms of online casinos that typically operate using computers and mobile devices.
What the future holds
Bear in mind that the rationale for such restrictive gambling legislation is the social challenges that gambling tends to be associated with. Perhaps addressing these social challenges more directly may lead to more reforms sooner than later.