Most forms of gambling are legal in New Zealand and at last count we found at least seven major land-based casinos, as well as plenty of bingo halls and hundreds of sports betting shops. Figures recently showed that these licensed gambling venues annually process more than two billions dollars in wagers from hungry NZ gamblers.
When the online gambling industry first really started to gather momentum towards the end of the 1990s, the New Zealand government was in no apparent rush to control this rapidly emerging industry. However, the authorities did eventually introduce The Gambling Act in 2003 and this new legislation was designed to both monitor and regulate the new multi-million dollar industry.
It was also at around this time that commercialised gambling in New Zealand really began to experience huge growth, but the new legislation only ended up prohibiting most forms of online gambling and it also put a cap on any new land based gaming venues from being constructed. Players already had a way around this though and they basically continued to gamble at a growing number of perfectly secure gambling portals that operated from outside of NZ boarders. The favoured gambling portals mainly included online poker rooms and online casinos.
In fact, all of today’s best NZ gambling portals are licensed offshore in one of several major licensing jurisdictions around world. They are usually controlled by foreign operators and they operate from outside of NZ boarders. The operators of these gambling portals are therefore not breaking any NZ laws by accepting real cash wagers from New Zealanders and the players themselves are also NOT breaking any local laws.
There are literally hundreds of these fully licensed gaming sites currently available, but when it comes to home-grown online casinos, online poker rooms and other similar real cash gaming sites, New Zealanders are actually still fairly limited to the number of sites that are actually available to them. The only home-grown sites are strictly controlled by TAB (the Totalizator Agency Board) or by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission.
Most New Zealanders today continue to play at online casinos and poker sites which operate from outside of NZ boarders and many of these websites are often powered by Microgaming or Playtech. Kiwis also have access to hundreds of other perfectly secure online poker rooms & online casinos that are powered by various other leading software providers. These sites are generally licensed in the UK, in Malta, in Gibraltar, or in one of several other major licensing jurisdictions and they are all free to sign up to.