Online legal gambling in New Zealand

Legal
A major concern for New Zealanders who play gamble online is the legal status. Worldwide, different countries have taken polarizing views on how to integrate online gambling into the legal system. To put your mind at ease, as far as betting online goes, New Zealand treats this as 100% recreational and perfectly legal.
The Gambling Act of 2003 concerns the providers of gambling games who are not allowed to operate from within New Zealand. According to this provision, New Zealand players are not allowed to use services of these operators, but are completely free to play with any other online casino with servers located outside of the country.
As far as safety goes, it is true that current conditions are such that online players are in a position where they cannot file any complaints with New Zealand courts. That’s why you must be careful choosing your operator and stick to those brands with a good reputation and have demonstrated they can be trusted.
New Zealand players have no reason for concern when playing as the law clearly allows internet gambling as long as operator’s servers are not located within the country’s borders.
All gambling winnings are exempt from taxation and you don’t have to give a single penny of your winnings to the state.
Sweet as!
Well done New Zealand!
Use our site’s casino review section to find the best casinos catering to New Zealanders

Is there anything I need to be worried about when I play?”  

Players who become involved with online gambling that is located overseas are not breaching any laws and have nothing to worry about. Unlike some other countries, most notably the United States of America, New Zealand authorities only prohibited gambling providers operating from within the country from accepting domestic players. These casinos can only offer their services to foreign citizens.

Legal Considerations for Online Casinos

Since the New Zealand law places no restrictions on players gambling with overseas operators, there are no obstacles for casinos to accept registrations and deposits from these players. However, the Gambling Act of 2003 does contain certain provisions dealing with foreign online casinos.

The most important clause is the one that forbids overseas operators from advertising their services in New Zealand. Hence, although these sites are free to accept any and all New Zealand players, they shouldn't, in theory, target them in any way, shape, or format, in an attempt to convince them to use their services.
This, of course, doesn't have much to do with players as it doesn't influence them at all, but it is definitely an interesting highlight from the Act worth pointing out.

For those interested the particular part of the tax law that exempts international casinos from being considered illegal, the following two sections make it clear that, as long as the the gambling operator does not physically exist in NZ, then they are exempt, and thus legal.

 

New Zealand Online Gambling Tax Laws

Another important issue when it comes to any form of gambling, online or offline, is the issue of taxation. Players are often confused and uncertain about whether they should pay a tax on their winnings and, if yes, what is the exact number.

The good news is, gambling is New Zealand is not taxed at all. This activity is observed simply as a hobby by the authorities and, as such, it is not subject to taxation.
Other similar activities, like sports betting or online poker, belong to the same group as far as the law is concerned and are governed by the Gambling Act of 2003. As long as your sports wagers and bets are placed with a bookie or a poker room hosted outside of New Zealand, you are in the clear.

According to the ASRB, taxes cannot be applied to any winnings from online gambling as the money falls under hobbies according to the Income Tax Act 2007. Section CW 48 pertains to online gambling and refers to the Gambling Act 2003.The exception to this rule is if the casino game the potential taxpayer is playing falls under what would be considered, according to standard accounting practices, as income. The potential for taxation comes particularly from online poker winnings where the player gets the majority of their income from the game and that the game is not simply a matter of luck. For example, playing online slots differs dramatically from online poker where knowledge and strategies can have a very profitable outcome. Under these circumstances, according to professional accountants, the taxpayer should report the income.

Since the online gambling in question takes place in international jurisdictions, and they have no requirement to report any of the transactions to the NZ government, it is highly unlikely that anyone would be prosecuted for failing to report their income. Inland Revenue has no access to this information so it would be up to the individual taxpayer to report the income.

If you do manage to hit it big, you may want to consider the fastest payout casinos in NZ, so you can get you many as instantly as possible.

Disclaimer: We are not accountants and tax laws and standards can change so if you have large winnings you may want to consult a professional.

Is it Safe to Play From New Zealand?

CounterNow that we've cleared the question of legality, there still remains the issue of safety. Since the law doesn't seem to really care either way, is it really safe for New Zealand players to deposit and play with overseas casinos regulated in jurisdictions other than their own?
The answer that really applies to all players, not just New Zealanders, is: it is safe as long as you are careful. Online casinos are a very peculiar business and it is true that state regulations are of not much use in any individual disputes. That's why you need to look for sites that have been verified and authorized by trustworthy third parties. Although there are no absolute guarantees, these licenses and approvals are usually a very good sign that a casino is safe and reliable.

Of course, for a casual player, it may be a bit too much hassle to look for this information all on his own. There are so many brands these days that going through them all would be a considerable task. That's exactly the reason the sites like this one exist.
We do all of this so you wouldn't have to. All casinos listed on this site have been thoroughly checked and vetted by independent third parties and by us as well. We hunted down the best online casinos catering to New Zealand players and you can be confident that operators we included in our review section are safe, trustworthy, and offer great services in every sense, from banking to gaming and support.

And what is the best way to get started winning? Well Welcome bonuses are a great way to begin, in particular those that offer free spins are really popular in NZ.

 FAQs

Am I allowed to legally gamble in New Zealand?
According to the 2003 Gambling Act, New Zealanders are legally allowed to gamble, but only if the online casino is not based in New Zealand. This is the reason why so many online casinos are based in certain places that have special gambling laws.
Are all online casinos legal?
The majority of online-based casinos are considered legal with a few being considered as shady at best. These particular casinos are known to withhold player’s winnings and get involved with other irregular things. In order to be sure an online casino is both legal and safe, make sure to check if the casino is regularly audited and has a gambling license.
Do I have to worry about something when I gamble online?
Players who gamble at online casinos have nothing to worry about, since they are not breaking any laws. If an online casinos operates from within New Zealand, they are not allowed to accept players that live there. These casinos can then only offer their service to foreign players.
What legal obstacles are there for online casinos in New Zealand?
Besides not being able to operate from New Zealand, online casinos have no obstacles other than the one which prohibits an online casino from advertising in New Zealand. This means that these casinos cannot target New Zealand players specifically with their ads.
Is it safe to play from New Zealand?
With the law not placing any restrictions on New Zealanders to play at foreign-based online casinos, there is only the issue of safety when gambling at online casinos. Online casinos are companies that have their regulations, but these do not help players if they have a dispute with a particular online casino. Players need to make sure that these casinos are verified and trustworthy, authorized by third parties. If an online casino has a license and the approval of gambling authorities, this is a safe bet.
Can I be taxed on my winnings from an online casino?
Winnings from online casinos are exempt from taxation in New Zealand. Only online poker winnings that are derived as a primary source of income could be considered taxable. However, according to the Accounting Standards Review Board, this is generally not expected and would have to be voluntarily disclosed by the taxpayer.
What is the ASRB?
The ASRB, or Accounting Standards Review Board, was responsible for accounting, auditing and setting standards at the time of the Gambling Act of 2003 and was replaced by the External Reporting Board (XRB) in July 2011.

Last Updated: November 12, 2019