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.
- Section 9(2)(b) of the Gambling Act of 2003 states that remote interactive gambling is illegal
- Section 4 Interpretation: Remote interactive gambling (b) does not include (iii) gambling by a person in New Zealand conducted by a gambling operator located outside New Zealand;
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?
Now 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.