The New Zealand Gambling Act of 2003

New Zealand Gambling LawsThe Gambling Act of 2003 is the primary piece of legislation that regulates the gambling industry within New Zealand. The passing of this bill successfully consolidated the nation’s gambling laws into a more effective infrastructure for harmonious regulatory oversight. This bill replaced the Gambling and Lotteries Act of 1977 and the Casino Control Act of 1990. It is one of the primary pieces of regulation included in New Zealand gambling laws.

With the exception of racing and sports betting, most gambling activity is governed through this Act. The Gambling Act established the New Zealand Gambling Commission, which works within the Department of Internal Affairs, along with the Gambling Compliance Group. The Lotteries Commission operates as a Crown Entity through the Gambling Act.

The Act requires that all gambling businesses return a portion of their profits to the community in which they are located as to benefit the community through various projects and programs, including problem gambling services. This condition is a vital part of the DIA’s oversight of gambling entertainment in New Zealand, and is given significant support through the various governing agencies.

Intended Purpose of the Gambling Act of 2003

The mission statement so to speak for the Gambling Act is to regulate the growth of gambling while simultaneously minimizing any potential harm caused by gambling entertainment. This law is intended to support responsible gambling, limit criminal activity associated with the gambling industry, monitor for fairness and integrity of games, oversee that a percentage of industry profits benefit the community, and foster community interaction in decisions regarding the presence of gambling within specific regions. Compliance and enforcement of the Gambling Act is administered through multiple regulatory agencies. The law also impacts domestic online gambling options within the country.

What Types of Gambling Are Legal Under the Gambling Act of 2003?

The Gambling Act 2003 allows multiple forms of gambling entertainment, and categorizes them into four specific classes. Class 4 gambling is the category that most gamblers are interested in. Various gambling venues are placed into one of the four classes based on the amount of the prize that can be won, as well as other relevant factors. New Zealand legally allows the following types of gambling under the Gambling Act of 2003: lotteries, housie (bingo), pokies, poker and casino gambling. There are a handful of high quality brick and mortar housie outlets and casinos located throughout New Zealand, and pokies are located at various pubs and retail locations within the country.

Is Online Gambling Legal According To The Gambling Act 2003?

The Gambling Act expressly prohibits remote interactive gambling to be offered from gambling sites located within New Zealand, with the exception of those services offered by the Lotteries Commission and Racing Act 2003. However, the Department of Internal Affairs, the primary governing agency concerning gambling, has also clarified that it is not illegal for Kiwis to participate in online gambling that is licensed, regulated and located outside of New Zealand’s borders. So to summarize, it is not legal to offer online gambling to NZ citizens from a business located within New Zealand, but it is perfectly legal for players to participate in offshore online gambling that is licensed and regulated. This guide contains information concerning the legal New Zealand online gambling sites available to Kiwis.

Who Enforces and regulates the Gambling Act 2003?

As mentioned previously, multiple regulatory agencies oversee and administer policy to the gambling industry in New Zealand. They each play a specific role in the industry and are committed to minimizing harm and maximizing benefits of gambling to the community. Following is a listing of the various governing agencies that operate under the Gambling Act, and their roles in the industry concerning regulatory oversight, and handling compliance and enforcement of the law.

The Department of Internal Affairs – this agency is responsible for administering gambling legislation, such as the Gambling Act 2003. They issue gambling licenses, they monitor compliance with established legislation and provide information and education to the public. They work closely with the Gambling Compliance Group, the Gambling Commission, the Ministry of Health and the Lotteries Commission.  New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Official Website

The Gambling Commission – The Gambling Act established the Gambling Commission to provide licensing services and regulatory oversight for the various classes of gambling entertainment available in New Zealand. This group is responsible for licensing application approvals/disapprovals, specifies licensing requirements, manages and investigates complaints regarding the DIA and oversees agreements and amendments to agreements between relevant parties. New Zealand Gambling Commission Official Website

Gambling Compliance Group – This agency is responsible for the auditing and investigation of non-casino gambling activities to ensure compliance with gambling legislation, as well as the fairness and integrity of games. They also handle the licensing of all non-casino gaming businesses as well as issuing certificates of approval to casino employees. The casino inspectorate handles compliance and the regulation of all casino gaming activities. Take a closer look at this agency and what their purpose is on our page covering the New Zealand Gambling Compliance Group for more information.

Lotteries Commission – The New Zealand Lotteries Commission operates as a Crown Entity through the Gambling Act 2003. Section 238 of the Gambling Act 2003 clearly defines the Commission’s objectives and responsibilities. They are responsible for regulating, creating policy for and conducting the nation’s lottery games. Their objective is to generate maximized profits that are effectively distributed through the NZ Lottery Grants Board.  New Zealand Lotteries Commission Official Website

Link to the official legislation: The New Zealand Gambling Act of 2003