Online Gaming in New Zealand

The Gambling Act 2003 (the Act) is the first law in New Zealand to regulate remote interactive gambling. Remote interactive gambling is prohibited, with limited exceptions for the Lotteries Commission, the Racing Board and sales promotion schemes in the form of a lottery. Interactive gambling is classified as gambling via a communication device, including computers, telephones, radios and similar devices. It is also illegal to advertise and promote online gambling. Residents of New Zealand are allowed to gamble with offshore websites and to take part in gambling outside New Zealand.

It is illegal for anyone to operate remote interactive gambling from within New Zealand other than racing and sports events provided by the TAB (a state-run gambling operator); remote gambling conducted by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission (NZLC); and sales promotions that are lotteries. Fines of up to NZD 50,000 for organizations and NZD 10,000 for individuals can be imposed for participating in unauthorized remote gambling.

In June 2010, the New Zealand courts declared that playing poker is a game requiring skill and dismissed charges brought against .net poker site domains that were thought to be violating New Zealand's Gambling Act of 2003. The courts ruled that .net websites are not gambling sites and are not related to their .com partner sites. It also ruled that .net advertisements are not promotions for gambling operators and that poker tournaments are not gambling but a form of competition. The verdict for the .net sites such as and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour was based on the fact that they were not specifically promoting online gambling.

In April 2015, the government announced it was going to clamp down on online overseas betting by punters who were sidestepping the TAB's domestic monopoly.

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