In spite of being Australia’s neighbor, New Zealand is known for its unique culture. Both countries use different rules to regulate gambling activities. However, they have something in common when it comes to certain sports.
New Zealanders place bets worth more than 2 billion NZD every year. For that reason, Kiwi gamblers need to know how the gambling industry works before placing bets on slot games, table games, and sports. Luckily, many top-rated online gambling companies are meeting the needs of New Zealand players despite the country’s small population.
New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs regulates all gambling activities across the country. The truth of the matter is that gambling laws have been around for many years. In 1920, bookmaking was a prohibited activity until the inception of the Totalizator Agency Board (TAB) in 1961. Horserace betting was declared legal due to these changes. National lotteries or Art Unions began in 1933 and Christchurch was the first city to have a casino in 1994.
Currently, the Gambling Act 2003 regulates New Zealand’s iGaming industry. It classifies legal betting into four categories. Any gambling activity that does not fall within the outlined parameters is illegal. The Act is somewhat confusing because it prohibits “remote interactive gambling”. In other words, it’s illegal to gamble using communication devices where distance is involved. Based on this description, bookmakers and online casinos are forbidden because players can access them via mobile devices and PCs. However, this law does not apply to online gambling at overseas sites.
Pokies in the Kiwi Nation
Both Australians and New Zealanders love pokies or slot machines that are found in land-based casinos. These games were first played in hotels and bars in 1991 courtesy of charitable foundations. Today, there are more than 19,000 slot machines in New Zealand and land-based casinos have gained popularity. In 2012, Kiwi players spent more than 500 million NZD at the country’s 6 land-based casinos.
New Zealand’s Most Popular Sports Betting Activities
Most Kiwi bettors bet on cricket, rugby union, netball, and football. Rugby union and cricket are New Zealand’s national games which take place during winter and summer respectively. At the local level, most people love rugby union, but the two sports attract a lot of attention during international events. Netball is a women-dominated sport in NZ and there’s no doubt that New Zealanders love the national netball team (Silver Ferns) and the 2008 Trans-Tasman Netball competition. Overall, online bookmakers have been successful in attracting cricket, rugby union, and netball fans.
Betting on Rugby Union
Rugby union has become popular in New Zealand and other parts of the world. Many people have heard of the All Blacks’ incredible winning record and the amazing haka (traditional dance of the Maori people), which is performed by the team before playing international matches. Super Rugby (Feb to Aug) is also a recognized competition involving fifteen teams from South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Most gamblers love placing bets on international rugby union matches although bookmakers cover all rugby games. In 2012, sports betting generated 286 million NZD while pokies generated 850 million NZD.
What the Future Holds
In New Zealand, gambling laws are reviewed on a regular basis because new technologies come with new challenges. The current gambling laws are slightly restrictive, but Kiwi players who love rugby union, cricket, online slots also known as pokies, and other casino games are free to play at international gambling sites listed by CasinoGuide.nz, where wide range of bonus offers also are reviewed.