Online gambling is increasingly popular, but what are the laws governing it in New Zealand? Well, clicking a link about New Zealand's online gambling laws was a good way of finding out. We've outlined the basics below.
Yes. Both in reality and online. In the real world, there are half a dozen casinos in New Zealand. However, there are no online casinos hosted in New Zealand. Indeed, it's illegal for one to be hosted in the country. Despite this, it is entirely legal for Kiwis to gamble at an online casino provided it is not hosted in New Zealand.
The Gambling Act of 2003 is the key piece of legislation. This specifically spells out that online casinos cannot be based in NZ, but that it is completely legal for Kiwis who are over 18 to gamble at online casinos based overseas. Games that might be played include poker, slots, craps, blackjack, roulette and so on.
Because gambling is almost always considered a recreational activity, you are very unlikely to have to pay tax. The potential exception to this might be the professional poker player (especially if you make little money from other sources). If you are uncertain, it's advisable to contact the tax authorities to check, but if you're playing just for leisure, it's unlikely you'll have to pay any tax at all (and, of course, this doesn't apply if you finish in the red).
Some, but not all, online operators allow for play in NZD (New Zealand dollars). This can be convenient because it's easier to keep track of the real value in your account without head scratching over exchange rates. Not only that, playing in the same currency as your bank account means that currency conversion fees can be avoided. The legality of offshore gambling for Kiwis coupled with the absence of domestic online casinos means that reputable establishments are very happy to welcome players from NZ.
When picking where to gamble it's a good idea to ensure that an establishment has a sound reputation, and is licensed by a country whose gambling regulations you can trust (such as the UK). If you do have a problem then a reputable casino itself should rectify it. If this is not the case, try contacting the relevant quality assurance or licensing organization. (Because there are so many casinos and gambling online is highly competitive, good operators are very reluctant to earn themselves a bad reputation for unfair conduct, which may help achieve redress).
Although slightly unusual, New Zealand is totally restricted when it comes to hosting online casinos and totally accepting of its citizens gambling at them. There shouldn't be any problem at all betting online, provided you're over 18.