With its phenomenal scenery of rolling hills and mountains that provide an amazing view, New Zealand has been a tourist destination for many years. Although there are many things to see and do in the country, many people who enjoy gambling wonder what opportunities are available for them.
Gambling in New Zealand can be an exciting adventure for many people if you know where to go and what the rules and regulations are. Many tourists and New Zealand residents enjoy the opportunity to visit local casinos to gamble and participate in various activities.
To learn more about what options are available in New Zealand for gambling, you will need to become familiar with various rules and locations. Keep reading to discover if gambling is legal in the country and where the best casinos are located.
Is Gambling Legal in New Zealand?
Gambling in New Zealand is technically illegal, that is unless it falls under the authorized classes mandated by the Gambling Act of 2003. Within this law, there are several classifications by which certain types of gambling are allowed.
The first type of gambling that is covered by the law is called Class 1. Under this classification, which includes any type of social gambling with individuals, is not allowed to have a prize greater than $500 and must be paid out to the winner. Under this category, a specific gaming license is not required.
The class 2 category of legal gambling in New Zealand is more specific towards charitable and fundraising purposes. While its prize amounts must be between $500-$5,000, the turnover should exceed $500 but not be more than $25,000. Again, a license is not required, however, this type of event should be organized by non-profit organizations.
When it comes to Class 3 gambling activities, these are the ones that require a license by a company whose business is the industry of gambling. Prize values for this category typically exceed $5,000.
Class 4 activities are specific to companies that have a license to operate gaming machines for their customers. These include slot machines and similar activities.
It is also important to note that New Zealand law prohibits any kind of remote interactive gambling. This means that any activity that would require a person to use a communication device to place a bet. The exception to this is online sports betting and online lottery.
Within the guidelines of the law prohibiting online gambling, it is not specifically illegal for someone in New Zealand to participate in gambling online if it is an overseas establishment. Citizens of the country are cautioned, however, to be careful when giving out personally identifiable information over the internet.
This means that gambling on a site like MintDice, which is based overseas, is perfectly legal when it comes to playing PowerMint and using the online sportsbook to place sports bets.
Where Can I Gamble in New Zealand?
There are many land-based casinos in the country of New Zealand that tourists from all over the world enjoy visiting. Many of the major cities in the country have one or more casinos that offer a variety of games and activities that customers can participate in.
Whether you enjoy slot machines or table games many of these casinos have quite a bit to offer those who enjoy gambling. For a country that is considered on the small side, they have several casinos to choose from.
The casinos that are in New Zealand are owned by SkyCity Entertainment or SkyCity Casinos and are in various cities throughout the country.
Here is a list of casinos that offer various games and activities:
- SkyCity Auckland Casino
- SkyCity Wharf Casino
- SkyCity Queenstown Casino
- Christchurch Casino
- Dunedin Casino
- SkyCity Hamilton Casino
Since these land-based casinos do not offer online options, gamblers who enjoy games of chance can travel and participate in the options they have available. If you are unable to travel to one of these casinos, you’ll only be able to take advantage of the aforementioned online gaming options.
These casinos get much of their business from local residents but rely heavily on tourists for a lot of their revenue. People tend to travel from all over the world to participate in what the local casinos in New Zealand have to offer.
Gambling in New Zealand During COVID-19
While New Zealand didn’t initially see the outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic that other countries did, they did eventually have an uptick of cases. Even with the increase of cases, closing their borders went a long way to keeping the number of cases smaller.
In recent weeks, however, the number of cases has increased from a few cases during a week’s period to more than a hundred cases in the month of August. Because of this, government officials have taken stringent measures to ensure the safety of its citizens.
When it comes to gambling in New Zealand, SkyCity Entertainment Group, which owns many of the casinos in the country, took quite a big hit when things seemingly shut down due to the pandemic. Going from millions of dollars in revenue to losing much of that has hurt their bottom line.
Since the recent surge in cases, government officials have chosen to continue with the borders being closed for the time being. It is reported that this quarantine is due to last until at least April of 2022.
Beginning in January, however, citizens who live in New Zealand and Australia who have been fully vaccinated can travel throughout the country. This is somewhat good news for the local casinos who will be able to open their doors starting in December.
Unlike other countries, New Zealand has strict rules according to the Gambling Act of 2003 regarding online gambling. While other casinos in other countries were able to transition to online gambling during the pandemic, New Zealand does not allow this option for its local casinos. This means residents must rely on online casinos from overseas companies to place their bets.
SkyCity Entertainment Group is excited to be able to open its doors to at least local citizens but looks forward to the end of April when they can greet their foreign customers back to their casinos.
Overall, when gambling in New Zealand, you will need to ensure that you know the laws about what is considered legal. This is especially important if you are a citizen of the country. Those that are just visiting, have a bit more leeway when it comes to gambling. No matter what you choose to do, you will need to remember that gambling should be done at your own risk.