Choice Not Chance: The NZ Player’s Guide to Secure Betting

by Staff

Trustworthy Wagers: NZ’s Choice Not Chance Manual to Safeguarded Gaming

At Choice Not Chance, we understand that the online gambling scene in New Zealand is vibrant, primarily due to the many international gambling platforms that accept Kiwi players. It’s noteworthy to mention that despite the absence of distinct online casino regulations in New Zealand, international online casinos can legally cater to Kiwi players. According to New Zealand’s legal perspective, while domestic online casinos aren’t permitted to operate within the country, offshore online casinos are not in violation of the law. This regulatory stance allows New Zealanders a broad choice of online casinos. However, it’s crucial for players to remember that these international platforms might not be directly regulated by the New Zealand Gambling Commission, emphasizing the importance of informed decision-making and safe gambling practices.

The Gambling Landscape of New Zealand: A Historical Perspective

The history of gambling in New Zealand is closely linked to the evolution of its legislation and regulations. The legal framework for gambling in the country primarily centers around the Gambling Act 2003 and the Racing Act 2003. However, New Zealand has a rich and multifaceted history of gambling that can be traced back to the 1830s.

Year Main Events
1830s Origins of gambling in New Zealand, primarily centered around horse racing bets.
1920 Introduction of a ban, prohibiting bookmakers from accepting bets on horse racing outside of racecourses.
1933 Establishment of the first national lotteries, known as art associations, with modest prizes, often gold.
1951 Formation of the New Zealand Racing Commission, with the introduction of the Totalizer Agency Board (TAB).
1961 Launch of the Golden Kiwi Lottery, based on charitable lottery models and in operation until 1989.
1977 Enactment of the Gambling and Lotteries Act 1977, laying the groundwork for the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.
1987 Establishment of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission and the introduction of the New Zealand Lottery. The first lotto broadcast occurred on August 1, 1987.
1988 Legalization of electronic gaming machines, commonly known as “Pokies,” for fundraising for charitable organizations.
1990 Enactment of the Casino Control Act of 1990, which remained in force until 2003.
1994 Opening of Christchurch Casino, the first licensed land-based casino in New Zealand.
2003 Introduction of the Gambling Act 2003, amalgamating previous acts into a single law. Licensing conditions and legislation focused on minimizing harms and ensuring community benefits.
The Racing Act 2003 was also established, providing a legal framework for sports and racing betting. In 2017, the government expressed intentions to modify the law to impose levies on offshore betting operators.
2015 The Gambling Act 2015 brought updates to the Gambling Act 2003, currently in effect. Future amendments may reshape online gambling in New Zealand.
2018 The New Zealand Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that New Zealanders spent $2.38 billion during the 2017/8 financial year, indicating a 2% increase from the previous year, emphasizing the continued popularity of gambling in the country.

New Zealand online gambling laws

In accordance with the New Zealand Gambling Act 2003, local gambling companies are legally restricted from offering virtual online casino games within the country. Consequently, no online casinos in New Zealand are licensed or regulated by the New Zealand Gambling Commission.

As of now, the only online gambling activities explicitly regulated in New Zealand pertain to online lotteries, horse racing, and sports betting. These services are exclusively provided through the official platforms of Lotto NZ and the New Zealand Racing Board (TAB), including their websites and mobile apps.

There are currently no proposed amendments to the existing legal framework that would permit local New Zealand companies to establish online casinos. However, it’s important to note that the legal code does not prevent New Zealand residents from participating in online gambling activities offered by international online casinos, nor does it prohibit these offshore casinos from providing their services to players in the country.

Importance of playing on licensed platforms

Before you begin to play at an online casino, it is essential to locate a licensed casino. Playing on licensed platforms offers a safer and more accountable gaming experience. To ensure you’re playing on a licensed and reputable platform, check for proper licensing and regulatory information when choosing an online casino.

  • Player Protection: Licensed platforms are subject to strict regulations, ensuring that they provide a safe and secure gaming environment. These regulations cover aspects like fair play, responsible gambling measures, and data security.
  • Fair Games: Licensed casinos use audited Random Number Generators (RNGs) to guarantee the fairness of games. This ensures that players have a genuine chance to win.
  • Security: Licensed platforms implement robust security measures to protect players’ financial transactions and personal information. This reduces the risk of fraud and data breaches.
  • Responsible Gambling: Licensed casinos offer responsible gambling tools, such as deposit limits, self-exclusion options, and support resources. This encourages players to gamble responsibly and provides help for those who may develop gambling-related problems.
  • Payout Guarantees: Licensed casinos must have the financial capacity to cover player winnings. This ensures that when you win, you’ll receive your payouts promptly and in full.
  • Legal Compliance: Licensed platforms are required to comply with local and international laws. This helps create a transparent and lawful gaming environment, reducing the likelihood of legal issues for players.
  • Community Contribution: Many licensed casinos contribute a portion of their earnings to the local community or specific causes, supporting public projects and community development.
  • No Hidden Fees or Scams: Licensed casinos are less likely to engage in fraudulent practices or impose hidden fees, promoting trust and transparency.

The legal age of gambling

The age at which you can gamble legally in New Zealand depends on what you’re doing. To place bets on sports or buy a lottery ticket, you need to be at least 18 years old. But if you want to play games in a casino or even enter the gambling section, you must be at least 20 years old. People under 20 who are in the gambling area or place bets in a casino may receive a penalty of up to $500. If a casino manager deliberately lets a minor play, they may face a fine of up to $5,000. Therefore, numerous casinos attempt to limit access for unethical players, resulting in the stringent identity verification protocols employed by most online platforms.

Responsible gambling

Balancing the excitement of gambling with responsible behavior is critical for maintaining enjoyment and avoiding harm. New Zealand is committed to addressing the problem of gambling and substance abuse. Here is a detailed explanation of how New Zealand regulates and promotes responsible gambling and substance abuse prevention.

  • Funding Through Operator Levies: New Zealand tackles problem gambling by using a special funding system. Gambling businesses in the country pay a fee for supporting services that help people with gambling problems.
  • Ministry of Health’s Role: The Ministry of Health of New Zealand is responsible for regulating responsible gambling and preventing substance abuse. They coordinate and fund programs and services that help with problem gambling.
  • New Zealand provides a full range of problem gambling services, including prevention, intervention, and treatment. Individuals and their families dealing with problem gambling can access these services.
  • An easily accessible helpline is also available. The Gambling Helpline (0800 654 655) is available around the clock to help people in need with gambling problems.
  • Many organizations and treatment centers in New Zealand offer counseling and therapy services for those dealing with gambling addiction. These services aim to help people control their gambling behavior.
  • Community support groups and non-governmental organizations actively assist those affected by problem gambling. These groups provide a supportive community where individuals can share their experiences and receive encouragement.

In summary, New Zealand uses a thorough and diverse strategy to tackle drug abuse and responsible gambling. The funding system offered by gaming operators guarantees that assistance is accessible. These services include hotlines, counseling sessions, group support, educational efforts, and materials to aid individuals and their families in coping with and defeating gambling and substance abuse issues.

Preventing casino addiction

Preventing casino addiction or gambling addiction, necessitates a combination of mindfulness, self-discipline, and reaching out for assistance. Here are some recommendations to help avert the development of casino addiction:

  1. Establish Clear Limits: Before you begin gambling, determine the specific amount of time and money you’re willing to dedicate to the activity. Adhere to these limits rigorously and avoid attempting to recover lost funds.
  2. Budget Prudently: View gambling as an entertainment expense and allocate a distinct budget for it. Never employ funds that are earmarked for essential financial obligations such as bills, rent, or groceries.
  3. Manage Your Time: Set time constraints for your gambling sessions. Employ timers or alarms to remind yourself when it’s time to conclude your activities.
  4. Comprehend the Probabilities: Acquire a thorough understanding of the odds associated with the games you engage in. Acknowledge that casinos consistently possess an advantage, and victory is never guaranteed.
  5. Avoid Intoxication: Refrain from gambling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Substances can impair your judgment and lead to impulsive decisions.
  6. Seek Professional Assistance: If you suspect the onset of a gambling problem, don’t hesitate to contact a therapist or seek support from a support group. In New Zealand, the Gambling Helpline is a valuable resource for assistance.
  7. Responsible Gaming Tools: Many online casinos offer responsible gaming tools such as deposit limits, session limits, and self-exclusion. Take advantage of these features.
  8. Stay Informed: Educate yourself about the signs of gambling addiction and seek help immediately if you experience them. Early intervention is key.
  9. Balance Your Life: Engage in other activities and hobbies to create a balanced and fulfilling life outside of gambling.
  10. Monitor Your Emotions: Be mindful of your emotional state when gambling. Avoid gambling as a way to cope with stress, depression, or anxiety.
  11. Avoid Chasing Losses: If you’re losing, don’t chase your losses by increasing your bets. This can lead to more significant financial problems.
  12. Block Access: Consider using website blockers and parental control software to block access to online gambling sites.
  13. Financial Management: Consider having a separate bank account for gambling, and never borrow money to gamble.

Remember that gambling should be an enjoyable pastime, and if it becomes a problem, it’s crucial to take action promptly to prevent addiction from taking hold. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help from professional resources and support groups.

How to identify a safe online casino?

Identifying safe online casinos is extremely important for player protection. The following criteria will help you identify whether an online casino is trustworthy:

Licenses and regulation

Many of the world’s best-known and most respected online casinos have obtained their licenses from specific gambling authorities. For example, the gaming authorities in Malta, the UK, and Estonia are known for their strict requirements and close supervision. A license from these bodies is a sign that the casino is following the industry’s accepted practices and ethical standards.

SSL certificates

An SSL certificate ensures that data transmission between the online casino and the player is encrypted. This is necessary to protect personal information and money transfers from potential threats. Reputable casinos usually have a padlock icon in the browser address bar, indicating active SSL security.

Player self-evaluations and comments

Players’ own experiences and comments are a valuable source of information about the reliability of an online casino. Honest reviews and testimonials help you understand the type of service the casino offers and the way it treats its players. It’s important to take into account both positive and negative experiences and observe the general trend of reviews.


Check customer reviews to learn how an online casino treats its patrons. Not all reviews are relevant in New Zealand. Hence, it’s best to seek input from patrons based in New Zealand. Although reviews from websites in the industry are helpful, feedback from independent reviews on forums and social media provides a more comprehensive picture of the customer experience at a particular online casino. Don’t stress about occasional bad reviews, since most online businesses will inevitably satisfy some unhappy customers. Just make sure there are way more positive reviews than negative ones.

Reliability of the gaming software

In the world of online casinos, the reliability of gaming software is fundamental. Not only does it determine the quality of the gaming experience, but it also ensures that players have a fair chance of winning.

Random number generators (RNG)

Random number generators, or RNGs, are software that guarantees the randomness of game results. They are particularly important because they ensure that game results are completely random and cannot be manipulated. Without a reliable RNG, there is no way to ensure that a casino operates fairly and equitably. When choosing a casino, players should make sure that the casino uses recognized and tested RNG software, certified by a third party.

Reputation of gaming companies

There are several software developers in the casino world, but not all of them are on the same level. The reputation of well-known and respected software developers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, and Playtech often reflects the quality and reliability of the games. These companies have invested years in developing their games and are known for their innovation, graphics, and security. Players are advised to choose casinos that use games from these reputable developers, as this guarantees the best and safest gaming experience.

Bonuses in online casinos

Online casinos offer different bonuses and promotions to attract players and keep them engaged. These bonuses improve the gaming experience and offer chances to win more. Here are the most popular bonuses in online casinos:

  • Welcome Bonus: This frequent incentive for new players often includes a match deposit bonus, free spins, or a combination of both, and it boosts your initial bankroll.
  • No Deposit Bonus: This bonus lets you play and win without depositing any money. It’s a great way to try out the casino and its games risk-free.
  • Free Spins: Many online pokie machines offer free spins as a bonus. Online casinos also offer free spins as separate bonuses that let you spin the reels for free.
  • Reload Bonus: Reload bonuses are for players who already have an account. They give you extra money when you deposit again. These bonuses keep your bankroll in good shape.
  • Cashback Bonus: Cashback bonuses return a percentage of your losses to your account. They work as a safety net, cushioning the impact of losing streaks.
  • Loyalty Program: Online casinos frequently offer loyalty programs with various levels. As you play, you can accumulate points that can be traded for rewards such as cash, free spins, or exclusive offers.
  • Tournaments and Challenges: Some casinos hold contests and competitions with cash rewards, adding excitement and competition to your gaming experience.

Wagering requirements

Wager requirements, also known as playthrough requirements, are conditions that online casinos apply to bonuses or promotions. These rules determine the amount that needs to be wagered (bet) before winning money or bonus funds can be withdrawn. Wager requirements are widely used in the online casino world and serve to

  • Prevention of bonus abuse:Wagering rules are made to stop players from getting a bonus and taking out the money without playing any games. These rules make sure that players bet on some games before being able to cash out.
  • Protection of the casino: Casinos use wagering rules to protect themselves from possible money losses that can come with bonus offers. Without such rules, players might take advantage of bonuses and bankrupt the casino.
  • Generation of revenue: Wagering requirements create extra income for the casino. When players try to meet these requirements by placing more bets, the casino makes a profit even if the players lose.

All about safe payment methods in online casinos

To gamble online with real money, you must add money to your account. Approved websites provide different options to safely deposit and withdraw funds, catering to all players’ preferences. All iGaming sites that are New Zealand-friendly accept bank transfers or credit/debit card payments. However, selected providers also offer other choices. E-wallets such as PayPal and Neteller have gained increasing popularity due to their enhanced security and swift withdrawals. Additionally, more gambling sites in New Zealand now accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Traditional Payment Methods vs.Modern Payment Methods

The world of online gambling has changed how we deposit and withdraw cash. Classic payment options, once the only trustworthy way, now share space with modern digital alternatives. We will now compare traditional versus modern payment procedures at online casinos.

Traditional Payment Methods

  • Credit and debit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, and others, are popular and easy-to-use payment methods. They allow players to make direct payments from their bank accounts, offering simplicity and convenience. However, some players worry about sharing their card details online because of security risks.
  • Transfers Bank transfers move money from a player’s bank account to the online casino. This option is safe but could take longer and cost more than newer alternatives.
  • The EFTPOS Card is widely used in New Zealand for point-of-sale transactions but isn’t as common for online casino payments.

Modern Payment Methods

  • e-Wallets: Digital wallets like PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and EcoPayz store funds and enable easy online transactions. They’re popular for being fast, secure, and safeguarding private banking information.
  • Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and other digital currencies have become popular due to their high level of security and anonymity. These currencies operate on a decentralized system, resulting in transparent and efficient transactions.
  • Payment solutions like ApplePay cater to mobile users, enabling them to make deposits straight from their smartphones, a highly convenient option.
  • Prepaid cards are also available for users’ convenience. Services such as Paysafecard provide prepaid cards loaded with a set amount of funds. You can use these cards for online transactions without disclosing personal financial data.

Recognising and preventing potential payment fraud

Staying safe when making payments in online casinos is important. To stay safe, follow these safety measures:

  • Choose licensed and reputable casinos. Go for online casinos that are licensed and regulated by recognized authorities. Licensing ensures that the casino follows certain standards and is regularly audited for fairness and security.
  • Use a secure website (SSL). Ensure your personal and financial information is secure by checking for a website’s “https://” URL and a padlock symbol in the browser’s address bar, indicating SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption.
  • Only use payment methods that are trusted and well-known, whether modern or traditional. Safe options for playing at a casino include using credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
  • To manage your spending, create specific limits for your casino activities before you begin and stick to them.
  • Avoid chasing losses, as this can result in overspending. Be cautious of phishing scams and malicious websites that imitate legitimate casinos. Double-check website links and email addresses to avoid being scammed.
  • Make sure your casino account is secure by using a strong, unique password, and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) when possible to add an extra security layer.

Final Thoughts from Choice Not Chance Experts

With the advancement of technology, gambling has become more accessible than ever, allowing individuals to engage from virtually any location at any time. However, this convenience also highlights the importance of responsible gaming. We’ve seen firsthand how quickly the thrill of gambling can escalate into problematic behaviors. Prioritizing security is paramount in fostering a positive and safe gambling environment. While gaming platforms play a significant role in safeguarding their services, players must also exercise caution. It’s essential for individuals to recognize potential risks and employ protective measures, such as setting up robust passwords, verifying their accounts, and steadfastly adhering to the tenets of responsible gaming. Always remember: safety and responsibility go hand in hand.

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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