Gambling on the internet was and still is a great type of business.
Online casinos have become very popular among New Zealanders. This happened due to the coronavirus and other social reasons. But in recent years, the laws relating to the gambling industry have changed a lot and it has become much more difficult to play.On the market of NZ online casinos in New Zealand, there are operators from a variety of countries. It is true that they all look similar when looking; however, they provide different features and also count with different regulations and laws.
Many more are attempting to profit from the rising sector, but understanding the laws in this new economic field is critical. To help us with this topic, we’ll count on the help of Kim Pascoe, an expert in online casino sites and online gambling.
In this article, we’ll talk about the law regarding the gambling industry in New Zealand and how it has changed.
Gambling in New Zealand
When talking about general gambling, we can say that, according to the Gambling Act of 2003, it is a legal activity. This law in New Zealand provides people with the certainty that they can participate in a few activities as long as they are at least 18 years old.
The activities they can take part in the country are:
- Lottery games
- Scratch cards
- Poker games
All of these are managed by private businesses that provide gamblers with both physical and digital services. Apart from that, citizens in New Zealand can visit offline casinos after they reach the age of 20.
Online gambling status
The online casino law is a little more complicated to understand. According to the Act we’ve mentioned above, the only activities you can perform online are those provided by the local Lottery or the TAB.
It is pretty much like the law around online casinos in Australia. If an online casino is based in the country, it is illegal. However, if the provider is based overseas, there aren’t any laws against it.
With that said, we conclude that the online gambling status is still not well established in New Zealand. Although it is not legal for people to gamble online in companies inside the country, the rules don’t say anything about international casino sites and many of them accept local players.
Law changes in the gambling industry
In 2019, the New Zealand government started thinking about reviewing the Gambling Act, as it was made in 2003 and certainly didn’t follow the news in technology and the existence of online casinos.
It was a fact that the law and the gambling industry were already obsolete and that something had to be done. There were a few suggestions made, however, none of them were approved yet and there were no changes.
They all talked about giving New Zealanders more options of online casinos that were regulated or landed inside the country, and not only the Lottery and TAB. However, critics said that all of these suggestions were only thinking about the economic side, instead of trying to offer a better gambling experience to players.
Although nothing has changed, the international casino sites are still the best option for New Zealand gamblers to enjoy their favorite casino games.
In New Zealand, how do gambling winnings get taxed?
Online gambling, most of the time, is considered a hobby and not a source of extra income. However, it is possible to gain money with it and because of that many people question whether this many will be taxed or not.
When talking about the law in New Zealand, we can guarantee that any profit you get from online gambling is tax-free. No matter if you get them inside or outside the country. However, this may change if you are a professional gambler like many poker players are. In this case, the fact is that all your income, or the greatest part of it comes from gambling, and, because of that, your winnings may be subject to taxation. How much you’ll have to pay will vary according to how much you’ve won so far.
In this case, we recommend you to check with specialists to see how you’re going to pay the taxes and how much they will be. With that said, if you enjoy gambling just for fun, you don’t have to worry about getting taxed for your winnings, no matter how big they are.
The status of online gambling in New Zealand is still confusing. Although changes were desired, nothing was really done. People can still enjoy the country’s options for both online and offline gambling, and international sites are also still available.
However, it is possible that we see new changes happening in the future, as this industry is still growing and it is expected that many more people start gambling online in a few years.