Is Online Betting Legal in New Zealand? How to Find Safe, Legal Bookmakers

The quick answer is yes, online betting is legal in New Zealand, however, finding safe betting sites to use, and knowing which ones are the best is not so simple.

For that reason, this article will discuss the online gambling situation in New Zealand, how it functions, and what punters need to know before and while wagering online.

At the moment, the New Zealand government controls all gambling activity that originates from within New Zealand, but not wagering that comes from outside the country.

This means that operators who wish to have a business in New Zealand must be licensed by the New Zealand government.

At the moment New Zealand has only one local sports betting operator – the TAB NZ – which is controlled by the government.

However, there are many foreign bookmakers that also legally offer sports wagering to Kiwis, in New Zealand Dollars.

This is 100% legal however, their prominence and popularity is still small compared to the TAB NZ because many New Zealanders do not even know that these companies exist, or are safe to use.

TAB NZ – The Domestic Monopoly

The TAB NZ, is New Zealand’s only, government-owned, onshore sports wagering provider.

TAB NZ offers Kiwi punters the opportunity to bet on local and international horse racing and sports online and at in-person bookmakers.

TAB NZ is independently run but is heavily regulated by the Department of Internal Affairs. They are required to report earnings, profit and impact statements to the government regularly.

TAB NZ also controls Trackside, a horse racing streaming service that shows racing on televisions and online in New Zealand.

The TAB was established in 1951 following a 1949 law change that allowed off-course betting in New Zealand. At the time it was the world’s first government-run totaliser wagering service.

Several law changes and restructurings later, the TAB NZ was born and it now has a monopoly over the domestic betting market in the country.

Despite the TAB NZ’s dominance, under New Zealand law it is legal for online betting operators to offer their wagering services to Kiwis, but how does this work?

NZ Gambling Laws – What do they say?

New Zealand’s Gambling Act 2003 outlines what is and is not illegal when it comes to sports and casino wagering in the country.

It is important to understand that this law only concerns gambling that originates from within New Zealand.

More specifically, the law states that:

1) Gambling is prohibited and illegal unless it is—

(a) authorised by or under this Act and complies with this Act and any relevant licence, game rules, and minimum standards; or

(b) authorised by or under the Racing Act 2003 and complies with that Act and any regulations made under it; or

(c) private gambling.

(2) The following types of gambling are prohibited and illegal and are not authorised by and may not be authorised under this Act:

(a) bookmaking:

(b) remote interactive gambling.

Essentially, this law restricts the formation of new gambling agencies (casinos and sportsbooks), if they are based in New Zealand.

There is nothing in the law that concerns betting operators that are based overseas who offer their services to Kiwis online.

This means that betting online, whether with the TAB NZ or some other agency, is 100% legal.

Choosing the Best Betting Sites

Now you know that online betting is legal in New Zealand it’s time to choose the best betting website for you.

You can use websites that compare New Zealand’s best betting sites – like MyBettingSites NZ – to help you.

They only list betting sites with good global reputations, that are licensed in the countries where they are based and accept New Zealand Dollars from Kiwi customers.

This website also recommends considering the following criteria when deciding between top online bookmakers:

  • Odds – How high are the odds you are getting? Do the odds accurately reflect how likely an outcome that you are going to bet on will happen? Do other bookies have better odds?
  • Bonuses – Are there sign up bonuses available for new customers? How much can you get and are the wagering requirements easy to fulfill? Are there other bonuses available to existing customers?
  • Payment Methods – Can you deposit and withdraw using your preferred payment option like PayPal, Card or Bank Transfer? How long do payments take to process? Are there any other fees to be aware of?
  • Apps – Does the bookmaker you are using have an app? Is it available for your phone model? How easy is the app to use and navigate? Does it crash?
  • Other Features – Can you watch sports and racing live streams? Is the live betting interface good? What other features are available like cash out, bet builders and blogs?
  • Customer Support – How can you talk to the customer support team? Are they friendly and helpful?

After considering the most important factors for you personally you will have a better idea of which online betting websites will suit you best so you can make an informed decision.

Betting Safely in New Zealand

Like online wagering in any country, it’s always important to be safe and responsible when using online bookmakers in New Zealand.

Of course, the first thing that you can do is to make sure you choose an operator with a good global reputation, a licence in the country that they originate and good customer support options.

The other thing to bear in mind is how to keep yourself safe.

Setting weekly or monthly limits for how much you are willing to gamble is always a good idea. Betting is supposed to be fun so you should never bet more than you can afford and always know when to stop.

Another thing you may want to do is involve others, like friends and family members in your gambling activities.

Having others around you is a great way to keep your play fun and to have a second pair of eyes to monitor how much you spend.

If you’re a Kiwi then you should now have a good overview of online betting in New Zealand, where to do it and how to do it safely.

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