New Zealand’s Online Gambling Market

New Zealand has one of the biggest gambling populations in the world. Despite being a small country with only 4.4 million inhabitants, New Zealand’s residents spend billions of dollars on gambling every year. Playing land-based casino games is particularly popular, but online gambling has increased in popularity over the years.

Currently, New Zealand’s gambling laws prohibit online gambling. Unlike many countries, the laws do not punish players for taking part in internet gambling activities; instead, online casino and online poker operators who provide their services to New Zealand residents are prosecuted for doing so. The advertisement of online casinos and online gambling brands is also prohibited in New Zealand. Fortunately, since the legislation has been passed, no operators have been reprimanded.

There are only two operators that are allowed to offer their services to New Zealand residents: TabCorp and the New Zealand Lottery Commission. TabCorp is one of the biggest land-based gambling operators in the country and has had a monopoly on the internet gaming market for years. The company’s online gambling website has earned billions of dollars over the course of the past five years and shows no signs of slowing down. In 2011, TabCorp’s online services brought in over $700 million in revenue. Following an incredibly successful foray into the online gaming world, the operator now has its eyes on the mobile gambling market.

The New Zealand Lottery Commission has just launched its own online gambling service, allowing customers to purchase their lottery tickets online. Players register to the site as they would at any other online casino, and they can fund their accounts using the credit cards or bank accounts. There is a $150/week or $300/month spending limit at the NZLC’s website, and players can choose lower limits if they wish. The New Zealand Lottery Commission also offers online bingo and keno.

Although there are strict rules dictating which companies may and may not offer online casino services to players, it seems that New Zealand’s government may be looking into the option of regulating offshore gambling websites. After witnessing the huge growth of offshore gambling websites and success that other countries have had in regulating the market, the government seems ready to follow suit. Earlier this year, the Inquiry into Interactive and Online Gambling was launched. The review may lead to an online gambling reform, which would see the legalization and regulation of offshore gambling in New Zealand and Australia.