What Gaming Activities are prohibited in New Zealand?

Gambling in New Zealand is legislated by the Gambling Act of 2003 and its amendments, and the Racing Act of 2003. It is also regulated by the Department of Internal Affairs, the Gambling Commission and the Ministry of Health. Any activity that is outside of what is listed in the Gambling Act is illegal in New Zealand. 

Some gambling activities are prohibited in New Zealand under the law. This includes remote interactive gambling without New Zealand license, advertising of international gambling and some violations to the gambling act. This article will focus on adequately explaining the main prohibited activities in New Zealand under the Gambling Act of 2003.

Remote Gambling

Firstly, remote interactive gambling is prohibited in New Zealand. In simpler words, online gambling is not allowed, although this prohibition is more extensive than this. Remote interactive gambling focuses on gambling activities through a communication device which can include internet, telephones, radios and similar devices. 

Thus, as much as online casino websites are prohibited, televised bingo is also illegal. For the activity to be categorized as gambling, there must be a bet even while NZ$1 deposit gambling or an element of chance in the game and a cash prize. Even lottery tickets cannot be sold online in New Zealand.

There are a few restrictions to this prohibition. For one, promoting the sales of lottery games that are conducted in New Zealand are excluded. Also, the Racing Board and Lottery Commission are allowed to hold forms of remote interactive gambling as long as the Department of Internal Affairs approves it.

Keep in mind that this prohibition is placed on online casinos based in New Zealand, not on players gambling on offshore sites. Thus, players are allowed to bet on international or foreign gambling platforms. The websites are not blocked, and players who do so are not prosecuted. But, players can only gamble on offshore sites at their own risk as New Zealand does not offer any legal protection.

Those who participate in unauthorized remote interactive gambling in New Zealand can be fined up to $10,000 while organizations might pay up to $50,000. 

Advertising of International Gambling

Another prohibition on gambling in New Zealand is the advertisement of international gambling. It is prohibited under Section 16 of the 2003 Gambling Act. The advertisement of international gambling is defined in the act as any means of communication that promotes or publicizes gambling or an operator, and that gambling activity or operator is based outside of New Zealand. 

It also includes communication that influences people to gamble outside the country. 

In simpler terms, promoting offshore gambling activities or influencing New Zealanders to play outside the country is prohibited. It attracts a fine of up to $10,000. Even if laws do not restrict gambling on international casino websites, these sites cannot promote their gambling operations to New Zealanders.

There are also some exceptions to this prohibition. For example, if the promotion of the gambling activity or operator happened incidentally. For instance, if a tourism advertisement for a city mentions their casino operations. Also, if the ad is meant to promote gambling equipment. Promotions that create awareness for problem gambling is also allowed like health messages concerning gambling.

Gambling Act Violations

Gambling in New Zealand is illegal and prohibited unless it is authorized under the Gambling Act of 2003 and its amendments, and all the relevant licenses, game rules and minimum standards have been met by the operator or gambling activity. Also, if the gambling activity or operator is authorized under the Racing Act or if it is a private gambling scene.

Violations to the gambling act include remote interactive gambling, as mentioned above and bookmaking. These types of gambling are prohibited and illegal.

Violations to the gambling act are usually met with a fine of $10,000 for individuals and $50,000 for organizations. 

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