Over the years, New Zealand has made its mark as one of the leading gambling hotspots globally. The Kiwis have undoubtedly moulded a name for themselves when it comes to sports betting and lottery games. Some reports estimate that over 80% of the country’s population has gambled in one form or another at least once in their lifetime. New Zealand is unequivocally a gambling frontrunner.
What makes the twin-island state such a gambling haven? The straightforward answer would be; its favourable legislation. In contrast to other countries, New Zealand arguably presents one of the best platforms for gambling operators and consumers. Through permissive laws and regulations, the government has opened up to the gambling industry’s full potential in building a better economy.
In the last four decades, the gross national spending in the gambling sector has been increasing exponentially. Suffice it to say; these operations are immensely popular in New Zealand. As such, the industry is vibrant and plays integral roles to all the relevant parties. It revolves around the government’s forthright approach. In comparison to other countries, New Zealand regulates its gambling industry through the Department of Internal Affairs. Thus, according to the law, the sector’s stakeholders must engage in community social responsibilities proactively.
Gambling in New Zealand
New Zealand gambling regulation has not gotten to such a level by chance. It has come through conscious, level-headed action. This entails various civic procedures to ensure that the industry can flourish within legal means. State institutions run a decent fraction of the industry. Hence, laws and regulations are formulated and implemented for the well-being of the people.
Some of the crucial aspects of the regulation are relatively straightforward. As a New Zealand resident, you are strictly prohibited by law to own, advertise or operate an online gambling site. Nevertheless, the law does not restrict you from signing up and playing on international web casinos. Therefore, online casino gambling is consequently legal. As long as you participate through non-resident gambling operators, you won’t be breaking the law.
Such calculated moves and measures ensure that the industry can only grow and flourish. Subsequently, the government does not hinder the operators through constricting legislation and regulation. It follows that they can operate in a favourable environment, both economically and sustainably. Consequently, the industry’s players can provide reasonable opportunities to their clients while also contributing to society in meaningful ways: The hallmark of a highly effective system.
New Zealand’s Gambling History
Gambling in New Zealand has been on for close to over a century. Horse betting was the first type of gambling to be regulated by the government. Previously, operations were done through unregulated channels. As you would expect, this was not a secure industry. It mostly led to friction and conflict within the operation houses. By 1920, things had begun to change. The then government had seen the need to intervene, sanitize and regulate the industry.
One of the first regulations in the industry was the ban on bookmarking. As such, New Zealanders were prohibited from betting on horse races unless you were at the course itself. The continued from the 1920’s all the way until the formation of the Totalizator Agency Board in 1961. With this institution in place, bookmarking was back in town. Residents could then gamble on horse races without attending the events themselves. That marked the beginning of modern gambling regulation.
1961 was a year of change. The Golden Kiwi Lottery was formed in the same year. The government had previously conducted a nationwide study on national lotteries. This was in an attempt to comprehend why the sales were unimpressively low. This particular operation lasted for 28 years, where the Instant Kiwi scratch card lottery replaced it.
Currently, the government sponsors four lotteries. This is undertaken through the New Zealand Lotteries Commission. It ensures that the proper checks and balances are applied to the industry. This includes, but is not limited to, the operators’ mandate to give back to society. Public gambling funds are disbursed to various national institutions, charity organizations, and community projects.
The Gambling Act of 2003
This is the sacred text of gambling. It ensures that the government can implement gambling policies and regulations for the benefit of its citizens. The primary goal of the act is to ensure that gambling profits are channelled back to the community. Furthermore, some of the capital can be directed to mitigating pertinent gambling harm and challenges. Thus, the industry makes a more favourable impression in society.
This positive impact is reasonably far-reaching. Through enforcing the act, the government has established and developed institutes and infrastructure to foster community interests. These vary from art projects to sport organizations. More so, some of it has also been directed to research and studies that examine the impact of gambling on an individual and society, by extension. The act aims to protect its people and protect it does, reason as to why NZ remains ahead of most countries.