Why Is Gambling in New Zealand So Different?

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Gambling in both online and bricks and mortar casinos is a hobby enjoyed worldwide by many, despite the fact the laws surrounding gambling differ depending on the country you’re in. New Zealand has a history of unusual and strict laws when it comes to gambling, as well as having some of the highest figures when it comes to the percentage of the population that partakes in it. Here are some of the unusual New Zealand gambling rules…


Online gambling has transformed the landscape of gambling by making it far more convenient, accessible, and therefore widely popular. New Zealand allows online gambling but only under the condition that you are using sites that originate from outside of the country. This law looks set to change in the future however, with the possibility of a sky city launch.

Furthermore, there are also strict and unusual rules when it comes to physical casinos. There are a very limited number of casinos in New Zealand, the majority of which are state owned. The state recognizes the importance of the gambling industry due to the money it brings into their economy; however, they are very cautious of the fine line between it being an enjoyable hobby and a potentially destructive habit.

Rules and Regulations

Another example of an unusual gambling rule practiced in New Zealand is the fact that bookmaking companies are banned, and instead one can only place bets at the sporting event itself. This platform is centralized so that the government can keep a closer eye on it, as well as use it to boost profits, which can be put towards state use. 

Even small local events like fairs and carnivals are subject to rules and regulations to ensure that they do not have any gambling aspects associated with them. For example, people cannot be asked to make a financial contribution to games, and the overall motives of activities must benefit the community. 


An astounding statistic which goes some way in explaining why the landscape of gambling differs so much in New Zealand compared to other countries, is that only 20% of adults living in New Zealand don’t gamble. It is a normalized part of the culture to the extent that over £2.4 billion was spent on gambling by residents in 2018.

However, there are also up to 60,000 problem gamblers in New Zealand. Problem gamblers are those who have developed an unhealthy attitude towards gambling and can therefore easily become victims of it without the right support, which is why the government are trying to have more control over it.

Some would say that more countries should approach governing gambling in the same way New Zealand has, rather than giving providers free reign to take advantage of the large, invested audience. A lack of regulation can lead to gambling becoming a major source of discontent and problems, whereas centralizing it not only allows you to keep a closer eye on how it is being approached, but also allows you to use it to create income for the country itself. For more articles on gambling, such as how to gamble when travelling, there are more posts on this site.

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