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How gambling came to NZ – short history

September 25, 2019 Posted in Fun fact, News by No Comments

There has been gambling going on in New Zealand documented as early as 1830. However, even after the turn of the century, it was considered an illegal practice.

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In 1908 there was a Gambling Act presented that stated gambling was allowed only at races, and this issue in reference to legality would be upheld until 1951. It was only with the introduction of pokies, also known as slot machines, and state-sanctioned lottery that physical casinos would arise.

The first casino opened in 1994, and you can be sure that all bets were off. Many players were ready to try their hand at the casino, and openly welcomed the chance to enjoy the excitement casinos had to offer. There are currently 6 land based casinos in New Zealand, and since 2008 it is legal to purchase lottery tickets online as well. It wasn’t until 1998 that New Zealand would see it’s first online casino, and it has grown in popularity over the past two decades.

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It does appear with every good thing there is a catch, and online gambling is not spared in this regard. There are laws that prohibit remote interactive gambling, however, if the gambling website is overseas, then there are no governing laws to be broken. There is also the added bonus of not paying taxes on overseas online gambling winnings, because more than likely the payout is not in New Zealand dollars, also known as the Kiwi.

New Zealand has an undeniable love for gambling, or everyone is simply trying their luck at hitting it big. Although, this is not localized to merely New Zealand. Nonetheless, in 2015 people living in New Zealand shelled out a little over $2 billion in the hopes of winning. However, this amount does not reflect the money that was invested into online casino gambling. Luckily all gambling is controlled by the Department of Internal Affairs, and it has been mandated that casinos must return a certain percentage of proceeds back to the community. You can only hope that the Department of Internal Affairs is more on the side of the people rather than the casino in this case.

There have been various laws and attempts at prohibiting gambling in New Zealand. As of this time, there are only two laws that pertain to gambling; the Gambling Act of 2003 and the Racing Act of 2003. However, these laws pertain more to sports betting and racing, and the land based casinos versus online gambling. It appears if you want to place the best bet, you have a better chance of keeping your winnings when you take the chance online. Not to mention, who wouldn’t want to sit on the sofa in their pajamas, enjoying a snack, and playing the odds against a machine or other players. You also get the added bonus of having your winnings transferred to your account instantaneously and free of taxes.