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New Zealand – New Zealand considering new laws for online gaming

By - 9 August 2019

New Zealand’s Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin has launched an open consultation into online gambling with a view to a possible ban on credit cards being used to gamble and a blacklist to stop offshore operators.

Currently only New Zealand companies can be licensed to offer gambling with the government-owned Lotto New Zealand, the New Zealand Racing Board and the Totalisator Agency Board offering various forms of online gambling.

Mrs Martin said: “Our current Gambling Act is from 2003 and like a lot of legislation it is being challenged by the place of the internet. New technology has changed people’s behavior dramatically and the way New Zealanders gamble has changed too. It’s now timely to check whether our gambling rules are appropriate. A lot of New Zealanders enjoy gambling and it’s not our intention to stop thi. However the growth in online gambling challenges our current approach.”

“The problem we have is that, unlike domestic gambling operators, offshore online gambling operators do not pay to mitigate the harm their industry causes, nor do they contribute to the community through funding grants,” Mrs. Martin added. “We also need to assess whether they sufficiently protect vulnerable New Zealanders, particularly our young people who can spend a lot of time online. The discussion document outlines key issues and seeks feedback on a range of options.

“For example, New Zealand could establish a licensing system, where online providers must meet certain conditions to be able to legally offer their services in New Zealand. This is what Australia and the United Kingdom do. There are also several tools that could be implemented to limit New Zealander’s access to online gambling sites. These include geo-blocking access to overseas gambling sites or banning the use of credit cards for online gambling.”

New Zealand casino group SkyCity’s has recently launched an online casino Gaming Innovation Group (GiG in Malta.
SkyCity CEO Graeme Stephens said SkyCity supports regulation of the New Zealand online casino market, including introducing an appropriate licensing regime for operators and imposing taxes and mandatory host responsibility requirements. “A regulated online gaming market remains our preferred solution, but in the meantime our venture into online gaming is another step towards growing and diversifying our earnings, addressing a fast growing industry which is highly complementary to our land-based activities, and offering customers a multi-channel gaming experience,” he explained.

The open consultation offers four basic options. The first is to retain the current status quo with Lotto and TAB offering existing gambling products

The second would be to extend the gambling products Lotto and TAB may offer. The third is the icensing of more domestic operators. The fourth option is the licensing of both domestic and overseas operators
offering any type of online gambling.

Tracey Martin By Tertiary Education Union – This file has been extracted from another file: Tracey Martin at 2014 TEU Conference.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60527791

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