Gambling in New Zealand

With a rich history and a well-regulated industry that caters to a diverse range of gaming preferences, gambling is gaining significant traction in New Zealand. In 2020, the total expenditure on gambling in New Zealand reached NZD 2.625 billion, highlighting its popularity among the population.

The country boasts over 6,000 gaming machines outside of casinos, spread across various pubs and clubs, and is home to six licensed land-based casinos. Additionally, the New Zealand Lotteries Commission reports that around 55% of the adult population participates in lottery games annually.

Let’s discuss about gambling landscape in New Zealand in detail. We will cover gambling’s legal framework, role of responsible gambling initiatives and types of gambling available.

Gambling Law in NZ

The legal framework for gambling in NZ is governed by the Gambling Act 2003. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is the main regulatory body overseeing all forms of gambling, including lotteries, sports betting, and casino operations.

Objectives of the Gambling Act 2003

The Gambling Act 2003 has three main purposes:

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  • Controlling growth of Gambling: By regulating the number and type of gambling operations, the Act helps maintain a balance, ensuring that gambling remains a recreational activity rather than becoming addiction.
  • Benefitting the Community: The Act mandates that a significant portion of the proceeds from gambling activities must be returned to the community. For example, in the fiscal year 2020-2021, gambling activities generated approximately NZD 335 million in community funding.
  • Minimize Gambling Harm: The Act places a strong emphasis on minimizing the potential negative impacts of gambling. It includes provisions for responsible gambling measures, such as promoting awareness about the risks of gambling, providing support for problem gamblers, and implementing harm minimization strategies within gambling venues.

Types of Gambling


Lotteries are one of the most popular forms of gambling in New Zealand. These games are widely accessible and contribute significantly to community funding.

The New Zealand Lotteries Commission, also known as Lotto NZ, operates various lottery games, including Lotto, Keno, and Instant Kiwi. Lotto NZ generated approximately NZD 1.2 billion in sales in 2019-2020 financial year.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is another well-loved gambling activity in New Zealand. Bettors can place wagers on a variety of sports, including rugby, cricket, and horse racing, through TAB’s retail outlets, online platform, and mobile app.

TAB (Totalisator Agency Board) is the only organization legally allowed to offer betting services. The TAB generated approximately NZD 385 million in gross betting revenue in 2019-2020.

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Land based Casinos

Six licensed land-based casinos are located in cities like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, and Queenstown. In the 2019-2020 financial year, New Zealand’s land-based casinos generated approximately NZD 599 million in gross gambling revenue.

These casinos offer a wide range of gaming options, including blackjack, poker, roulette and slot machines. SkyCity Auckland, the largest casino in New Zealand, attracts over 1.5 million visitors annually, making it one of the most popular entertainment destinations in the country.

With entertainment and dining facilities, it makes them a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Online Gambling

While the Gambling Act 2003 does not explicitly prohibit online gambling, it restricts the operation of online gambling services within New Zealand to the TAB and Lotto NZ. However, New Zealanders can legally participate in online gambling through offshore platforms. Websites like offer reviews and information about reputable international online casinos that accept NZ players. A 2018 survey indicated that approximately 13% of New Zealand adults had participated in some form of online gambling, with many using international online casino platforms. New Zealanders spends around NZD 380 million annually on international online gambling sites.

Responsible Gambling

The Problem Gambling Foundation and the Gambling Helpline are two key organizations in New Zealand offering assistance, counselling, and support services to affected individuals and their families.

In the 2019-2020 financial year, the New Zealand government allocated approximately NZD 20 million to problem gambling services, supporting public awareness campaigns, treatment services, and research.

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Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF) is the largest provider of gambling-related counselling and support services in NZ. It assisted over 4,000 clients in 2019, offering free, confidential counselling and advice.

New Zealand places a strong emphasis on responsible gambling. The government and various organizations provide resources and support to help individuals gamble responsibly and seek help if they face gambling-related issues.

Final Thoughts

Gambling in New Zealand is a well-regulated and offers a variety of options for enthusiasts, from lotteries and sports betting to live casinos. With a strong emphasis on responsible gambling and community benefits, New Zealand’s gambling landscape is designed to provide entertainment while safeguarding the well-being of its participants. Whether you are a local or a visitor, the diverse gambling options and robust regulatory framework make New Zealand a favorable destination for gaming.

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