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Gambling and Law in Australia and New Zealand

‘Legal or illegal, that is the question’, calls Hamlet-the player while talking to the skull. That is how we have turned the quote from one of the most notable Shakespeare’s masterpiece works upside down. It is becoming increasingly complicated to discern whether this or that gambling company scams people. To vehemently withstand the dark side of the gambling industry, specific laws were introduced. 

Regretfully, not all gambling projects abide by the law of fair game, thus leaving players with bitterness of losses and disappointment of money loss. In fairness to the market, this tendency doesn’t add insult to injury due to the fact that gambling rules do stand in good stand.

The legislation procedures in New Zealand and Australia in terms of gambling are a bit uncommon. If a person is found playing online casinos, there are no ramifications or allegations at such a player. However, the law dictates that gambling organisations can’t establish online casinos within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.

So, here comes the question: what do gambling legislations tell us about Aussies and Kiwis gambling online? The country of New Zealand is going to be the starting point of the narration.

Gambling Laws in New Zealand

The fact of the growing popularity of gambling in the region cannot be underestimated. Although casinos and other ways of gambling activities remained prohibited for a long period in the distant past, nothing could vanish the joy and exhilaration of local dwellers. In 1908, more than a century ago, the Gambling Act entered into force, disabling any forms of gambling entertainment apart from lotteries and horse racing. Nonetheless, it was still an extremely bumpy road to what is happening in the industry at the moment.

Betting on horses was a well-liked leisure activity in those remote times, and in the beginning of the 20th century some New Zealand residents came up with an idea of introducing a totalisator. Players were able to observe the odds on various horses, their starting positions and payout clauses. By implementing such a breakthrough, bookmakers were trying to produce a healthy gambling atmosphere without any forms of cheating. However, sad news came out in the 1920s as betting outside horse tracks was illegalized. 

Unfortunately because of stringent laws and the government policy, gambling restrictions were not lessened until the year of 1961, and only in the early 1990s slots and lotteries came into life.

What is now?

Every year New Zealanders spend approximately $2 and that has not been a peak yet. As well as their Aussie counterparts, Kiwis are avid slots players. According to the statistics, nearly 35% of the betting revenue comprise slot machines only. Casino table and other sorts of games got a solid second place in the rating with 26% ratio.

The 2003 became a turning point in the history of the gambling market in the country. The Gambling Act came into effect in that year which defines playing rules up to this day. The local government is responsible for the design of the law. And despite the fact that executives made amendments twice, the fundamental regulations are still in effect. The main aim of the legislation provided lies in ensuring that gambling service and players’ security are at the highest level possible.

One of the basic rules prescribed in the Act is the age limitations. Unlike in some other countries, players under the age of 20 don’t possess the right to play at online casinos. Nevertheless, since you are a New Zealand resident and you have turned 18 years of age, you are able to place sports bets (for instance, horse racing). The same rules apply to lotteries – you are over 18 or there is no game.

Besides, the aforementioned Act balances principles of responsible gaming as well as tackles deceitful companies.

Online Casino Regulations in New Zealand

To be precise, the Act established more than 15 years ago is applicable to bookmakers and land-based enterprises. Speaking of the online casino market, the Gambling Act regulates all live and remote business like online slots, live poker and lottery-based games. More than that, mobile betting fits this particular category as well.

For as long as online casinos are based outside the territory of New Zealand, there is an authoriaztion for local players to deposit and withdraw money within online casinos under jurisdictions of other countries. There is a remarkable notion, by the way. Offshore gambling organizations don’t have the right to advertise their services in the territory of New Zealand.

All in all, with the help of the Gambling Act 2003 players could no longer worry about money being stolen by scam companies. There are various independent bodies that function to regulate online casinos so that players have a chance of both a fair and absorbing atmosphere of play. With the development of mobile technologies, the document has broadened its rules to examine gambling via smartphones. Safe online casinos and well-protected players are essential not only for New Zealand itself, but for the whole industry as well.

Gambling Laws in Australia

The very first documented event of gambling in the country dates back to 1810. It goes without saying that it was horse racing betting. The scene took place in Sydney at Hyde Park. Unlike present horse racing competitions, history tells us that races continued for three days, and each day horses had to run at least two miles of distance. Could you imagine that it was much more arduous to become victorious in betting?

The very next step in the gambling of Australia came on the scene more than 70 years after the aforementioned events. Tattersall’s, the company from Sydney, organized the first-ever lottery. The business was not quite legal, though. Once being shut down in one state, the company had to move to another part of the country.

It wasn’t until 1956 that the modern form of casinos we are all aware of made a significant step towards progress. The person under the name Leonard Ainsworth wished to become a dentist, but the dreams of having a degree in medical science shattered after Leonard had decided to quit university and opt for working in Ainsworth Consolidated Industries. It came by surprise that during the early 1950s one member of the working staff came to a conclusion that the machinery could be utilised in the slot machine design. Finally, in 1956 the newcomer in the casino industry popped up. It was the Clubman, the first-ever slot.

What is now?

In 2001 the Australian government introduced the Interactive Gambling Act (commonly known as IGA). It was not ago before New Zealand came up with the same act. The essence of the document implies protection of Aussie players from fraud and lower the risk of both losing hard-earned money and spending countless hours in front of the computer screens. The rules coincide with that of New Zealand’s in the fact that regulations strictly forbid gambling establishments to advertise their sevices.

The gambling rules of land-based casinos in Australia are quite unusual. They cover up to eight geographic regions from Australian Capital Territory to Western Australia. For instance, some casinos and bars limit the maximum bet up to $6 each, whereas in another territory it is as high as $12.

Regulations of online casinos do not comply with land-based laws. All online gambling activity is subject to the IGA. Only players over the age of 18 have an opportunity of playing either online casinos or place sporting bets. The piece of news that definitely brings a sense of delight to Aussies is that the government does not charge fees from winnings.

In Conclusion

To summarise, both countries have a lot in common regarding gambling security and legislation. Australia and New Zealand stringently prohibit online casinos to be based from their territories allowing only land-based enterprises to operate. Aussies and Kiwis should look for an offshore online casino where they have accreditations to play.

Irrespective of the country thoroughly look for a reputable online casino without dark background sides. Play responsible at a fair and secured online casino.

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