Your Best Understanding of the gambling reforms in NZ

Your Best Understanding of the gambling reforms in NZ

Gambling in New Zealand use to have always been allows to one degree or another. Already in the 19th century, local residents put on horse racing and boxing matches.

As of 2016, there happens to be 6 casinos and in excess of 1,300 gaming sites in New Zealand. The amount of slot machines happens to be over 16 thousand.

Horse racing

The oldest kind of gambling is in New Zealand. The basic races were held in 1835. However, horse betting was banned in 1920. Once again they were allowed only in 1961, and then, with great restrictions by online poker legislation in New Zealand.


The first lotteries appeared in 1933. They were relatively small in size. Large Golden Kiwi Lottery appeared in 1961. Then it was replaced in 1987 by Lotto.

Slot machines

Slot machines emerged for the first time in New Zealand in the year of 1991. The government allowed the organization of clubs with slot machines in 1989.

In the 90s, operators preferred to install slot machines in and around Wellington, since this use to be a metropolitan area. Then in the year of 2001, the government publicized that it was going to be free the capital from the gambling industry.

gambling reforms


The first casino was founded in Christchurch in 1994. Then casinos used to be built in the cities:

  • Hamilton
  • Dunedin;
  • Auckland
  • Queenstown

Gambling establishments in these cities are still functioning.

Slot machines online

New Zealanders, as a very gambling nation, of course, could not miss an online casino. Gambling websites and platforms began operating in 1994. Microgaming is New Zealand’s first online slot provider

Fruit Fiesta and Cash Splash are among the first machines that became available to New Zealanders. In the late nineties, New Zealanders met with slots from Playtech and Cryptologic.

At first, online slots had only 1 pay line as well as three reels. After that, with the growth of computers, developers started to introduce more paylines, wild Symbols, scatters, bonuses and bonus games.

New Zealand Gambling Laws

New Zealand gambling is regulated by a number of laws:

1981 Boxing and Wrestling Act;

Gambling Act 2003;

2003 Racing Act

Amendments to the 2003 Act – Gambling Amendment Act, adopted in 2005 and 2015.

The 2003 Gambling Act is New Zealand’s main gambling law. It defines the classes of gambling depending on cash costs and risks for society. The law also defines private gambling and makes poker legal in New Zealand.

Online Gambling in New Zealand

New Zealand does not allow the organization of online casinos domestically and gambling reforms in NZ. Players can legally play in international institutions whose servers are located abroad. In addition, their winnings are exempt from income taxes.