When over 200 gaming experts gathering in Auckland earlier this year at the International Gambling Conference many were surprised to learn that the number of adults using fruit machines and poker machines in bars – popularly known as ‘pokies’ in New Zealand – have dropped from 25% in the 1990 to under 6% in 2015.
With the Kiwis’ love for sport, gaming and sports betting a well known fact, the big questions was: where did they all go? Online, of course.
But Kiwis are consciences beings and they often have serious questions before taking to online gaming. International online betting sites like the UK based Netbet Casino (https://casino.netbet.co.uk) are often inundated with questions pertaining to the legality of onlline gambling, sports betting and tax obligations after winning.
Here are the most frequently asked questions – with answers.
Is online gambling legal in New Zealand?
Under the terms of the Gambling Act 2003, “it is not illegal for someone in New Zealand to participate in gambling over the internet if that website is based overseas”. Confusion about this is caused by Section 9(2)(b) of the Gambling Act 2003, which prohibits remote interactive gambling at gaming sites that are operated from within New Zealand.
Do you have to pay taxes on online winnings?
You will only need to pay taxes if you are a professional gambler. As long as your web-based casino activities, gaming or sport betting remain a hobby, you are exempt from paying taxes.
Is online sports betting legal in New Zealand?
Online sports betting in New Zealand is controlled by the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB). The NZRB is the only legal provider of racing and sports betting services on New Zealand soil through the Totalisator Agency Board (www.tab.co.nz), known only as ‘the TAB’. However, international online sportsbooks legally fall into the same category as online casinos. This means that any sportsbook that is run from outside of New Zealand may take bets from Kiwis.
How can I be sure an international online gaming site is safe?
This is an important question because you do not want to fall foul of hoax websites. Things to take into consideration are the transparency of auditing procedures, fair gaming practices, proper age verification procedures, a wide range of secure paying methods – like efficient eWallet systems – and transparency about the company history.
Any reputable gaming site – like Netbet Casino (https://casino.netbet.co.uk) – will be able to share all of this information online. Also make sure your gaming site of choice offers you the ability to review your entire betting history so you have a clear overview of your overall performance.