Is Bet365, Leovegas and 888 Sport legal in New Zealand?

May 20, 2021
  • New Zealand has a History of Imposing Strict Regulations on its Gambling Sector
  • Are New Zealanders Allowed to Place Online Bets with International Gambling Service Providers?

Online betting is legal in New Zealand in accordance with the Gambling Act which received royal assent in 2003. This is because although the act prohibits almost all types of gambling in New Zealand, these prohibitions only apply in cases where the betting company is based within New Zealand. 

Consequently, Bet365, Leovegas and 888 are all legally acceptable and safe choices for New Zealanders looking to engage in online betting- a matter further explored below. 

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The Importance of the Gambling Act 2003

New Zealand regulates its gambling sector via the Gambling Act 2003 (a combination of the Lotteries Act of 1977 and the Casino Control Act of 1990). Having one piece of legislation that is constantly updated and scrutinised so as to ensure it stays highly efficacious has resulted in an extremely reliable and straightforward legal process in the country and has served as an unequivocal breath of fresh air in comparison to some of New Zealand’s European competitors whose statutory regulations have a significantly higher degree of legal rigmarole in relation to their gambling laws. 

The enactment of the aforementioned act was introduced for a variety of reasons. For one, it was meant to tackle (and consequently minimise) some of the more serious negative externalities that are associated with the gambling industry- such as increased crime, addiction rates and mental health deterioration. 

Moreover, the act was meant to place reasonable controls on the foreseeable growth of the gambling industry within New Zealand, as well as incentivise those in the existing sector to take all the legal prerequisite steps mandated in order to gamble responsibly and legally. 

The enforcement of the aforementioned 2003 Act is regulated by New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs, a government body which is essentially responsible for the ongoing regulation of all aspects of gambling within New Zealand. An example of such regulation can be seen in the provisions within the Gambling Act 2003, which prohibits all remote interactive gambling and consequently pragmatically prevents all New Zealand based business entities from engaging with the gambling industry in any form- including advertisement. 

The act additionally carries a plethora of other provisions which lay out the nature of what can and cannot be done within the country of New Zealand in relation to the gambling industry. For example, all citizens of New Zealand are directly prohibited from engaging in any gambling activity unless it is specifically accepted in accordance with the act- as briefly touched on above, with some exceptions, this tends to only allow for citizens to engage in gambling activity where the company providing the gambling services is not based in New Zealand. Consequently, the Act’s provisions allow for the interpretation of a ‘loophole’ whereby New Zealanders are practically completely free to engage in online betting and gambling so long as the corporation they do it with is not based in New Zealand. 

The Consequences of the Act: Are Bet365, Leovegas and 888 Sport legal?

As already mentioned, Bet365, Leovegas and 888 Sport are all legal in accordance with the relative legislature (Gambling Act 2003) and the relevant government body (Department of Internal Affairs) as they are not based in New Zealand. 

In fact, Bet365 is based in the United Kingdom, Leovegas is based in Stockholm, and 888 Sport is based in Gibraltar. Consequently, New Zealanders are free to place bets and gamble online on these sites without committing any unconscionable conduct, breaking any law, or defying any government policy. 

A Final Evaluation 

As a final take, if you are currently living in New Zealand and are wanted to engage in gambling activities whilst ensuring you comply with the law, simply ensure that the gambling providers you engage with are not based within New Zealand. As long as you pick an international provider (for example, one in the UK, Stockholm, or Gibraltar), you will undoubtedly satisfy all the different criteria within the eminent Gambling Act 2003 and ensure you steer clear of any potentially legal disputes with the New Zealand Government in the future. 

Suggested Reading: Can You Make A Living With Online Gambling and Betting? 

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