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4 Gambling Classes in New Zealand You Need to Know About

In the campaign to prevent and minimize illegal casinos, gambling, and betting crimes in New Zealand, the Gambling Act of 2003 was introduced. The act aims to control and monitor the growth of the casino and gambling industry in the country.

However, the law targets other objectives such as to promote responsible gambling, avoid social issues rooted from gambling addiction, and more. To do that, the Department of Internal Affairs administered the law and came up with 4 different gambling classes.

The classes are determined on the number of money expenditures and the level of risk they bring to the table. The 4 gambling classes are Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, and Class 4.

All money items here are New Zealand dollars in value. Also, for Classes 1, 2, and 3, “the value of any non-cash prizes is the retail value” as stated by the Gambling Act of 2003.

Class 1


In Class 1, potential turnover or prizes given to players or gamblers does not exceed $500. In this class, the gambling or betting operation is administered or operated by individuals. All profit generated is to be distributed as cash prizes. There is no need to acquire a license for Class 1 gambling.

It is also in the law that if it is run by a society, profits must be distributed to gambling proceeds. These proceeds must be non-commercial and must be charitable and beneficial for the community.

Class 2


In Class 1, the prizes for one session must not exceed $500, in class 2, the limit is $5,000. Potential turnover for one session must not go beyond $25,000. Just like with 1, 2 does not require a license to operate.

Class 2 gambling is centred on gambling proceeds, meaning, it must be operated by a society. With that, the society must be transparent with its information at the point of sale and transactions.

Information like name of the society, mission report, prizes, and more must be easily attained and visible.

Class 3


First of all, this class requires operators to have a license. Prizes in this class can exceed $5,000. Just like with 2, it must be operated by a society. Profits should be focused on authorized purposes.

Class 3 are mostly large operation lotteries, instant games, and other forms of gaming sessions. By the way, a housie operation must be headed by a corporate society.

Gaming machines are not permitted in this class. If your operation meets the rest of the requirements but uses a gaming machine, it’s not considered Class 3.

To be deemed Class 3, the Department of Internal Affairs must give its approval if the operation is financially stable and viable. It is also a requirement for costs to be minimized and community returns maximized.

Class 4


If a gambling operation uses gaming machines outside a casino, operated by a corporate society, and raises money for authorized purposes, it’s class 4.

It is important to be aware of these gambling classes, especially if you are planning to open a casino. For more content related to the casino scene in New Zealand, subscribe to our online magazine today.


Online Gambling Rules in New Zealand

Online gambling or casinos is both legal and illegal in New Zealand. But before we get into that, New Zealand is proactive when it comes to security and monitoring the casino industry in the country.

The Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, and other entities (both government and non-government) are directly involved in addressing gambling-related issues.

Now, casino games and gambling, heck even sports betting are allowed in New Zealand. There are many casinos and racetracks all over the country.

It’s a little different for online casinos or gambling though.

Now, let’s dissect.

Online Gambling is allowed for players

Kiwis can participate in online gambling. They can sign-up for accounts, place bets with real money, and all of that.

There are hundreds of online casino websites accessible in New Zealand.

But, here’s the twist in this story.

Online Gambling operation is illegal in NZ

That’s right, you can avail online gambling services in New Zealand, but you can’t provide these services and operate within New Zealand. That is why all online casinos Kiwis engage with are based overseas.

Latest Developments

Making news these days in New Zealand is the partnership between GiG (Gaming Innovation Group) Malta and SkyCity in New Zealand. The two launched a New Zealand-facing online casino based in Malta.

So basically, it’s an online casino operated by a New Zealand company. The launch made it through without violations.

But, the Department of Internal Affairs is still concerned about this. They think that the growth of online gambling in the country will result in an increase in gambling addiction. They have already taken a step to tackle this. They are planning to ban the use of credit cards for online casinos.

There are still no updates if the proposal will make it through. To stay notified, make sure to keep reading our magazine.

Social Gaming & Online Gambling

From Visually.


3 Casino Gambling Offences Under the Gambling Act of 2003

As written under the Gambling Act of 2003, Subpart 7 entitled “Offences relating to gambling in casinos” there are three offences in total. Keep in mind that these offences are punishable by law.

The punishment includes imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding $50,000.

The level of punishment is of course according to which subsection was violated. To put this into perspective, here are the three gambling offences.


Section 351 subsection 1 reads “Every person who commits the offence of cheating in a casino venue who knowingly contravenes the rules of a game to obtain a pecuniary advantage (whether directly or indirectly) on the person’s behalf or on behalf of any other person.”

There have already been reports of casino cheating with players conspiring with dealers. Violators caught cheating may be imprisoned not exceeding 1 year or pay a fine not exceeding $20,000.


In possession of equipment for cheating

If an individual is caught in possession or using equipment capable of manipulating the casino game’s outcomes, he or she will face the law. The usage of such equipment in a way, gives the cheater the edge, beyond the established house edge for casino games.

The house edge is seen as a given advantage to casino games over players. So, the higher the house edge, the lower your chances of winning. Cheating equipment not only decreases the house edge but eliminates it.

That will result in serious payouts coming the cheater’s way.

This is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $20,000

Counterfeit Chips

Using, selling, and distributing counterfeit chips to be used for gambling at a casino venue is against the law. Out of all the offences, this one is considered the most serious one.

Counterfeit chips are imitations of casino chips that have a monetary value. The forgeries of this casino currency is an issue not only in New Zealand. The punishment for this crime is at least 3-years imprisonment and a fine no more than $50,000.

There are so much more to learn about the Gambling Act of 2003. The prohibitions under the law are to promote legal casino and gambling operations. But that is not all. It is also there to protect people from the threats of gambling.


New Zealand Gambling: 3 Roles of the Ministry of Health

When it comes to addressing big gambling issues, New Zealand is proactive. The main law for this particular issue, the Gambling Act of 2003, was administered by the Department of Internal Affairs or DIA.

Since the law was passed back in 2003, the DIA has been the main government entity battling illegal gambling, illegal casinos, gambling addiction, and other related issues. But, the DIA is not alone in carrying out this national mission.

The Ministry of Health also plays a vital role in addressing and resolving gambling-related issues in New Zealand.

The role of the Ministry of Health is divided into three.

Administering national and local problem gambling services


In New Zealand, problem gambling, compulsive gambling, or more commonly known as gambling addiction all over the globe, is a big issue. There are thousands of people experiencing this downfall and they need all the help they can from everyone willing to help out.

These national and local problem gambling services include public health offices in different cities and gambling helplines available nationwide. The Ministry of Health partnered up with casino companies all over the country to promote and provide public health services prioritizing problem gambling.

Gambling Helpline New Zealand

This is a national freephone support service active 24/7. People can call-in day and night via 0800 654 655 or send a text to 8006. The Ministry of Health is tasked in providing funding and coordinating these services.

Raising Awareness


To solve the problem, first, we must accept its presence and understand it deeply. The Ministry of Health is also responsible for educating and informing people all about problem gambling and subsequent issues.

They are not only educating people, but they are encouraging them to engage and be part of the solution. Problem gambling takes its toll not only on the person but to his or her loved ones as well.

Problem gambling will only result in negative personal, financial, psychological, and physical outcomes. The Ministry is working with HPA or Health Promotion Agency with this one.

HPA provides health promotion services for different health and personal well-being related issues in the country.

Conduct research


It is also the Ministry’s job to conduct accurate and in-depth research on the different aspects resulting in the many issues related to gambling. This is vital in coming up with ideas, campaigns, and initiatives to battle these issues not only on a national level but globally.

To learn more about this topic, subscribe to our online magazine today.


Most Talked About Casino and Gambling News in New Zealand

More and more developments are materializing in the casino and gambling industry in New Zealand. In other countries, most casino-related news is focused on illegal online casinos, false mergers, and of course, gambling addiction.

Well, not in New Zealand. We’re not saying that the country is immune to those issues, they’re not. But with strict laws and direct compliance from operators and gamblers, gambling in New Zealand is productive.

Here are the latest casino news making rounds.

GiG Malta and SkyCity partnership


According to the Gambling Act of 2003, setting up a New Zealand-based online gambling operation is illegal. Only government-owned Lotto and the TAB New Zealand racing board are allowed operate internet gambling within the country.

People are allowed to gamble online, as long as the website or the program is situated overseas.

In August 2019, GiG (Gaming Innovation Group) Malta, a casino and sports betting public company partnered with SkyCity in New Zealand. The two launched a New Zealand-facing online casino site based in Malta and is under GiG’s Maltese license.

This news will surely result in more partnerships. Despite being partly owned by a New Zealand company, the online casino is not going against the rules.

No more credit cards for online gambling


The Department of Internal Affairs is pushing for a law to ban credit cards from online gambling usage. This was presented after theGiG and SkyCity news. The department is hoping to protect people from online threats while preventing problem gambling, which is rooted in online gambling these days.

The proposal quickly got support from several people butreceived some negative feedback as well. Many people believe credit card transactions are important and necessary for online gambling. Others, not so much.

We are excited to see further developments connected to this news. Subscribe to our online magazine for more content about casino laws and issues in New Zealand.


The Best Legal Casinos in New Zealand

New Zealand has an extensive set of rules to promote responsible and legal casino operations in the country. Under the Gambling Act of 2003, the Department of Internal Affairs hopes to promote the true essence of gambling, fairness and enjoyment.

With the law in place, casinos are free to operate freely, as long as they follow the rules.

So, if you’re feeling lucky, here are the best casino destinations you’re gonna want to go to.

SkyCity Casino – Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand’s most populous city is a top destination when it comes to casino and gambling activities.

Located along Victoria Street and Federal Street, SkyCity Auckland is one of the besthotels and casino destinations in the city.


SkyCity is located in the heart of the business district and is known for its 5-star quality hotel, dining, entertainment, and casino.

The Sky Tower is also one of the biggest highlights of SkyCity. But, we’re here to talk about the casino. SkyCity offers the full casino experience from table games, to slots, all the way to SkyTower poker games. They also offer premium membership to give regulars rewards and perks.

SkyCity Auckland’s gaming areas observe and apply rules implemented by the Gambling Act of 2003. They only allow people aged 20 or above to enter the casino areas. The casino is also vocal and active in reminding their patrons to be responsible and to establish a limit with their gambling urges.

The casino even has the number of Gambling Helpline on their website.

Dunedin Casino

Truly one of, if not, the best casino in all of New Zealand. Dunedin is known for its luxurious casino floor blended with the best interior design and aesthetics. Just like SkyCity, Dunedin is a hotel and casino destination.

However, Dunedin leaned more on the casino part of things. Dunedin offers the most exclusive casino memberships and accommodation all over the country.  Gambling in Dunedin aims to promote “good value” and “great fun.”

To prevent problem gambling among their regulars, Dunedin partnered with several specialist problem gambling providers.

They will even help you connect with the specialist you need to talk to.

Dunedin and SkyCity casinos are truly two of the most responsible casino centres all over the globe.


The 8 Goals of New Zealand’s Gambling Act of 2003

New Zealand’s Gambling Act 2003 was approved on September 18, 2003, and is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs. The main goal is to allow legal, fun, and productive casino and gambling services in the country.

According to the law, casino locators can organise, use, manage, supervise, and operate gambling and/or gambling equipment. It also allows them to distribute turnovers such as money prizes and meeting costs.

Not only that, but they are also able to sell tickets to people wanting to gamble and promote gambling.

All this is allowed, as long as they follow the rules written under the act. Not only the Department of Internal Affairs but the entire government inNZ wants to achieve the following with this law.

Control and monitor the gambling industry

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The casino or gambling industry is a big one, not only in New Zealand. There will always be a large number of consumers or gamblers if you will. The casino industry in NZ is growing and the government wants to keep that growth organized and monitored.

With growth comes more opportunities for providers, but also illegal operations.

Avoid and minimise the negative effects of gambling

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Just like all countries with casinos, gambling addiction is a big issue in New Zealand. It’s not always jackpots. There are several reports of gambling addiction or problem gambling all over the country.

People’s lives are getting messed up personally, professionally, financially, mentally, and even physically.

Promote responsible gaming

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The law not only prevents casino operations getting out of hand. It also helps people understand and apply responsible gaming for everyone to enjoy, the right way, the legal way.

Give and refuse authorisation

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Opening and operating a casino or gambling services in NZ is regulated. That means authorising those providers following the law and refusing those who are not. This creates a fine line between what’s right and what’s wrong.

Ensure fairness, integrity, and respect for all

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This one is for both providers and consumers. It goes hand in hand with responsible gambling. A provider must be fair with their operation and give everyone the chance to lose and win.

Restrict illegal activities

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The law is also strict in making sure illegal casinos and gambling operations never set up shop in New Zealand. Whether it is offline or online, NZ is targeting casino operations getting out of line. Unfortunately, there have been reports of confirmed illegal gambling activities.

But, the government with the help of the organization and the people, are working together to stop these activities.

Give the community a say with gambling provision

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The law also values the opinion and feedback of the people when it comes to casinos and gambling. It is important to get their side on matters related to these factors.

Casino or gambling money must contribute to the community

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Just like most laws in New Zealand, the Gambling Act 2003 also encourages casino providers to give back to the community. These businesses or companies make millions of dollars. A small amount of that profit will surely benefit millions of lives.


Biggest Gambling Issues in New Zealand

With laws allowing casino and betting services in New Zealand, comes the issues of gambling. The country is also facing the stigma of gambling addiction among thousands of people and of course, illegal gambling, offline and online.

The Gambling Act of 2003 regulates and determines if a casino or gambling operation is legal or not. There are rules to be followed. Unfortunately, the government can pass down one law after another, these issues will keep on coming.

Gambling Addiction


Gambling addiction is a global issue millions of people and their loved ones face, daily. Gambling addiction, compulsive gambling or problem gambling is when an individual is unable to stop gambling despite all the negative aspects he or she experiences.

It does not matter if he or she is out of money and is drowning in debt. Not even if his or her loved ones are suffering, gambling will continue. Several organizations and clinics are battling this very issue in New Zealand.

The country even has its helpline for people affected by Gambling, the Gambling Helpline. This is a 24/7 national freephone support service for people experiencing gambling problems or is affected by it.

Illegal Gambling


Under the Gambling Act, it is illegal to establish an online gaming operation here in New Zealand. But, people are allowed to engage with online gambling as long as it is operational overseas.

Unfortunately, the act does not stop illegal casino activities online. There have been several reports of an illegal online casino being busted by police authorities in NZ.

The government, many organizations, and people concerned are putting and exhausting their resources to put a stop to these big issues for good.

Stay updated with the latest news related to these two issues right here at TulelePeisa. For more information about our services, contact us today.