New Zealand vs. Australian Gambling

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Gambling and online gambling is legal and regulated in Australia and New Zealand, although the legislation differs between the two countries. This article will be looking at gambling in Australia and New Zealand, including their laws and statistics.

Gambling in New Zealand

Nowadays, New Zealand offers legal gambling sites – and online gambling, as well as a properly regulated gambling scene. Public gambling centres are expected to give back a portion of their profits to the community, and their expenditure on gambling continues to increase rapidly. The New Zealand government focuses on using gambling to better the community and preventing problem gambling.


The primary law that regulates gambling and casinos in New Zealand is the Gambling Act of 2003 which has been amended into the Gambling Amendment Act of 2005, Gambling Amendment Act of 2015, and Gambling Amendment Act (No 2) of 2015. There is also the Racing Act of 2003.

The legal body that legislates and regulates gambling in New Zealand is the Department of Internal Affairs. Also, the Gambling Commission is in charge of approving casino licenses. The Ministry of Health is also involved, focusing more on problem gambling. The Gambling Act divides gambling into classes 1, 2, 3, and 4 which are games with no commission under $500, games with no commission not exceeding $5000, games with rewards exceeding $5000, and gaming machines outside casinos, respectively.

Only the types of gambling in the 2003 Gambling Act are allowed. Online gambling is also illegal in New Zealand, specifically remote interactive gambling. This includes gambling activities conducted on the internet, on radio shows or television shows. It is also illegal to advertise offshore sites in New Zealand, but it isn’t illegal to play in them.


Statistics show that most New Zealanders that are 18 and above have gambled at least once in their lifetime. Even with this, 41% of the population, which is less than half participate in gambling activities every week.

In 2018, it was revealed that New Zealanders spent an extra $125 million on gambling than in the previous year, which brings it up to $628 per person.

The four main gambling activities in New Zealand are lotteries, pokie machines (slot machines), racing and sports betting, and casino betting. Online gambling is also booming in New Zealand regardless of the prohibitions.

Gambling in Australia

Australia boasts of the highest gambling rate in the world, as 80% of Australians participate in one form of gambling or the other. Although gambling is prevalent in Australia, the laws that govern it are quite complex, especially when it comes to online gambling.


In Australia, gambling legislation and regulation for land-based casinos are primarily under the jurisdiction of individual territories and states, with the Australian Commonwealth playing a minor role. Although lately, the Commonwealth has been increasing its participation. The areas are divided into eight including Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia with a total of 62 laws and acts. There are also different regulatory authorities for each territory and state.

Online gambling in Australia is legislated and regulated entirely by the Australian Commonwealth. The primary law concerning online gambling is the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. The law states that offering real-money online interactive gambling services such as online poker, sports wagering before the game and online casino games is illegal, including the advertisement of such services. Only sites that offer free games are legal.


There are 6.8 million regular gamblers in Australia which makes up 39% of the population, although 80% of the population engages in some form of gambling activity or the other. Out of the gambling population, 54% are males.

Australia also has one of the highest losses in the world to gambling. In 2015, 1.39 million Australians experienced one or more gambling-related problems.

The most popular gambling game that they participate in is a lottery (76% of the population). This is followed by scratch tickets and then electronic gaming machines.

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