Online gambling

Online gambling is so accessible – you can literally carry it around in your pocket or gamble sitting in your lounge at home. That’s why it can be a particularly risky form of gambling.”

Did you know that NZ Lotteries and the New Zealand Racing Board (TAB) are the only two gambling organisations that can operate in New Zealand and are controlled under New Zealand law? No New Zealand based companies can offer online ‘casino’ types of gambling like virtual poker or roulette.

It’s also illegal for overseas online gambling operators to advertise in New Zealand. An overseas gambling advertisement is any communication that publicises or promotes gambling, or a gambling operator, when that gambling, or operator, is outside New Zealand or is reasonably likely to induce people to gamble outside New Zealand. Section 16 makes this an offence under the Gambling Act.

Can I gamble on overseas online websites?

Legally, Kiwis can gamble on overseas online websites but you do so at your own risk. If you decide to gamble on overseas sites, be careful as some sites may be untrustworthy (for example, they may not guarantee your odds) and may have been designed to fleece you from your money. If the site or app doesn’t look trustworthy, do not use it.

It can be risky providing your credit card details to a site or app. We all know how easy it is to keep topping up your credits. That can cause you to gamble quickly and before long, you’ve dug yourself in a pretty deep hole.

Remember, the more time you spend on any gambling or gaming apps, the more money you’re likely to lose.

How can I keep myself safe gambling online?​​

  • Be alert when playing online casino games on social media.
    Social media sites often provide links to play free online casino games. While these can be fun they have also been shown to lead people into gambling with real money over time.
  • Be wary of gambling alone
    It can be very isolating and easy to get ‘into the zone’ when gambling alone. It’s a good idea to keep a note of how much time and money you are spending online gambling.
  • Keep your credit or debit card details safe
    Only use websites that offer a secure internet connection. Check for ‘https’ at the beginning of the address bar and a locked padlock in the browser. Use a low-limit credit card or debit card to further reduce your risk.
  • Use self-exclusion if it’s available
    Self-exclusion (or banning yourself) is a voluntary process where a person who is concerned about their gambling can exclude themselves from a particular online gambling site. It can be an effective tool to keep you safe.
  • Use online gambling blocking software
    Online gambling blockers are software tools to help you limit your online gambling by blocking access to gambling websites. The Salvation Army Oasis Service has reviewed a few online gambling blockers, including information on how to access the software and a summary of the pros and cons of each.