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Casino Bee
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Melike

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Last update: 19 Jun 2024, 12:58

Understanding Casino Ages in New Zealand

The Gambling Act 2003 controls and regulates gambling in New Zealand, and the NZ casino age limit is 18 years based on the laws. Once you’re 18 or older, you can place bets on games, spin the reels on pokies, wager on horses, and do other gambling-related activities. However, you must be at least 20 years old before you are allowed to play at a land-based casino. You must show a recognised ID that you’re 18+ before you can gamble, and 20+ before you can play at a land-based casino in New Zealand.

Introduction to Gambling Laws in New Zealand

The history of gambling in New Zealand has been a rollercoaster. Up until the 1920s, gambling wasn’t illegal in New Zealand, and until 1961, horse race betting was legal. However, until the Racing Act of 2003 was introduced, race and sports betting became legal through the NZ Racing Board, and the 2003 Gambling ACT made gambling legal. 

One thing to understand is that there are complexities to the gambling laws in New Zealand because according to the current law, no new casino venues will be able to get licenses. Therefore, until there is a change in the laws, New Zealand players are stuck with six casino establishments and TAB, which is the sole sports and racing bets provider after it was confirmed by the Racing Industry Act 2020. 

The ambiguity of gambling laws in New Zealand also extends to the online industry because it doesn’t say whether online gambling is legal or not. Although it explicitly states that only licensed operators can extend services and advertise to players in New Zealand, it doesn’t say if players are prohibited from playing at offshore casino sites. However, the age restriction is explicit. Underaged players who are found guilty will be prosecuted and might be charged up to NZ$500. 

Online Casino Gambling Age Requirements for New Zealand Players

Gambling in New Zealand started in the 1830s when the first European settlers brought about betting on cards and billiards. The 1840s saw the rise of sports betting, including wagering on waka and dinghies, men-raced whaling boats, skittles, and others. Eventually, horse racing became more popular. However, by 1910, bookmaking became illegal, although it was illegally ran until the government-owned Totalisator Agency Board became popular, running underground bookmakers out of business. 

By 1961, gambling was completely prohibited. However, less restrictive laws were passed in the late 1980s that saw casinos become legalised. As a result, six casinos were established around New Zealand. However, the Gambling Act 2003 has made it impossible for more casino venues to gain licenses. It also stops online casinos from receiving licenses. Therefore, players must rely on offshore online casino sites. However, only players who are 18 or older can gamble in New Zealand. Also, only those who are 20 years or older can play at land-based casinos. 

The casino age limit NZ casinos adhere to is strict. Therefore, they take it seriously, and players who are caught trying to play below the set casino NZ age limit would be prosecuted. As a result, players are asked to provide verified government-issued IDs to ensure they are old enough to play, especially at land-based casino establishments. 

Role of Regulatory Authorities

Since New Zealand doesn’t have any regulatory bodies set up for online gambling, players must turn to offshore casinos online. This is a tricky situation because it can be tedious, given that there are thousands of options available and scam sites are rampant. To avoid falling for scams and below-par gambling platforms, NZ players must focus on trusted casino regulatory authorities. In that case, we’ve highlighted some well-known and trusted authorities players can consider when they want to choose an offshore online casino below. 

  • UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
  • Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission 
  • Curacao Interactive Licensing
  • Estonia (MTR)
  • Gibraltar Licensing Authority (GBGA)

To get started with playing online, checking if the casino holds a license from any of these authorities will help. If the casino has multiple licenses, you might want to place higher priorities. And in addition to the licenses, there are other factors you should consider when choosing an online casino so you will get the best experience. 

Legal Age Requirements for Casinos in New Zealand

Before one can gamble at casinos in the country, there are age limits that should be met. Furthermore, it is important to note that this depends on whether you are going to play at a land-based casino or if you want to try other forms of gaming. Additionally, you could be aware that there are penalties imposed for those who violate the provision and try to gamble as an underage.

Minimum Gambling Age in New Zealand

The age limit to go into a casino is 20 years if it’s a land-based establishment. Players must reach 20 years old before attempting gambling. In this situation, players must have some type of identification with them. This may be their NZ passport, driving license, Kiwi access card or any other government-recognized ID. You can now proceed to the land-based casino once confirmed.

Conversely, with online casinos, it gets a little bit more complicated. This is because no New Zealand based online casinos exist that they would join. Thus, players must register at a foreign site in order to play online games. The latter requires them to follow rules and regulations that govern the authority under which the casino runs under. However, the recognised legal casino age limit is 18. And for verification, the player’s NZ government-issued ID is usually accepted. Otherwise, it will be explicitly stated by the casino.

Once you can find online casinos that accept New Zealand players, you won’t have issues verifying your account with your passport, driving licence, Kiwi access card, or any other government-issued means of identification. 

What are the disadvantages of playing under the legal age limit? 

When it comes to the age for casino NZ players must reach before they are allowed to gamble, it depends on what form of gambling you want to consider. For instance, the gambling age for land-based casinos is 20, while for others, it is 18 years. Although you’re allowed to visit any of the land-based casinos, you can’t enter the restricted areas unless you have an ID that can prove you’re of the casino age limit. 

If you’re caught trying to enter these restricted areas, especially with a fake ID, you might be charged and prosecuted. The fine can go up to NZ$500. In addition, some of these casinos have company policies against trespassers, where action will be taken against you, which can see you banned from the casino for up to two years. Therefore, even if you reach the casino age limit, you’ll still be banned until the period elapses. 

The story is different when it comes to online casinos and other gambling forms. Once you’re 18, you can gamble online. However, since there is no explicit law or regulation regarding online gambling, there might not be any form of legal prosecution. But, if you’re caught gambling online as an underage, you might not be able to withdraw your winnings from the casino. Therefore, you stand to lose your deposit and winnings if you are below the age limit and try to gamble online. 

Gambling Age Depending on the Game

Gambling at online casinos has the same age restriction irrespective of the game you want to play. It changes when you want to play at a land-based casino. In this case, you can learn more about the games to be sure you don’t make mistakes can can cost you or get you banned from the casino ground.

  • Lotto: You must be at least 18 to play the lottery in New Zealand. Gambling establishments will allow anyone with verifiable means to buy lottery tickets and engage in this activity once they are up to 18 years old. Ensure you have your ID ready whenever you want to try your luck with lottery games. 
  • Pokies Machines: For this type of gambling, you must be at least 20 years old. Pokies are part of the restricted areas in the casino. And unless you’re 20, you aren’t permitted to play the pokies. You can’t spin the reels and try to win a payout. If you’re caught, you will most likely be banned and fined. 
  • Table and Card Games: If you want to play poker, blackjack, baccarat or roulette, you must also be at least 20. You can’t participate in this activity if you’re not up to 20 years old at land-based casinos. So, if you’re not yet 20, we advise that you wait until after your 20th birthday before visiting a land-based casino.
  • Online casino games: In this case, once you’re 18, you can play at online casinos. You can try your luck on various casino games and withdraw your winnings. But if you’re below 18 and you’re caught, you won’t be able to withdraw your money, and you’ll be banned from the casino. 
  • Sports Betting: The legal age limit for sports betting in New Zealand is 18. Once you’re 18, you can bet on various sports, either through online sports betting sites or through a licensed bookmaker. But you can do so if you’re below 18 because you can lose your winnings or get fined.  

Responsible Gambling Initiatives Related to Age Restrictions

After many years of opposition to gambling motivated by concerns for the social impacts on the individual, their families, and society, the New Zealand government proceeded to create the Compulsive Gambling Society to ensure responsible gambling and help those with gambling addictions. In relation to age restrictions, programs have been created to ensure minors aren’t exposed to gambling activities. Therefore, there are strict limits on gambling activities, especially when it comes to land-based gambling. Therefore, all land-based casinos in New Zealand adhere strictly to these rules and regulations. They only allow those above 18 into the ground, and unless you’re 20, there are areas you can’t enter at these casinos. 

For online gambling, most of the regulations are based on the casino you joined. Casinos with licenses from top jurisdictions have responsible gambling policies related to age restrictions. Only players who are at least 18 can play at these casinos. These casinos have stringent policies to ensure that minors don’t have access to the site. And those who use fake IDs to enter are also mitigated against. Additionally, most top New Zealand casinos have multiple responsible gambling initiatives they partner with to ensure that problem gamblers are assisted. Also, they ensure players below the age limit are protected.

Conclusion: Navigating Casino Age Requirements in New Zealand

The age requirement in New Zealand is strict. Players below 18 aren’t allowed to engage in any gambling activities. Anybody caught doing so below the age limit would be fined and banned. One thing to note is that the age requirement is not unilateral when it comes to land-based gambling. Players must also be at least 20 before they can play at land-based casinos. There are certain restrictions to players below 20 but are above 18. Once you’re 20, you can gamble at online and land-based casinos without stress.

FAQ

What is the minimum age requirement to enter a land-based casino in New Zealand?

You can enter a land-based casino once you’re 18, but only players who are at least 20 can access the main restricted areas.

Is there a different age requirement for online casinos in New Zealand?

No, the fixed age requirement for playing at online casinos in New Zealand is 18+.

What are the consequences of underage gambling in New Zealand?

You might get fined NZ$500 and banned from visiting the casino for up to two years. And at online casinos, you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings.

Do online casinos in New Zealand have measures to prevent underage gambling?

These casinos have KYC verification processes that require players to provide government-issued IDs to ensure the players aren’t bot and are above the minimum age requirement.

Are there any exceptions or special circumstances for the casino age limit in New Zealand?

There are no exceptions to the casino age limit. Players must be up to the age limit if they want to gamble online or at land-based casinos.

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