Public gets vote for online gambling legislation in New Zealand

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Published by Daniel Hardman on August 4, 2019 in Industry News

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The online gambling market has grown and expanded rapidly across the globe in the past few years. 

More regions are easing up on strict regulations and opening their virtual doors to the iGaming market.  
 

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New Zealand is considering the change but has taken a much different approach by involving the public.
 

An online gambling consultation 

New Zealand recently confirmed they will be having a public consultation to help decide if changes should be made to their gambling legislation. The online gambling legislation will be put in place to help decide whether or not a locally regulated online gambling market should be legalised.  

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) confirmed the launch of the consultation late in July to help decide on the potential expansion. With the consultation, the authorities aim to determine whether or not there is a desire for online gambling legislation changes among the population.  

The consultation will run until the 20th of September 2019 and all interested parties have been advised to visit the website for more information. The DIA has also stated that the current gambling laws were created back in 2003 and are in need of updates. Currently, only the NZ TAB and Lotto NZ, both state-run companies, are allowed to offer a rather restricted number of online gambling offerings.  
 

Consultation Options 

Residents taking part in the consultation are presented with 4 individual options with one being the status quo. The other three are different variations of change they can choose from which they agree most with.  

The one option is to extend the range of products that Lotto and TAB offers online. The second is to allow licensing of domestic charitable or commercial operators to offer online gambling offers. The third is to completely legalize online gambling and throw the doors open to any qualified entity both domestic and international allowing them to provide online gambling products to local residents.  

With the options to consider the DIA has also released information stating that over the past 18 months residents have spent about NZ$381million on internationally licensed online gambling providers. This is one of the main issues the DIA wishes to target when changing the gambling legislations.  

The DIA has also stated that they do not see online gambling as bad and do not wish to outlaw online gambling. They are instead determined to future proof the country’s laws and want to minimize and prevent potential harms that could come from online gambling. One of the many issues related to online gambling is possible gambling addiction.  
 

Possible Restrictions to come 

The DIA has advised that along with changes that could be made to the gambling legislation the will be implementing stricter rules. Some of the steps they will take could include prohibiting or limiting online gambling advertisements and ensuring proper funding for problem gambling programs and public education campaigns.  

They could also place a ban on gambling online via credit cards which is an option the UK has also been considering.  

All parties who want to take part in the consultations have until the 20th of September 2019 to give their input.

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