According to section 9(2) (b) of the Gambling Act 2003, remote interactive gambling is prohibited. Remote interactive gambling refers to access to gambling services from a distance via communication devices such as computers and telephones. To fall within the definition, a punter must make payments to the remote casino operator directly or indirectly. However, the rule includes several exceptions.
The prohibition of remote interactive gambling does not apply to overseas gambling. Participating in gambling online is legal if the online casino is licensed and regulated by a foreign jurisdiction. That has the downside of punters having their legal protection based in the casino host country, which can be challenging to enforce.
The Gambling Act 2003 also recognizes that technology will keep changing, influencing the types of communication channels and devices and gambling methods. The legislators are responsible for handling any significant changes on a case-by-case basis, based on the existing laws and regulations.
Gambling authorities in New Zealand
The central authority in charge of gambling operations in New Zealand is the Gambling Commission. It is responsible for licensing casino venues and operators, hearing complaints from punters and operators, approving changes to casino licenses, hearing appeals against decisions, and advising the government regarding gambling matters.
Applicants for casino operator licenses must file the proper application forms and pay $347,555.55 as an application fee to the Commission. The Commission will then send the application to several agencies, including the police. The agencies will next write reports that are sent back to the Commission, and the Commission requests the applicant for any additional submissions as per the reports. The Commission then decides whether to grant the license, refuse it, or grant it with conditions.
An almost similar procedure is followed when applying for the operator's license renewal and application for a casino venue license. Among the submissions required for the applications are proof of financial capabilities, identification documents, and verified fingerprints.