Australian / New Zealand Online Casinos
Gambling is almost a way of life in Australia and New Zealand. It is said that Australians gamble more per capita than any other nationality, so it is no surprise that online gambling has taken off in the region. The laws concerning online casino gambling in the region are mixed. In New Zealand the legal situation is straightforward as it is entirely legal, although in Australia the rules are a little more ‘grey’ – and the subject of regular political posturing too.
In this article I start by detailing these laws surrounding online casino gambling, starting with Australia before moving onto New Zealand. I then look at the deposit methods available for AU / NZ real money online casino fans – before moving on to look at other types of online gambling available. At the end of this page you’ll find some important choosing a reputable online casino.
Legal Environment for Online Casinos in Australia and New Zealand
The laws surrounding real money gambling in Australia and New Zealand are different. The ‘ACT’ Gambling and Racing Commission runs gambling in Australia. The key statute is the ‘Interactive Gambling Act (IGA)’, which was introduced in 2001. This aimed to prohibit offshore companies offering online casino gaming within the country. In practice, the act prohibits the advertising of these online casinos within Australia. There are a large number of offshore sites who continue to offer online gaming to this day. Australian based operators do not offer real money online games within the country.
One interesting point on the Australian statute is that individual gamblers are expressly carved out of the laws. These laws are aimed at the companies, and not at individuals. Since the casino companies are outside of Australian legal jurisdiction, they continue to allow players to (legally) access the games. There have been regular calls by politicians over the years to make these laws more stringent – though none have moved towards creating new legislation.
In New Zealand there is a more relaxed approach as offshore companies can offer their online casinos freely. The ‘Gambling Act 2003’, which covers all the different forms of gambling in New Zealand states “gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device” is prohibited, although this law only concerns gambling within New Zealand. However, it is not illegal for residents to gamble on casino websites based overseas and many websites are available in the country that cannot be accessed in Australia.
Real Money Casino Payments in Australia and New Zealand
There are three main deposit methods available in the region and all Aussie casinos accept deposits / withdrawals in AUD. The first is via a credit cards such as MasterCard or Visa, which are the most convenient of the three. A popular alternative which avoids having to give any card information to online casino is to choose a 3rd party eWallet system. Choices include POLi, while other companies such as Neteller and Click2Pay can also be used in this region. People depositing large amounts (AUD) could also use bank wires or money transfer services.
Additional Online Gambling in Australia and New Zealand
The most popular form of real-money gambling in the region is sports betting. In Australia for example, there are several big local brands who will offer wagers on a variety of sports – horse racing being one of the largest markets. In-play sports betting has been a controversial issue in Australia, with its legality the subject of fierce debate. Online casinos which also offer sportsbooks have been told to restrict this type of gambling.
Slots (known as pokies) and bingo are both very popular with a number of sites offering many variations of the game, with large progressive Jackpots on offer too. Online poker is widely played, many players aiming to qualify for land based tournaments such as the Aussie Millions. For those who want that life changing moment, lottery tickets can also be purchased online in both countries.
Choosing a Reputable Online Casino in Australia and New Zealand
We all know that parts of the internet are not safe, so it would come as no surprise for you to read that there can be rogue online casinos too. Fortunately, sticking with the big brands is a simple way of avoiding problems. With just a few checks, you can make sure that the casino you’re playing at is both trusted and legitimate.
The vast majority of online casinos are regulated in the country that they are based, so look for licenses on the site to ensure this is the case – jurisdictions like Malta and Gibraltar have strong oversight of their casino operators. A good online casino will be tested regularly for fairness too and will proudly display a badge and link declaring this. These tests will be made by an independent company who will check the payout percentages and ensure that the games are as random as they should be. If you are still unsure, don’t be afraid to use Google to check them out. Payment issues and scandals have a way of becoming public very quickly! It can also be worthwhile to check out the fine print of the welcome bonus that you’ll receive – especially where these seem significantly higher than at other casinos. Make sure you know exactly how many times you need to play-though the offer before it is ‘cleared’ – and check whether there are any terms which exclude your favorite games.