New Zealand online pokies: understanding the legality of these services within the country

With slots not completely banned in New Zealand, their legality is still in question

Are online pokies legal in New Zealand?

The legality of slots in New Zealand is somewhat of a grey area. Although the government does not completely ban online gambling, certain restrictions are in place. The primary law which governs gambling in New Zealand is the ‘Gambling Act 2003’. This law establishes the framework for the regulation of gambling in the country.

Across the gaming world, online slots are the most popular games in online and land-based casinos and it is no different in New Zealand. The only contrasting element is that in New Zealand, they are referred to as online pokies. They are fundamental qualities of gambling portfolios with both licensed and unlicensed operators targeting local players to play and compete. 

The Gambling Act regulates pokies in New Zealand 

Under the Gambling Act, online casinos and other forms of remote gambling are considered to be illegal if they are either based in New Zealand or target local residents. This means that online casinos based in the country are not allowed to offer online slots or any other gambling services to players within New Zealand. Additionally, online casinos based outside of New Zealand are not allowed to target residents with their services.

While the Gambling Act prohibits online casinos from operating within New Zealand, players accessing offshore online casinos and playing slots are not prevented. Due to this, residents of New Zealand can legally access these overseas online casinos and play slots as long as the casino is both licensed and regulated by a reputable authority. Anticipating the time when gambling will become fully legal nationwide, players should focus on seeking the most respectable casinos that will accept them.

It's important to note that the Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for the regulation of online gambling in New Zealand, including the issuing of licenses to online casinos. These online casinos that wish to operate in the country, must apply for a license from the Department of Internal Affairs and meet certain regulatory requirements. This holds them to high security and transparency standards, resulting in them obtaining more credibility in comparison to unlicensed counterparts.

Looking after vulnerable players

The New Zealand government also has several measures in place to both protect vulnerable individuals and prevent problems associated with gambling. Some of these measures include a system of self-exclusion in which individuals can voluntarily ban themselves from gambling and a system of monitoring and enforcing compliance with gambling laws. With this, all online casinos must have strict responsible gambling policies in place and must make these policies easily accessible to players.


In summary, online slots in New Zealand are still placed in undetermined territories. With regulations in place, residents of the country are still able to access casinos based overseas and play, keeping in mind that the casino which offers these services must be represented by a reputable authority that is licensed and regulated. 

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