Gambling Laws In Australia And New Zealand: How Do They Differ?


Almost every country in the world engages in gambling, with each country having a unique law that guides its resident gamblers. However, these laws may vary from one to the other, and in this case, comes Australia and New Zealand. One would imagine that these two English-speaking neighbouring countries doing almost everything together would always be the best of friends. Yes, but the case is very different regarding gambling laws among the Aussies and the Kiwis. Australian online casinos have varying laws and best bonus online casino Australia as well as New Zealand. Why do they have varying laws even when they take part in the same sporting activities at times? 

The Trans-Tasman tension consists of various sports, including the commonly polite netball. In this sport, the Aussies and the Kiwis often take on each other, even in a fierce match with the two most fierce opponents. It is always worth noting that both countries are active competitors as legendary rivals in rugby and cricket. The way online gambling is handled in these two jurisdictions is quite different. 

Gambling in Australia and Legal Rules 

If you’re looking to gamble in Australia legally, then you’ll need to know about the country’s gambling laws first. In Australia, gambling is only legal if it takes place in a licensed venue or online casino that is registered with the Australian Gambling Commission (AGC). So, if you’re looking to gamble at an unlicensed venue or online casino, then you’re breaking the law. There are a number of different gambling laws in Australia that you need to be aware of, and we’ve outlined some of the most important ones below.

  • Gambling is only legal if it takes place in a licensed venue or online casino that is registered with the Australian Gambling Commission (AGC).
  • It is illegal to gamble at an unlicensed venue or online casino.
  • You must be 18 years or older to gamble in Australia.
  • It is illegal to promote gambling services to someone who is not allowed to gamble.
  • You must not gamble if you are self-excluded or banned from a venue. If you’re looking to gamble online, then you’ll need to make sure that the website you’re using is registered with the AGC. You can check this by looking for the ‘Registered with the Australian Gambling Commission’ logo on the website.

Australian Varying State Laws on Gambling

The Aussies gamblers can still play online casinos outside their country despite it being not legal according to federal law. However, does it mean online casinos are illegal within the country? Here are each state’s gambling laws:

  • Australian Capital Territory: Access to online casinos is restricted. When it comes to federal laws, they are strict. 
  • New South Wales: This Australian state is not primarily concerned about gambling laws. Hence, they are not taking gambling laws seriously, allowing players to access online casinos outside Australia. One of the primary reasons is that the state has a dense population of about 8 million, occupying a relatively smaller landmass than other states. Therefore, enforcing such an online ban in a jurisdiction like this may be practically impossible. 
  • Northern Territory: This Australian state is famous for a wide range of sports betting, being the headquarters of all legislation and action of sports betting. However, the NT has a strict policy against its residents accessing online casino sites. 
  • Queensland: Queensland, just like NSW, also turns a blind eye, especially in implementing online gambling laws. However, a case in Queensland once saw this state actively chase an online casino site serving its residents. 
  • South Australia: This Australian state is doing everything possible to keep its restrictions regarding its residents accessing online gambling sites. Conclusion: there are strict restrictions for its citizens, and it gives no room for them to access online casinos. 
  • Tasmania: There’s limited access to online casinos in this state. However, they turn a blind eye to any online gambling. 
  • Victoria: This Australian state remains one of the few states that have legally taken actions to shun online casino sites that make provisions for online casino games to its residents. They do not permit access to online casinos from their residents on any condition. 

Long Tradition of Gambling in NZ

New Zealand had always enjoyed the rising popularity of gambling, even when there were restrictions on it for a very long time. Not until the start of the 20th century saw the prohibition or ban lifted. Before this era, almost everything about the gambling industry in New Zealand was restricted. Until the Gambling Act of 1908, gamblers across the country could gamble on certain events such as horse racing after the law permitted it. 

Despite what seems to be a relief for both existing gamblers and potential gamblers in New Zealand, it was until 1961 that the harsh law that governs gambling in New Zealand was relaxed. Before gamblers from this region could engage in lotteries and slots gambling, it was in the late 1990s. This was when both slots and lotteries were legalised, allowing players to visit them at will. The 2003 Gambling Act gave room for the current status quo, which allows operators to make provisions for the services of casinos and non-casino. However, this centres exclusively on stationary gambling, that is, lotteries or the bookmaker at the racetrack. 

Online Gambling in New Zealand

According to the 2003 Gambling law, online gambling is; a game of chance where players engage in interaction with the use of communication devices. However, the situation is not the same in New Zealand. Gambling is strictly prohibited for any New Zealand resident on the national platform. The restriction of gambling on the national platform in New Zealand does not mean there is a full restriction of gambling. Gamblers can still engage in gambling within the country. However, it must be for foreign operators only. And in this situation, gamblers can wager on varieties of games as much as foreign operators. They can bet on: 

  • Sports betting
  • Bingo
  • Casino games

If it is an abroad-based operator, New Zealand gamblers can play in as much as the operator supports the registration of players from a gambler living in New Zealand. On the other hand, there are consequences for New Zealand gamblers. New Zealand gamblers can gamble on foreign-based platforms and not within the country. With these, the gamblers are not subjected to the laws in New Zealand. Should there be any disagreement between the foreign-based operator and a gambler in New Zealand, New Zealand law does not apply but international laws. However, many reputable online gambling platforms have renowned terms and conditions and regulations that New Zealand gamblers are not cheated. 


Gambling laws vary from country to country. However, in the case of Australia and New Zealand both have varying gambling laws as well. New Zealand allows gambling but from a foreign-based operator or platform. On the other hand, Australia has many of its states where online gambling is legal. It is, however, best for gamblers from either of these countries to know the law that governs their territory before they engage in any online gambling to avoid problems. 

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