iGaming market regulations in New Zealand
As a result of rapid development in internet technology, the iGaming industry has faced numerous changes and advancements taking us to the next gaming level. In the past years, many punters in New Zealand enjoyed gambling availed by offshore providers.
At that time we had few cases of problem gambling as compared to the current trend where it has become an issue that calls for regulatory measures. New Zealand through its Country’s Minister of Health has organized an extensive consultation on new strategies to reduce compulsive gambling in the country.
The most vulnerable group are children under the age of 18. It has been noted that the group has a higher probability of falling to addiction as compared to the adults who can control their gambling behaviour. Once controlled, gambling malpractices are set to reduce hence promising a bright future for the gambling industry in New Zealand.
Statistics clearly show that New Zealand is a destination of many gambling activities where huge amounts of taxes are collected from different gambling operators across the country. Before the introduction of online gambling, the country had at least 70% of its citizens aged 15 years and above had at least gambled.
It was further noted that 5% of the gamblers had dangerous malpractices that harmed people next to them or even harm them. The country’s statistics further reveal that its gambling expenditure in 2017 and 2018 reached $1.58bn with poker machines taking the lion’s share followed closely by casinos and lottery in that order.
More included the TAB which accounted for $350m then we have the Class 3 gaming which contributed $17m to the total gambling expenditure.
State of iGaming Regulations in New Zealand for Now
The New Zealand government has set a number of regulatory measures to review and update the gambling legislation. Two of the categories which are the Lotto NZ and the TAB have been restricted by the authorities and advised to launch new online products to complement the laid-off products.
Another measure includes the introduction of a licensed model that will allow the commercial operations to regulate Kiwi gambling sites for NZ players which makes it easier to manage and have full control of the popular games. Equally, more measures are in place including implementing a regulatory regime that covers domestic and foreign operators.
The government has also introduced measures that are socially responsible measures like credit card restriction, self-exclusion, and Wi-Fi restrictions on gambling activities.
Plans for the Future
More plans have been put in place by the government in collaboration with other stakeholders including charities. The plans are meant to mitigate or reduce the effect caused by problem gamblers either to the punters themselves or the society at large. Plans include educating the public on the possible dangers of gambling which includes the risk associated with gambling malpractices.
The next measure is to sensitize the racing industry on the importance of funding problem gambling efforts that include self-regulation measures and prevent harmful behaviour among industry players. The public shall also be involved through the feedback it shall provide after engaging in conversations meant for banning gambling advertisements.
The government is also set to hand regulatory bodies with the mandate to enforce the law and regulate licensing conditions as a way of providing full control over gambling activities.
If all these rules are put into effect then New Zealand is set to be one of the leading gambling destinations in Europe providing a risk-free gambling environment that soot needs of different gambling fans. A friendly environment for gambling ensures that it is little or no malpractices experienced hence a safer gambling environment.
Author Amanda Wilson is a marketer and researcher from Auckland, New Zealand. She studies and explores the topics of problem gambling among Kiwis and Maoris and the legalization part of the casino and betting industry.