Online gambling - staying on-guard

Using today's technology, it's possible to gamble almost anywhere, from the bedroom to the bathroom - even outdoors. Here are some of the traps to watch out for and some tips to keep yourself safe.

Can you gamble on overseas sites or apps?

Yes, but you do so at your own risk. It’s legal to gamble on overseas sites or apps but you are not protected by any specific New Zealand laws. If something did go wrong on an overseas site, the laws that are intended to protect your rights in New Zealand are unlikely to be enforceable.

  • All overseas lotteries - not protected by NZ Law
  • All pokies websites and apps - not protected by NZ Law
  • All casino websites and apps - not protected by NZ Law
  • All overseas sports betting and racing - not protected by NZ Law
  • Lotto NZ  (Powerball, Strike, Keno, Bullseye, Play3, Instant Kiwi) - protected by NZ Law
  • Sports betting and racing - protected by the TAB


Lotto NZ and New Zealand Racing Board (TAB) are the only ways to gamble online in New Zealand that are controlled under New Zealand law.

No New Zealand based companies are allowed to offer online 'casino' types of gambling like virtual poker or roulette.

Online casino games in New Zealand have surged in popularity, offering a range from traditional favorites to innovative slots with immersive storylines. Research indicates a growing interest in themed slots, highlighting a shift towards more engaging and interactive experiences in NZ online casinos. The advent of free online casino games has opened doors for players to enjoy gaming without financial risk, serving both as entertainment and a learning platform for gambling mechanics in a no-pressure environment. This shift is particularly notable in NZ online casinos, where free online slots NZ and other casino games are gaining traction.

Recent studies have shown that online gaming in NZ is not just a pastime but also a significant part of the digital entertainment industry. A notable increase in player engagement has been observed, especially in online slots that feature advanced graphics and augmented reality (AR) elements. These technological advancements have made online casino games more appealing and immersive, drawing a younger demographic and tech-savvy audience. Additionally, the market research has highlighted the role of mobile gaming in the growth of online casinos in New Zealand, with a significant portion of users preferring to play on mobile devices. This trend is supported by the development of mobile-friendly platforms and apps, making online casino games more accessible and convenient for players on the go. Furthermore, there is a growing trend in using analytics by NZ online casinos to tailor game offerings and bonuses to individual player preferences, enhancing the overall gaming experience and player satisfaction.

Ensuring Responsible Gambling Online

In the context of online gambling NZ, responsible gambling practices are crucial. Setting clear budgets and understanding the odds are essential, especially when engaging in online gambling for real money. Recognizing signs of addiction is critical, with NZ online gambling sites increasingly offering resources for self-awareness and problem gambling. The use of self-exclusion tools and session limiters is becoming standard in NZ online casinos, reflecting a commitment to player safety in the online gambling New Zealand market.

  • Key Responsible Gambling Practices:
    1. Setting daily, weekly, and monthly deposit limits.
    2. Allocating specific times for gambling to avoid excessive play.
    3. Using tools like reality checks to remind players of the time spent playing.
    4. Accessing self-assessment tools to monitor gambling behavior.
    5. Seeking professional help and support groups for problem gambling.
  • Signs of Potential Gambling Addiction:
    1. Spending more money or time on gambling than one can afford.
    2. Finding it difficult to stop or manage gambling activities.
    3. Chasing losses with more gambling.
    4. Experiencing mood swings and irritability associated with gambling activities.
    5. Neglecting work, personal relationships, and other responsibilities.
  • Resources for Problem Gambling in NZ:
    1. National gambling helplines and online support forums.
    2. Self-exclusion programs offered by NZ online casinos.
    3. Educational materials on responsible gaming practices.
    4. Counseling services and therapy sessions for gambling addiction.
    5. Mobile apps designed to help manage and control gambling habits.

Selecting Reputable Online Casinos

When choosing an online casino in New Zealand, factors like licensing, user reviews, and secure payment methods are pivotal. Casinos regulated by reputable bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority are preferred for safe online gambling NZ. Recent data suggests that online casinos NZ with robust security measures, such as SSL encryption, see higher user retention. This is especially important for players looking for online casino real money NZ sites where financial transactions are frequent.

Real Money Gambling: Risks and Rewards

Real money gambling in NZ offers the excitement of potential winnings but also comes with inherent risks. Balancing the thrill with responsible play is key, especially in online casinos for real money. Informed NZ players who understand game rules and odds tend to make more rational betting decisions. It’s crucial to choose games with favorable RTP rates, a common feature in many NZ online casinos, to increase the chances of winning.

Free-to-Play Options: A Safer Approach

Free-to-play options, such as online slots and demo versions of table games, provide a safe avenue for enjoying gambling in New Zealand without financial risk. These platforms are beneficial for practicing strategies and understanding game mechanics. The trend towards free play options is on the rise, with many NZ online casinos offering extensive libraries of free games. This caters to a growing demographic in New Zealand who prefer risk-free gaming, including free casino games online and free online casino slots.

Traps to watch out for...

If pokies payout rates seem too good to be true, they probably are.

Most overseas sites encourage you to give them a go with free trials or lessons. The free trials or practice sessions are likely to pay out credits more often than the real games. This can lead to false ideas about how often you can win in the real game.1

Dodgy websites: If it's not legit - then quit.

If you decide to gamble on overseas sites, be cautious. Some sites may be untrustworthy (for example, they may not guarantee your odds) and may have been designed to fleece you from your money. If the site or app doesn’t look trustworthy, do not use it.

Avoid one-click top-ups.

Once you’ve provided credit card details to a site or app, it’s very easy to keep topping up your credits. Rapid-fire gambling could leave you in a deep hole very quickly.

Remember, the more time you spend on any gambling or gaming apps, the more money you’re likely to lose.

Be alert when playing online casino games on social media.

Social media sites often provide links to play free online casino games. While these can be fun they have also been shown to lead people into gambling with real money over time.2

One study in America looked at non-gamblers playing free simulated casino games on social media. One in four people ended up playing real casino games within six months.3

Be wary of gambling alone.

It’s possible to ‘get lost in the game’ and lose sight of the outside world. The more you get hooked, the more isolating it can become.

By talking to someone close to you about what you are doing online, this can help to give you a reality check. It’s healthy to keep a diary of how much time and money you spend gambling online. You could also keep a list of other things you turned down so you could stay online. 

Keeping your credit details safe.

Only use websites that offer a secure internet connection. Check for ‘https’ at the beginning of the address bar and a locked padlock in the browser. Use a low-limit credit card or debit card to further reduce your risk.

Tips to ensure your gambling remains just for fun.

  • Set a time limit to play online games, apps and social media games. Stick to it.
  • Set a budget limit. The money you spend can very quickly add up.
  • If you find yourself trying to win back money that you've lost, it's a sign that things may be getting out of control.
  • Keep an eye on the games your kids are playing. There is a blurry line between gaming and online gambling. Be careful to not let them rack up huge bills by buying in-app purchases.
  • Balance your time spent online with other activities like going for a walk, or catching up with friends.
  • If your online gambling feels like it is getting out of hand, then there are lots of ways to get help.
  • If you find that you are gambling too much, you can set a limit on your spending.
  • Talking to someone close to you about what you are doing online can help to give you a reality check.
  • You can ask the TAB to put a weekly limit on your account.
  • Lotto NZ also offer ways to limit your spending. You can set your spending limits online, block yourself from online games or exclude yourself from purchasing Lotto games in retail outlets.
  • If you feel you are spending too much time on an app, un-install it.
  • If the site has an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is a high chance that it is a scam. If it's not legal, then quit!