Offshore Online Casinos Required to Pay New Fees by NZ Government

Chistopher Abela

Posted On:   AUG - 28 - 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The NZ gambling market has been a fruitful one for offshore online casinos. These online casinos have thrived for several years by targeting multiple markets. More importantly they have avoided paying any taxes or complying with gambling regulations as they were not officially licensed in New Zealand.
This is set to change as the NZ government seems adamant on implementing new gambling regulations.

These regulations are being established to specifically target offshore operators. Labelled as the Racing Reform Amendment Act of 2019, offshore online casinos will be required to pay fees. These fees are applicable to those providing gambling services to NZ residents. It also applies if these operators are taking bets on New Zealand racing and sporting events.

A letter has been sent from the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand highlighting these changes. This contains details of the updated regulation that came into effect on July 1st, 2019. As a basic requirement, all real money casinos will be required to get permission from New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). They will also be required to agree to betting information use agreement if they want to make use of any New Zealand betting information.

The NZ government will charge online casinos a small fee for this. The government will also collect consumption charges that the operators will have to pay for taking bets from kiwis. The final amount of charges nor the agreements have been finalised yet. However, the updated regulation makes it clear that failure to comply will lead to penalties. The extent of the penalties will be outlined in the full set of regulations.

While the DIA is drafting the regulations, it has opened the floor for suggestions. Some offshore operators have already been negotiating with Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) but no further information on these agreements have been released. While the suspense is no doubt uneasy for the offshore online casinos, they need to remain patient and wait for the regulations to be get published.

online_casinos_pay_fees_submission_formConsultation Paper Released for Online Casinos

An issue that was brought up during consultation was the payment of fees and penalties. The operators have appealed for not implementing the charges unless there is complete clarity regarding the matter.
Another consultation paper released asked for feedback on what type of regulations were to be imposed on the gambling operators. The paper outlined four different options that asked for feedback that is to be submitted before the end of September.