If you’re an online gambler in Australia, one of the things you watch out for are fake NZ gambling sites. Some dodgy online casinos are obviously suspicious from the start, promising things that no sane online casino would. However, there are some that are going extra lengths to dupe players.
According to an article on Newsroom, there are at least 13 offshore online gambling sites that are representing themselves as New Zealand based websites.
Thirteen Sites are Faking New Zealand Connection
In an article posted last week, Newsroom revealed that thirteen different online gambling sites have addresses ending in .nz. Typically, this would signify that the website is coming from New Zealand. The fact is that they are based offshore and trying to trick players into believing they are playing at a local online casino site.
Lotto and TAB are the only online gambling products presently authorized to run online gambling sites. Furthermore, they must return part of their online sales proceeds to community groups. The Department of Internal Affairs spoke out regarding these fake NZ gambling sites. In fact, they believe that criminal organizations may be operating them. Amazingly, one of the websites went so far as to post the New Zealand coat of arms on their website.
Chris Thornborough, Director of Regulatory Systems for the DIA, spoke about the matter stating; “One of the sites we contacted was brazen enough to use the government’s official Coat of Arms. We can only presume this was done to suggest some sort of formal connection with the New Zealand government or our local gambling laws.”
The DIA has contacted all of the sites involved and the hosting providers. Nevertheless, there is really nothing they can do legally for most of the sites since they are offshore. However, Thornborough revealed that one of the sites might be operating within New Zealand. If that’s the case, the operators face stiff legal penalties.
Offshore Sites Pose Risk to Gamblers
The DIA warns that gambling at these sites that are spoofing a New Zealand connection is risky. There are multiple ways that punters are putting themselves in danger. As Thornborough explained, “These operators can exist in unregulated or under-regulated places and can be run by criminal organisations looking to cheat you out of your money or use the contact to attempt to hack identities.”
Sites ran by criminals or those trying to cheat people can do so in various ways. The most common way is to set up a website and either set up the games in such a way that players can never turn a profit or to simply not pay players their winnings. There have been many reports over the years of online casinos and other online gambling sites that have operated and soon started experiencing “payment problems,” only to eventually shut down and run off with player funds.
Other fake online casinos are set up as a way to try and steal player identities. Players give their personal information on these sites, and then crooks begin using this information for various purposes. These range from opening new credit accounts to attempting to hack and drain player financial accounts.
How To Avoid Fake NZ Gambling Sites
So what can you do to avoid these fake NZ gambling sites? First, avoid online casino sites that are trying to pass themselves off as authorized by Australian authorities. Present law prohibits companies from operating online casinos in New Zealand or anywhere in Australia.
Next, check to see if a major online regulator licences the website. Legitimate sites will display their licensing information on the main page, and you can contact the regulator and verify their licence. Licenced venues are monitored and regulated to ensure fair play and that players will be paid when they request a cash-out.
Finally, do your research. If an online casino is a scam site, you will see tons of complaints about them online regarding lack of payment, slow payments, or games that don’t pay as they should. Taking a few precautions ahead of time will help you avoid dodgy online casinos.