NZ Department of Internal Affairs Conducting Citizen Study on Online Gambling

New Zealanders who want to make their opinions about online gambling known to the government will now have their chance. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has opened an Online Gambling Consultation that will allow citizens of New Zealand to give their opinions regarding gambling online. The study will help lawmakers to determine the best course of action to take regarding changes to the Gambling Act of 2003.

Study Covers Everything from Regulation to Minimizing Gambling Harm

The study, entitled Online Gambling in New Zealand, is a short survey that New Zealanders can complete at the Te Tari Taiwhenua website. It presents nine questions regarding online gambling, including the following:

  • Forms of online gambling regulation preferred.
  • Forms of online gambling preferred.
  • Preferred methods of helping problems gamblers or restricting access to online gambling sites.
  • How gambling regulators should respond to gambling-like elements.

If you wish to take part in the survey, you have until September 30, 2019. You can either email the form or return it via postal mail to the Department of Internal Affairs.

Purpose of the Study

According to the website, the purpose of this study is to help the government determine the best way to proceed in updating the Gambling Act of 2003. According to the website, back in 2003, “internet technology was still developing. Law makers couldn’t have foreseen the way that gambling would develop online 16 years on.”

The survey intends to help the government update the Gambling Act. It also aims to help “future-proof” laws for any upcoming changes in online gambling. A great example would be mobile gaming. Back when the Gambling Act was signed, internet gambling was still in its infancy and mobile gambling was not viable. Today, mobile gaming is the dominant form and mobile gambling will the primary way to do so in the future.

DIA Looking to Protect Citizens

The majority of online gambling sites accessed by New Zealanders are offshore sites with no regulation from the government. Lawmakers are looking to make changes that would severely restrict access to most online gambling sites. It also gives the DIA the ability to create locally managed online platforms.

Gambling Act changes could see up to NZ$2 million per month returned to the local economy rather than going offshore. According to Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin: “This is big money coming out of New Zealand and we don’t know where those gamblers are or if they can afford to do so.”

Some view these changes as catastrophic for the online gambling industry in New Zealand. The DIA, on the other hand, is claiming otherwise. They say that they are not looking to eliminate a citizen’s ability to gamble online, but instead, they are looking to put adequate regulations in place to help protect citizens.

Speak Up and Have Your Voice Heard

If you are an online gambler in New Zealand or just support online gambling, then we encourage you to take part in this survey. It is clear that the DIA is trying to work with lawmakers to block many of the Australian online casinos that are presently available to citizens. There’s no guarantee there will be any alternatives available, either, despite the government’s claims.

What would a change in the Gambling Act mean to you? It would likely result in your favourite online casino sites such as Play Amo or Planet 7 OZ being blocked. It will also result in tighter restrictions on deposits for casinos you are able to access.

You have until the end of September to have your voice heard and we encourage you to do so. Click here to access the Te Tari Taiwhenua website and take part in this crucial study.