New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has announced the upcoming survey regarding the expansion of online gambling activities throughout the country. The public will have the chance to express their opinion on this matter and the consultation will be available online until September 30th. Citizens will have the chance to influence this matter by filling out submission forms in which they can state their stance on online gambling. By taking this course of action, the country will try to update laws in cooperation with its citizens.
Some of the currently present laws may be obsolete because there were no changes since the Gambling Act, formed in 2003.
The main concern is that technological progress has made some regulations unable to protect the players from the risks associated with online gambling.
The officials at DIA have stated:
“We need to update our laws for today’s digital world and future-proof them as much as possible.”
By filing the form, New Zealanders will have the chance to answer the questions related to harm reduction in the gambling industry and how should government react to recent casino expansion.
One of the questions that could severely affect the gambling industry in the country states:
“Do you think New Zealanders should be prohibited or restricted from accessing online gambling websites and applications that are not licensed under the New Zealand regime?”
Today, most of the gambling sites available to New Zealanders are licensed abroad. If this rule is to change, that would mean that DIA will have larger control over locally managed platforms. Also, New Zealanders would probably have severely limited access to many online platforms licensed outside the country. This also means that NZ$2 million that gamblers spend on foreign gambling sites will stay in the country and support the local industry.
Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin commented on this topic:
“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.”
DIA states that their goal is primarily to protect NZ citizens, not to sabotage the online gambling industry.
The number of gambling websites has been on the rise for quite some time. However, the concern was raised when local operator, SkyCity decided to launch its gambling platform. It was soon after this when DIA decided to look into developing stricter regulations. The thing that prompted DIA into this course of action is Skycity (Auckland) partnering with SkyCity Malta.
There are also lots of unregulated sites who deal in shady business. Because of this, many gambling directory sites exist with the sole purpose to help users choose a legitimate online gambling platform and to avoid being tricked.
The Gambling Commission of New Zealand is formed under the 2003 Gambling Act. Its main job is to regulate the gambling industry and to participate in the impartial legal investigation related to licensing.