From the online gambling perspective, the legal environment in New Zealand is a quiet one, changing little with the enactment of the much-awaited Gambling Act 2003 in September 2003. The Act is the first law in New Zealand to regulate remote interactive gambling. As is traditional under a British-styled legislative system, gambling in New Zealand is inherently illegal unless specifically enabled under legislation. There are certain forms of gambling that are reinforced as being illegal with specific prohibitions included in this Act. As with legislation in many other jurisdictions, the legislation entrenched existing monopolies of state-originated gambling operations being run by the New Zealand Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) and the Lotteries Commission. It could be argued that the regime is one of protectionist policy as opposed to the proposed open market being touted for the U.K. legislative reform – one designed supposedly to protect the consumer from oversupply – while at the same time recognizing there is little that can be done in regard to blocking overseas products.
To quote from a summary of the act on the Department of Internal Affairs Web site, the Gambling Act 2003 “specifically prohibits the provision of remote interactive gambling in New Zealand, except limited forms of remote interactive gambling on racing and sports events provided by the TAB, remote interactive gambling conducted by the Lotteries Commission, and sales promotions that are lotteries.”