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How are Slot machines and Gambling Legalised in New Zealand

New Zealand is among some European countries with a well-defined gambling path. In this article, take a look at how slot machines and gambling is legalised there.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 06.06.2023
How are Slot machines and Gambling Legalised in New Zealand

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New Zealand is among some European countries with a well-defined gambling path. It has been available since 1835, with the first legislation signed into law in 1994 with the Lottery Act. The second followed in 1995 with the Gambling Act. There was an amendment in 2003 which comes with several restrictions - check out Thor Slots.

Before we move into outlining steps on how gambling types, especially Slots, are legalised in New Zealand, we will run a summary of legal games. The following types of gambling are legal:

●        Bingo

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●        Video poker, slot machines (also referred to as pokies).

●        Lottery

●        Scratch cards

●        Keno

●        Sports betting

Before we begin, you should note that it is an illegal and a punishable offence to not have an operating licence for slot machines. Also, online gambling is considered illegal in the country, except for sports betting and lottery, which are regulated by the Racing Board and Lotteries Commission. However, anyone can play at offshore gambling sites.

How Slot Machines are Legalised

The Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand is the legal entity that issues legal permits. However, the NZ Gambling Commission only approves licence applications from casino operators.

Here’s how the process goes for a slot machine to become legal.

  • For slot machines, the potential prize could be above $5,000. Hence, a route operator can apply and fill out forms for a licence. It is important that this operator has a manufacturer’s licence too.

  • After filling out the application, it is submitted to the Gambling Group for processing. There are different agents available, and their contacts are available on the official government website

  • Documents to be filed include

○        Original application (2)

○        2 bound copies of the same original application

○        2 public copies of the same application

○        The application must be published in the national dailies and in the provincial newspapers for which the application for the slot machine is specific.


  • Copies of tax returns for the past three years

  • A copy of work permit and clearance from criminal activity (foreign applicants)

  • 2 or more copies of all VAT Returns.

  • Two passports of the individual, dated and signed at the back.

With these documents, the applicant is expected to pay $127. If possible, the Gambling board may require further clarification from the applicant and will communicate in writing. The process takes up to 5 business days before a response.

Legal Gambling Age and Taxes in New Zealand

Only persons within the age grade of 20 and above can play on slot machines and other casino games. For different types of gambling, it is 18 years or more.

In New Zealand, all gambling taxes are regulated by the Gambling (Fees) Regulations act of 2015. You should note that this legislation is updated frequently and is not limited to figures from 2015.

Players who enjoy slot machines, casually are not taxed by the government. However, professional players, including poker gamblers, are expected to pay taxes. However, there is no real enforcement in place, as the government has no means of checking who plays pro or not.

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