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New Zealand launches public consultation on online gambling

New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has launched a public consultation to ask the public to weigh on whether or not the online gambling options for the public in the country should be expanded.

The country’s gambling laws date back to 2003, and since then internet technology has developed rapidly.

“In 2003 internet technology was still developing. Social media was in its infancy. Cell phones weren’t yet smart and people connected to the internet using cables,” Minister for Internal Affairs Tracy Martin said.

Under the current law, only the LOTTO and the TAB are allowed to offer gambling products in NZ. Keeping this status quo is one of the options going forward. The second would be to expand the range of companies allowed to operate in New Zealand, then introduce controls on the products they can offer.

Between 2017 and 2018, New Zealand’s gambling expenditure reached NZD$2.40bn (US$1.58bn), with poker machine accounting for the majority ($895m) of consumer spend. It was followed by casinos, on $578m, then the lottery on $561m.

However, the government acknowledges the fact that an increasing number of New Zealanders are gambling via offshore providers. It’s noted that around 70 per cent of residents aged 15 and over had gambled, whether online or via land-based providers, in the past year.

The consultation will run until September 30.

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