New Zealand at a Glance

New Zealand Gaming Supplier Regulatory Overview


Gaming activities in New Zealand are controlled by the Gambling Act 2003 (“Act”). Although the Act requires that operators of gaming establishments be licensed, manufacturers and suppliers of gaming and non-gaming equipment are not required to be licensed. Therefore, the following will provide a broad overview of the New Zealand regulatory structure and information regarding unique restrictions that may affect new suppliers seeking to enter the market.

Classes of Gaming

Gambling activities in New Zealand are regulated by the Department of Internal Affairs (“Department”). The Department classifies gaming activities into six categories:

1. Class 1 (no licensing required);
2. Class 2 (no licensing required);
3. Class 3 (large-scale lotteries and instant games, operational licensing required);
4. Class 4 (operating gaming machines outside a casino, operational licensing required);
5. Casino (operational licensing required); and
6. Lotteries (games conducted by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission).1

In addition, the Gambling Commission (“Commission”) of the Department regulates Class 4 and casino-style gaming in the country.2 The Commission is responsible for all operating licensing issues regarding casino gaming.3

Gaming Facility and Machine Restrictions

There are currently six casinos operating in New Zealand.4 The Act prohibits the establishment of any casinos beyond these six locations.5 The Act also prohibits any “increase in opportunities for casino gaming,” meaning that there can be no expansion of the number of games offered across the country. A casino may, however, change the types of games offered as long as the resulting combination of table and electronic gaming opportunities does not exceed the original number of opportunities.6 As of March 2011, there were a total of 18,484 gaming machines operating in 1,430 different venues across the country.7

In addition, any new Class 4 gaming facility must obtain a local territorial consent before conducting gaming activities in order to ensure that the new facility or operator will comply with the territory’s overall gambling venue policy.8

Gaming Technology Standards

New Zealand maintains minimum operating standards for gaming machines and a detailed list of rules and requirements for other gambling games. For more information, please visit the “Gambling Technical Equipment” page of the Department of Internal Affairs website, located here:
1The Department of Internal Affairs, Gambling Fact Sheet 1, 'Gambling Regulation in New Zealand.'
2The Department of Internal Affairs, Gambling Fact Sheet 1, 'Gambling Regulation in New Zealand.'
3The Department of Internal Affairs, Gambling Fact Sheet 28, 'Casinos.'
4The Department of Internal Affairs, Gambling Fact Sheet 3, 'Classes of Gambling.'
5Gaming Act 2003, s. 10.
6Gaming Act 2003, s. 12.
7The Department of Internal Affairs, 'Summary of Venues and Numbers by Territorial Authority.'
8The Department of Internal Affairs, 'Info for Territorial Authorities.'

Gaming industry advisor Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. authored this article. Visit the Gaming Advisors section of this website to find out more about gaming licensing and compliance advisors.