National Library of New Zealand
Harvested by the National Library of New Zealand on: Oct 16 2017 at 7:32:37 GMT
Search boxes and external links may not function. Having trouble viewing this page? Click here
Close Minimize Help
Wayback Machine
The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Casino and Non-Casino Gaming › New Zealand Gambling Laws

The Department of Internal Affairs casino and non-casino gambling services help keep gambling in New Zealand fair and honest. The Gambling Compliance Group audits and investigates non-casino gaming activities, licenses all non-casino gaming and issues certificates of approval for casino employees. The casino inspectorate regulates all casino gaming activities.

What's new

Regional Gambling Sector Forums
Schedule of gambling fees effective 1 February 2015 (GST-inclusive)
Gambling consultation
Pokies in New Zealand: a guide to how the system works
Gambits (Gambling Compliance newsletter)


The community is our primary stakeholder group. Community interests include community groups for whom gambling raises funds, gamblers, and organizations that provide gambling services and research into the social effects of gambling.

The rules for gambling - the legislation and license conditions - focus on ensuring that the community benefits from the proceeds of gambling, and that the harm that gambling can cause is minimised. The primary piece of legislation that regulates gambling is the Gambling Act 2003.

The purpose of the Gambling Act is to:
  • control the growth of gambling
  • prevent and minimise the harm caused by gambling including problem gambling
  • authorise some gambling and prohibit the rest
  • facilitate responsible gambling
  • ensure the fairness and integrity of games
  • limit opportunities for crime and dishonesty associated with gambling
  • ensure that money from gambling benefits the community
  • facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of gambling.

Approach to Compliance and Enforcement

The Department's approach to compliance and enforcement in this area is set out in the document:
See also: The Department's Prosecution Policy

Regulatory Agency Roles

Several regulatory agencies are responsible for different aspects of the legislation.

The Department of Internal Affairs

  • administers gambling legislation
  • licenses gambling activities (except for casino gambling)
  • ensures compliance with the legislation
  • provides public information and education.

The Ministry of Health

  • funds and co-ordinates problem gambling services
  • has recently finalised its Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm, three-year Service Plan 2011-2013, and its six-year Strategic Plan 2011-2016.

The Gambling Commission

  • considers and determine applications for casino operators’ licenses and the renewal of casino venue licenses
  • approves agreements and changes to agreements between casino operators and casino venue license holders
  • considers and deals with complaints about the way the Department of Internal Affairs has handled complaints in relation to Class 4 gambling
  • specifies, varies and revokes casino license conditions
  • advises Ministers and facilitates consultation on the setting of the problem gambling levy
  • considers and determines appeals against regulatory and licensing decisions made by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Current Law

Previous Law

  • Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977 and subsequent amendments
  • Gaming and Lotteries (Licence Fees) Regulations 1992
  • Gaming and Lotteries Prizes Notice 1993
  • Gaming and Lotteries (Problem Gambling Levy) Regulations 1998
  • Casino Control Act 1990 (and subsequent amendments)
  • Casino Control (Moratorium) Amendment Act 1997
  • Casino Control (Moratorium) Amendment Act 2000
  • Casino Control (Applications and Hours) Regulations 1991
  • Casino Control (Certificates of Approval and Warrants) Regulations 1994

More Information

General information is available on the
Fact Sheets page.

*You need Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view our files. If you are unable to open the files we recommend you get the latest version of Adobe Reader. You can download and install Acrobat Reader for free from the Adobe website.

Unable to download or access our files? Contact the Gambling Compliance Group and request printed copies.