Online Gambling in New Zealand - FAQs
Online gambling is fun, easy and accessible, but still to a beginner it can be overwhelming trying to choose what sites to use, where to find the best games, how to deposit money and more. You may be concerned about the safety, security and fairness of online gambling casinos. Or, you may be unsure if your system can handle download or no-download casinos, and want to decide which to use. We know it can be intimidating going into the world of online gambling with no experience, so we have gathered the top 10 questions asked by beginners and provided detailed, easy to understand answers. Read on to find out more about why online gambling is such a popular past time, and how you can sign up and start playing today!
1. Is online gambling popular in New Zealand?
Yes, very much so. In New Zealand, thousands of gamblers are populating the top online casinos around, with over 40% of the adult population enjoying weekly gambling sessions of some form.
Real money games are readily available at hundreds of sites that New Zealand gamers can access, making online gambling a huge industry that sees nearly 30 million dollars' worth of transactions a year.
New Zealanders are undoubtedly well acquainted with the online casino scene.
2. Will I be taxed on my winnings?
If you are a new player or gamble online just for fun, then the answer is NO!
The Inland Revenue Department mentions gambling many times in their website (www.ird.govt.nz), but it does not say anywhere that a casual Kiwi player must pay tax on their winnings. Many people think this is because the owners and operators of online gambling casinos, pokie machines and lotteries have already paid taxes on this money. That is not the case though. The real reason is that in Kiwi gambling is considered a past time or recreational activity. It is not considered actual income.
The only time that gambling winnings become taxable is when a player is considered a professional gambler. This means that the player has no other significant income sources, and this can be proven in court. One example is the case of Duggan V C of IR 73 ATC 6001. In this case Duggan was found to be a professional gambler and did have to pay tax on his income.
3. How do I add money to my account?
There are a few different ways you can add real money to your account:
- Credit Card - This is very secure because if your secure information is compromised, the bank can put a hold on your card or investigate fraudulent charges. Credit cards sometimes do not work with international sites.
- Debit Card - This is more direct but slightly less secure than credit, because it connects directly to your bank account balance. Some international sites don't accept debit cards.
- E-Wallets - This is the easiest way to play with real money with a lot of added security. You can also make withdrawals into an E-Wallet such as Neteller, Click2Pay, Citadel or Bpay, which you can't do with credit or debit cards.
- POLi - This is a service that allows you to connect your bank account to the casino for instant online banking
- Wire Transfers - This is a time proven and reliable technique, but it is much less convenient and more time consuming than the others. It is a good option if you do not have a bank account.
4. Do I need high-speed internet to play?
NZ Winnings are never taxed so you can enjoy all the money that you win playing pokies, keno or whatever it is you like playing.
You do not necessarily need high speed internet to gamble online. It is helpful to have a fast connection when you download casino software, otherwise it could take hours before you can play.
If you have a slow connection, the best bet is to go to no-download casinos and play right from your browser. The best part about these types of casinos is that you can access all the games from any device, whether it is a desktop computer, iPad or tablet, smart phone, or laptop. If you are willing to wait for download casinos, once they are saved on your computer the speed of your connection will not be a problem.
5. What if my internet connection goes out in the middle of a game?
This question really depends on what kind of game you are playing. For example, if you are playing slots, click the spin button and then lose your connection, when you come back to the site you will be able to see the result of that spin in your account balance. Most online casinos can show you your full history so that you can find out exactly what happened in that lost round.
If you are playing a table game it is a little more complicated. It depends on the rules of the gambling online site you are playing at, as well as how far along you are in the game. A good rule of thumb is to check the rules of a casino before you start playing just in case this situation happens, that way you know what to do when your internet connection comes back.
6. Are the odds of winning better in an online casino than in a land casino?
After all is said and done, YES! The odds of winning are higher online than in person at a land casino. Why? There are many factors affecting your chance of success. First of all, land casinos are always pushing drinks, entertainment, conversation and more. They want you to spend as much time in the casino as possible, even if it means staying in the hotel and hanging out at the casino all day for multiple days in a row!
All of the time you spend at a land casino not gambling, whether you are socializing, seeing a show, hanging out at the bar or just exploring, is time you are not spending gambling and increasing your chances of winning. You are spending money, in other words losing money, every second you are away from the gambling table. This is exactly how the casinos want it, plus if you accept all of their free and discounted drinks you will become so inebriated that your chances of winning plummet! At an online casino, you are in control of your environment. The gameplay is much faster, giving you way more chances to win in the same amount of time.
Aside from this fact, online casinos do have significantly higher odds than land casinos. Online gambling sites do not have the same glamorous image and they cannot attract customers in the same ways that land casinos do. To attract customers, online casinos have one simple rule. They let you win more often.
Take slot machines for example. At a land casino slot machines will pay out 88% of every dollar that is spent, meaning the casino takes home 12 cents for every dollar. At most online casinos, the payout is 95% of every dollar. At some casinos, the payout rate is even higher, close to 100%.
7. Is online gambling safe?
Online gambling is incredibly safe. This is one of the most regulated industries out there, with every nation in the world trying to make sure that casino owners cannot take advantage of their customers with unfair odds or scams. A lot of these companies opened up in the mid-1990s when the online casino industry first began. They have a long history of customer satisfaction, otherwise they would not still be in business. A lot of online casinos are publicly traded as well, and if they were found out to be scamming their customers their stocks would plummet. In short, it is good for business for online casinos to be as fair and safe as possible.
Of course, there is always the issue of security. You don't have to worry about your secure information being stolen or sold at an online gambling site though, for the same reasons listed above. Online casinos are judged by their customer service and security above all else. If a site were lax on security, their customers would quickly disappear.
8. Can I hurt my computer when downloading casino software?
Casino software can make online gaming more exciting so consider downloading it before you start playing at a new casino.
We have tested software from tons of different online casinos and can confidently say that the answer to this question is NO! There is absolutely no risk of receiving spyware, viruses, malware or any other damaging files when you download online casino software. If you stick with the sites we recommend, we can personally guarantee their safety and security.
9. How fast is the payout at online casinos?
This is another question that depends on a lot of different factors. Above all it depends on which casino you are playing at and their individual rules for pay-out. Many casinos have an instant payment option, which lets you transfer winnings into your e-wallet or bank account immediately when you click the button. If the casino you are at does not offer instant pay-out, the time it takes can vary widely. It can take between 2 days to 2 weeks, with an average of about 4 days. It depends on the site's rules and your chosen payment method.
The sites that take a bit longer to pay are not necessarily worse though, in fact some people prefer those sites because they provide extra security to make sure there is no fraudulent activity on your account.
If you win very large amounts of money, there may be a delay in payout if the casino requires you to provide additional forms of identification.
10. Do I have to use my real info (name, address, etc.) to play?
If you are playing for real money, then the answer is YES. You do have to use your real information, otherwise they would have no way of transferring your winnings into a bank or e-wallet. Usually a casino will ask you for general information only, such as name, address, and other info that is easy to come by and would be very difficult for someone to use for identity theft.
It is really important to use your real name, because if you earn a large sum of money the casino may ask for additional identification before paying your winnings. If your I.D. does not match the name you played with, you could have a real issue on your hands.
If you are playing at free casino sites that do not offer real cash payouts, you do not need to worry about using your real information.
We hope that our FAQs have eased some of your concern about getting started with online gambling. Feel free to explore our site for more great info on gambling online in New Zealand!