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Online Casino Age Laws: New Zealand and UK Perspective – Olive Press News Spain

The online casino world is evolving. Every day, new and innovative platforms and services are introduced that can be accessed by anyone. However, when considering the increasing problem gambling rates, everything won’t seem as smooth as it appears. 

Underage gambling is just one of the main concerns that the wide accessibility of online casino services can cause. Today, we will look at the peculiarities of age regulations New Zealand and the UK have for their players and explore the differences in their approaches.

Legal Age for Gambling in New Zealand

New Zealand has pretty strict regulations when it comes to gambling. It prohibits the activity of online casino sites registered within the country. The only exceptions are offshore New Zealand online casinos licensed by international gambling authorities. 

Te Tari Taiwhenua (Department of Internal Affairs) controls and handles all the laws and rules related to online gambling under the Gambling Act 2003. Below, let’s explore the age restrictions in New Zealand for each available casino and betting activity.

Gambling in Online Casinos 

With limited land-based gaming options in New Zealand, online gambling is a great alternative. A person who wishes to join an offshore casino must be 18 or older. 

Recently, online gambling companies in New Zealand have gained significant popularity among local players due to their accessibility and the diverse range of games they offer. Also, as Kiwis practically gamble overseas, they get to keep all the winnings from online casinos as they are not taxed.

Land-Based Casinos

If you want to hit the tables at one of six of New Zealand’s land-based casino venues, keep in mind that you are required to be over 20 years old to access the gambling area to play or drink. Physical gambling establishments are highly regulated and have stringent legal policies in place. 

So, when visiting a casino, you should provide one of the following documents that can prove your legitimate age.

  • A valid NZ or overseas passport;
  • An active NZ or overseas photo driver’s licence;
  • Any other valid ID that includes a date of birth and a photo.

You can also opt for a Kiwi Access Card, a special ID card proving you are over 18, which can be a great alternative to a passport. The card costs $55 and is available for New Zealand Nationals and players from other countries who can obtain it in-country. The validation period for Kiwi Access Cards is 10 years. 

Lotto and Scratch Cards

The acceptable gambling age in New Zealand is different for lotteries. You can play games such as Keno, Lotto, Bullseye, or Play 3 without a minimum age limit. 

Only if you get a reward of more than $1,000 when you are under 18 will you need an acknowledgment form filled out by a parent or legal guardian to claim your wins. The biggest lottery win ever recorded in New Zealand was a whopping $50 million split between ten lucky players in August 2020.

This rule doesn’t involve scratch card games. If you are under 18 and want to buy a scratch card, according to the Gambling Act 2003, it is considered a crime. 

Sports Betting

Sports betting regulations are also part of The Gambling Act 2003, highlighting that only users over 20 can bet. If you pass the age requirement, you can only place bets through online or offline bookmakers. Remember that sports betting platforms also have an obligatory user verification process.

Age Restrictions for Online Gambling in the UK

The UK gambling market operates under the UKGC (the UK Gambling Commission). It is the country’s key regulator and is solely responsible for all forms of gambling, including lotteries, casino games, Internet gaming, sports betting, etc. The Commission is in control of issuing licenses to operators who meet the requirements stated in the Gambling Act 2005 for integrity, fairness, and security. 

Land-Based Casino and Gaming Machines

If you want to visit land-based bingo halls or casino venues and try some of the classic gaming machines like poker or slots, you have to be at least 18 years old. Before you can enter any of the physical gambling establishments in the UK, you will be asked to provide a government-issued ID or passport.

Online Casinos

Today, online gambling is prevalent in the UK. This is probably because more and more people choose the convenience of gambling right from home over physical locations. Moreover, all casinos within the country are licensed by the UKGC, which means they are safe to play.

It is possible to join online casinos in the UK if you have already reached the age of 18. As the UKGC obliges all operators to proceed with user verification to prevent minor gambling, you have no way to hide your real age.

National Lottery and Scratch Cards

As with the New Zealand lotteries, the age limit differs for lottery games in the UK. To engage in betting activities such as Football pools, the National Lottery, or scratch cards, it’s enough to be 16 years old. For example, a 16-year-old in the country can legally spend over 100 GBP on these game types, but they are not allowed to pay a single penny in a casino.

Final Word

When the average gambling age is discussed in most countries, including the UK and New Zealand, the requirements are similar, with slight variations. The accepted age is, in most cases, set at 18. 

However, there are exceptions for certain games, such as sports betting in New Zealand, where you must be above 20 to access and bet on sports events. Or the minimum age of 16 for lottery or scratch games, as is the case with UK gambling laws.