NZ Betting: From Outlaw to Friend
As many punters in New Zealand will know, the betting market is under a monopoly; however, this doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities for sports betting online. The land-based betting industry is controlled by the New Zealand Racing Board, or NZRB, but you will find well over 600 TAB outlets across the country where punters can take advantage of NZ betting for sport.
Even though betting was initially outlawed in the country, the introduction of the Totalizer Agency Board saw a marked increase in the popularity of betting in the country, and in no time NZ betting became a common past-time.
History of Betting in New Zealand
In 1920 gambling was outlawed in New Zealand, and it wasn’t until the early 1960s that the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) was permitted exclusive rights to run pari-mutuel facilities at racetracks. These facilities are run by local organizations owned by the New Zealand government. By the 1990s NZ betting had become an overwhelming trend and the government acquiesced by opening the country’s first casino in 1994 in Christchurch, and by the late 1990s the TAB was allowed to offer fixed odds betting as well as wagers on sports. In 2003 the New Zealand Racing Board took the reins from the TAB, and also began promoting the racing industry in the country.
There are currently 6 casinos where Kiwi’s looking for casino games can head to, i.e. Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, Hamilton and two in Queenstown. There are also plenty of Pokie machines across the many pubs and clubs country-wide.
Online NZ Betting
Online sports betting and casino games in New Zealand is a bit confounding. The only authorized online sportsbook is run by the NZRB, and there is only one online casino operating from the country which is run by the NZ Lotteries Commission. Even though several large casinos have tried to enter the market, only to be rejected, Kiwi’s looking for NZ betting offshore have not been blocked from doing so. There are no fines for NZ punters who wager with foreign bookmakers, and many online sportsbooks now accept wagers from the country.
Due to the legality of betting with offshore bookmakers, expect little to no help from the New Zealand authorities should anything go wrong, so make sure to do your research before kicking off NZ betting.
Popular Sports for Betting
Even though sports betting through online sportsbooks is strictly regulated in the country, those looking for NZ betting still have plenty of opportunities to do so with offshore bookmakers. Sport is a huge part of daily life in New Zealand, and the Kiwis are very passionate about it. Some of the most popular sports to bet on in the country remain rugby (union and league), cricket and football. Many online sportsbooks offer a wide variety of wagers for Kiwis and even if there aren’t any New Zealand matches to wager on, there’s a vast array of choices from international football tournaments to darts and tennis. There really is something for everyone, and those looking for online sports bets are sure to not walk away disappointed.