The government in New Zealand is forging ahead with its plans to restrict internationally licensed online gambling authorities to offer wagers on the country’s races with a New Zealand Online Casino Consumption Tax. Recently, New Zealand’s Racing Minister, Nathan Guy, laid forth plans to change the 2003 Racing Act in an attempt to boost the New Zealand Racing Board’s (NZRB) payroll.
The Racing Board has long protested that its TAB betting product is being overlooked for more enticing offerings that can be found on international betting sites.
Up to now, the changes will include a royalty fee for foreign betting operators that want to make use of New Zealand race data. The international operators may also have to pay out a point-of-consumption charge on all wagers placed on the country’s sports events with the operators.
The specifics of the charges have not yet been revealed, and aren’t likely to be until the NZ government submits its proposed regulations to parliament. However, it’s been suggested that the point-of-consumption rate will keep within the 2% of betting turnover as recommended by the Offshore Betting Working Group.
Does This Affect Online Gambling in New Zealand?
Online casino has become a prominent part of New Zealand culture. In fact, residents spend over $2 billion every year on gambling, with around 40% of people gambling each week. Interestingly, this doesn’t include the additional funds New Zealanders spend betting on foreign websites.
All gambling that is authorised and licensed in the country, besides casino gaming, is for the purpose of community fundraising and not for business profit – which is not happening with the international betting sites.
However, online gambling for New Zealanders is only illegal in terms of remote interactive online casino gaming within the country and not to any gambling that’s conducted overseas. So, it is perfectly legal for New Zealanders to gamble online on overseas foreign casino sites. This means it’s unlikely that consumption taxes will be imposed on online casinos that cater for Kiwis.
What’s the Point of the Consumption Tax?
The proposed changes aren’t intended to get more people gambling, but rather are aimed at recognising the value of the country’s events to international operators and also as a way to attract New Zealand money that is being gambled overseas back in the country.
To get the ball rolling, the government has already negotiated a new formula. Under it, the NZRB will kick back a portion of betting revenue to Sport New Zealand. This formula takes effect after gambling duties, problem gambling levies and GST are deducted from the net betting revenue.
How Will the New Rules Be Imposed?
How the country intends to enforce the new rules for foreign operators is yet to be announced. There are countries that have tried similar restrictions and pretty much fallen short.
Apparently, the NZRB are working to improve competitiveness so as to enhance customer experience and ensure that bettors receive the same level of options and service as offered by international operators.
Since the new regulations aren’t set to affect online casinos for our New Zealand players, we’d say carry on having fun with your favourite casino games!