The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs is planning to ban the use of credit cards for online gambling. The plan for a ban emerged after the local casino operator SKYCITY Entertainment’s plan to launch online gambling in the country.
Skycity partnered with a Malta-based gambling operator to offer online gambling services in New Zealand. The gambling services would be provided by its Malta-based subsidiary company SkyCity Malta.
Experts said that it is the potential launch of SkyCity’s online gambling operations in the country that has prompted the gambling watchdog to consider banning gambling with credit cards.
Currently, it is legal for New Zealanders to gamble online, though the only New Zealand-based entities that are licensed to offer such services are the state-run Lotto New Zealand for lottery offerings and the New Zealand Racing Board and its online TAB (Totalisator Agency Board) sports betting services. All other online gambling undertaken by New Zealanders thus occurs on offshore, unregulated (by New Zealand) sites.
According to the Ministry, New Zealanders have spent about $380 million on offshore gambling sites in the last year and a half. “A lot of New Zealanders enjoy gambling and it’s not our intention to stop this,” added Martin. “However the growth in online gambling challenges our current approach.”
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