New Zealand authorities have been battling dodgy gambling sites for some time. International casino sites are encroaching on the Kiwi online gaming market, presenting many risks and problems for Kiwi players. Licensed and regulated online casino operators in New Zealand being cannibalised by these offshore sites. Furthermore, players are exposed to gambling-related harm and data theft.
Dodgy Gambling Sites Make Brazen Changes to their Strategies
For some time, it looked like New Zealand authorities were winning the battle. But now dodgy gambling sites have taken a different approach to attract Kiwi gamblers. Now, no less than 13 international gambling sites are using domain names that look like they are New Zealand websites. This tactic makes it appear as if the operators have a local license. At least one of these sites is reportedly using the country’s official coat of arms which gives it the appearance of legitimacy.
“One of the sites we contacted was brazen enough to use the government’s official coat of arms. We can only presume this was done to suggest some sort of formal connection with the New Zealand government or our local gambling laws,” said the Department of Internal Affairs’ (DIA) director of regulatory systems Chris Thornborough.
While these dodgy gambling sites have the ‘.nz’ domain, they aren’t in the country. Therefore, this means that they aren’t subject to New Zealand’s gambling regulations. They can break the rules and laws put into place to protect Kiwi bettors. They are also immune to any claims for damages if anything goes wrong. Because most of these sites are run by criminal organisations, they are prone to unfair and unlawful business practices.
How the DIA is Battling Fake NZ Sites
Recently, the DIA announced that it is reaching out to web hosting providers to ask them to take down offshore websites using ‘.nz’ domain names.
While online gambling at offshore sites in New Zealand is legal, authorities don’t recommend this as they aren’t able to provide any oversight should anything go wrong for Kiwi players.
For great sites that accept Kiwi players, check out our list of recommended casinos.