Taxes on NZ Online Gambling

Each day, thousands of players from New Zealand engage in online gambling activities. Online casinos are not licensed or regulated in New Zealand.

However, this does not mean players do not have options. There are some super casino sites that are operating on other countries that will accept these players. Here, one can play for real money and have an experience just as they would at their favorite land-based casino venue.

Despite the lack of New Zealand casino sites, players continue to play online. There are no laws that restrict NZ players from signing up at offshore casino sites. Many of the popular choices are sites that are licensed in the UK, offering secure access to some of the best games online.

One thing players may be concerned about when playing online is taxes. It is important to understand any and all tax laws in New Zealand before playing real money games at a casino site. Here, we provide you with all the information you need to enjoy a safe and rewarding experience while abiding by New Zealand gambling laws.

By Amelia Smith - Updated 16/04/2024 - Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.

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Taxes on NZ Online Gambling
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Do Players Need to Pay Gambling Tax in New Zealand?

Luckily, we have good news for most of you guys. In most cases, you don’t need to pay any gambling tax as a resident of New Zealand. Australians also don’t need to pay any gambling tax, but did you know that Americans are subject to a 24% gambling tax and that players in some European countries have to pay as much as 30% gambling tax?

We said ‘’in most cases’’ because there is one exception in current legislation. Poker players are subject to paying gambling tax in New Zealand. The law states that if any amount of money is won as a source of income, the player needs to report this income and pay taxes based on what he or she has won.

However, it is up to the player to supply the Inland Revenue service with this information. The government-controlled institution has no means of checking in with offshore poker websites to check whether you have won money playing poker with them.

Online casino websites and poker rooms that cater to Kiwi players don’t have to report any payouts to New Zealand authorities. This means that these authorities, in essence, do not know whether players have won or lost playing online poker or other casino games.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the New Zealand tax authorities see gambling as a part-time hobby and cannot easily distinguish between casino and poker withdrawals.

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Gambling Taxes That Casinos in New Zealand Pay

Physical land-based casinos in New Zealand pay all sorts of taxes based on their profits and the types of casino games they offer their players and punters. Every type of gambling tax in New Zealand consists of a base ‘’Duty’’ and a ‘’Problem Gambling Duty,’’ the latter of which contributes to combating problem gambling in the country.

The rates of these gambling taxes are stated in the New Zealand Income Tax Act (1535/1992) and the Lottery Tax Act (552/1922), and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) administers these taxes.

Use the various tables below to see the different types of gambling and how they are taxed in New Zealand.

Casino Gambling Taxes in New Zealand

Type of TaxHow it is Taxed
Casino DutyPayable by casino operators on a yearly or quarterly basis: 4% of the net casino wins.
Problem Gambling Levy0,56% of the net casino wins.
Gaming Machine Duty20% of every gaming machine’s profits on a yearly or quarterly basis.

Gambling Taxes of Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) in Hotels and Clubs in New Zealand

Type of TaxHow it is Taxed
Gaming Machine Duty20% of every gaming machine’s profits on a yearly or quarterly basis.
Problem Gambling Levy0,78% of EGM profits.

Lotteries (New Zealand Lotteries Commission)

Type of TaxHow it is Taxed
Lottery Duty5,5% of the nominal value of all tickets represented in the drawing of any lottery, whether the tickets have been disposed of by sale or otherwise.
Problem Gambling Levy0,43% of turnover less prizes payable.

Wagering (Racing Industry Transition Agency)

Type of TaxHow it is Taxed
Totalisator Duty1,33% on betting profits for all racing and sports betting was payable by the Racing Industry Transition Agency. From 1 July 2021 the totalisator duty is set at 0% but the problem gambling levy is still payable.
Problem Gambling Levy0,52% of betting profits.

Tax iconOnline Gambling Officially Illegal in New Zealand

Did you know that online gambling is actually officially illegal in New Zealand? That’s right. Officially, all forms of remote interactive gambling are forbidden, including gambling on the internet, telephone, etcetera. The only exceptions are online sports betting and lotteries, which the Racing Board and Lotteries Commission are the only institutions to organize in New Zealand.

However, playing at foreign online casinos is not illegal, and for this reason, you can easily play at foreign online gambling websites without any legal repercussions. There are entire offshore casinos focused on NZ players where you can play your favorite pokies and other casino games and where you can bet on sports completely legally and without having to pay any gambling taxes on winnings. Did you know that even SkyCity started a casino on Malta to target New Zealand ?

Conclusion iconTax on Gambling in New Zealand - Conclusion

Luckily, casino players don’t need to worry about any gambling taxes in New Zealand. Not at physical land-based casinos or online. Poker players, on the other hand, should be a bit cautious with their withdrawals and people that receive benefits or temporary support shouldn’t be gambling too much either.

If you are a New Zealand resident, you can rest assured that you can legally play at offshore casinos based in other countries than New Zealand, as long as they have a valid gambling license in place and pay out their players fairly.

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Frequently asked questions about tax on (online) gambling in NZ

Why don’t players have to pay taxes on their gambling winnings in New Zealand?

Players don’t have to pay taxes on their gambling winnings in New Zealand because the government sees gambling as a recreational activity or hobby with a net negative expected result. Added to this, the casino operators pay tax already, and else gambling winnings would be double taxed.

Are lottery wins taxed in New Zealand?

No, even lottery wins are entirely tax-free in New Zealand. In the case you win a jackpot with either an online or offline lottery, you get to keep all the money and don’t have to pay any taxes.

Do I have to pay tax on crypto gambling wins in New Zealand?

No, the current gambling Act doesn’t mention cryptocurrencies at all, and this activity falls under online gambling, which isn’t taxed in New Zealand in the first place. Note that for individuals, a capital gains tax rate of 10,5% to 39% applies in New Zealand and that cryptocurrency gains from speculating on cryptocurrency markets may be subject to this type of tax. Consult your financial advisor to determine if you must pay any capital gains tax.

Do I need to declare casino winnings on my tax form?

No, you don’t need to declare casino winnings on your tax form. However, if you are receiving Special Benefit, Temporary Additional Support, or Accommodation Support, you will need to declare your casino winnings if you’re generating an income with them, for instance, by playing poker professionally.

Author: Amelia Smith

Amelia Smith

Amelia Smith knows a lot about different areas of gambling. She's been our main writer for most things since 2019. She spoke at a big conference in London in 2022 and has been recognized at several industry events.

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Article published 02/08/2020

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