Progressive Jackpots and the New Zealand Law

An interesting law surrounds online casino gambling in New Zealand. While the country has a pretty flexible betting regulation system, a section of the functional Gambling Act of 2003, prohibits ‘remote interactive gambling,’ which is defined as ‘gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device.’

In essence, this clause outlaws online gambling. But, the same practice is hugely popular in the country, and none of the participants is breaking the law. How so, you ask?

Leeway for Online Casinos

Well, this law is specifically meant to govern casinos based within New Zealand’s borders. It gives a leeway for punters to place stakes in online casinos that are found offshore. Looks like a significant oversight in the law, really.

Except it is not. New Zealand authorities know pretty well the amount of money that circulates through the gambling industry and are not just about to expel it from their system, with a restriction on foreign gambling sites.

This leeway has made the practice of staking on progressive jackpots thrive significantly in New Zealand. For the benefit of those not in the know, progressive jackpots are potential pay-outs, that go a notch higher every time a bet is placed, and not won. Due to a large number of people already betting on the lucrative jackpot, the amount payable can rise quite fast. The jackpot amount goes back to default and starts climbing again, once it is won.

Favourable Taxation

Another legal leeway that makes these jackpots very popular is the taxation system. In New Zealand, gambling winnings are almost never taxed (notice the word ‘almost’). While many people may assume that the reason for this is because the betting houses have already paid taxes, the correct reason is that gambling is classified as a recreational, rather than income-generating, activity.

The word ‘almost’ used earlier, means that a person’s betting winnings can be taxed if they are considered a form of income. This happens in the event a gambler goes professional or appears to not have any other income, besides the gambling winnings.

Progressive Jackpots Across Platforms

There are currently no restrictions on the various online betting games that can have progressive jackpots. From slot games to card games, and sports stakes, the payout can grow as bettors keep missing out. With virtual gaming brought about by a live dealership, games move quite fast. They are also able to accommodate more players at one time, hence a meteoric rise in the jackpot payout.

The Mobile Craze

The entrance of mobile gaming into the gambling fray has thrown the entire industry into a new spin. Gamblers always have their mobile devices with them, meaning they can bet anywhere, at any time. This has dramatically increased the number of people chasing a progressive jackpot at a time. This has had three results:

  • The jackpot grows even faster
  • It is won more often
  • The winnings are fairly huge each time

With the popularity of foreign online casinos in New Zealand, it is only a matter of time before those based within the country demand equal treatment.