New Zealand Government To Tighten Gambling Advertising Regulations

Use of “fee-to-play” adverts to attract online punters may be in the firing line

Online gambling companies that use “free-to-play” loopholes in New Zealand law to advertise and attract players for targeting with real money offers may find themselves facing tighter regulations in the future.

According to local media reports, the minister for Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, says the practice is “a clear indicator that current legislation is no longer fit for purpose.”

Noting that New Zealand gambling laws were written in 2003, Martin said:

“These are all new developments we just don’t have legislation for. These companies are going to push their way into this country, and we have to put in place updated legislation to manage that. If you leave a space, then someone will fill it.”

Minister Martin acknowledged that under current legislation there was little the government could do about “free-to-play” marketing, which skirted the definition of gambling.

She said that pleas by her department to gambling advertisers that their activities were contrary to the intent of gambling laws and should stop had gone unanswered.