Ban on Online Gambling With Credit Cards on New Zealand’s Mind

Implementing a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling is being considered by the government agency, New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs that is responsible for regulating gambling on the country’s territory.

As SKYCITY Entertainment Group, the local casino operator’s preparations hot up to make its primary entry into the online gaming scene, news arrived about the probable initiation of a ban on credit card gambling.

The state-run Lotto and TAB are the only authorized operators allowed to supply online gambling services within New Zealand under the existing law of the country. Earlier this year, however, it appears that for the launch of its first online casino, SKYCITY, which operates casino and four hotel assets across New Zealand, joined forces with a Malta-based online gambling company.

Fuelled by Gaming Innovation Group, the online casino platform for betting and gaming operations and technology provider, the online gaming operation will be controlled by SkyCity Malta, SKYCITY’s Maltese holding.

There were mixed reactions to SKYCITY’s decision to foray into the online gambling sector. There were apprehensions that the skycitycasino launch would make the community turn to a recognized brand that would feed their gambling appetites, resulting in amplified gambling addiction cases.

The Department of Internal Affairs was perhaps, provoked to review the nation’s gambling laws and consider a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling, in the wake of these concerns.

The Potential Ban

Whether a ban on credit cards would be introduced in New Zealand or not, the move is believed to shield local gambling customers from unwarranted expenditures on gambling websites that are not maintained by qualified local authorities.

Close on the heels of the UK Gambling Commission’s announcement for convening a twelve-week discussion beginning mid-August to decide whether to ban credit cards online gambling, news arrived about New Zealand’s likely banning of gambling-related credit cards transactions.

There were rumours last month that, come 1 July, Australian bank Macquarie would commence blocking all transactions that fall under merchant codes gambling. As per suggestions, it is believed more banks could follow the same trend. 

As cited earlier, only two operators are permitted to conduct online gambling from inside the country, under New Zealand law. Nevertheless, by making Malta its operational base, SKYCITY is bypassing the existing regulations.

To guarantee that customers are given the prospect for “enjoying their play in a secure and safe environment”, the operator has assured that its site would incorporate the necessary practices and apparatus.

SKYCITY going live with an online casino validates the need for fresh, stringent gambling policies in the country, feel many New Zealand legislators. The initial step toward some kind of reformation of the local market seems to be the prospective ban on gambling with credit cards.