How to Start an Online Casino in New Zealand

Online casinos are becoming more and more popular than ever before. However, if you want to start an Online Casino Affiliate in New Zealand, specific laws and regulations (the gambling act) must be followed. While the government of New Zealand does not regulate the operation of online casino sites, the country does have a licensing process that all online casino operators must follow.

Opening a New Casino Online

First, a submission to a gambling commission is required. The commission will then look at the application and get back to you with their ruling.

If this is approved, a license must be purchased from New Zealand’s Lotteries Commission which costs $110 000 NZD (approximately US$7500). However, if your online casino games business has total assets of less than NZD 2 million, a reduced license fee of only $5500 can be paid.

The best online casino must also have at least two directors registered with the New Zealand Companies Office and own more than 10% of your business’s shares.

Additionally, you will need to appoint a New Zealand resident as a trustee of the casino’s bank account. The online casino must also have at least one server located in New Zealand and offer customer service support to players via telephone or email-based out of NZ casinos.

If you want to start online gambling business, certain things need to be considered before you get started. Any gambling business in New Zealand must have a registered controller and responsible person and an approved license from the Commission for Gambling Compliance (CGC). Also, your casino needs to be protected by high-quality firewalls updated regularly with industry best practices in place.

If you want to start a gambling site in New Zealand but are unsure of the steps involved, a reputable provider could walk you through the process of setting up a site for online gambling games.

How to get started opening your own New Zealand online casinos:

1. Register a New Zealand company.

Before you do anything, you must declare yourself a legal business entity to the New Zealand government. You can do this online for NZ$150, and in 24 hours, you will be an official private limited company, now a legal entity. You will also be able to open a bank account in your company’s name and get started with opening an online casino in NZ.

2. Register an online gambling license (if required).

If you plan on offering real money games or sports betting, step one is not enough. You must apply for a specific online gaming or lottery license from the New Zealand government through their Gambling Commission portal.

3. Obtain an offshore license and software platform from a reputable provider

You need both of these to host your New Zealand online casinos, e-wallets, and payment processing systems (so you can accept deposits). These are often bundled together as part of the licensing process itself – you don’t need to work with two different providers at once. Because some gambling licenses require that certain types of games be hosted locally on local machines or specialised hardware/software platforms, we recommend that you work with a provider with local hosting options.

4. Design your graphics and game interface, or partner with an experienced third-party designer to help get the job done correctly for you

Your gambling sites must look professional from top to bottom to attract quality players who are serious about gambling online on their mobile phones and other digital devices (and eventually via VR). You want them thinking, “Wow, this is fun AND safe looking.”

5. Integrate your casino with a reputable payment gateway so that you can process credit card transactions and other e-wallets (such as PayPal, Skrill/Moneybookers etc.)

You will need to work on the back end of this under an established gambling license – because it is considered money laundering if not done in conjunction with a proper provider or licensed entity. Payment gateways are often bundled together into licensing packages from offshore providers too. Read more about how New Zealand online casinos get paid if you want a thorough understanding.

6. Connect your e-wallet to an international (or local) bank account for depositing and withdrawing funds from players’ accounts

Players must be able to deposit their money into “your business” so that they can play with real cash for you to make any serious profit off of them at some point down the line when they wager on games of chance.

7. Test, test and then test some more!

Once you have all the software components working properly together on your casino’s side of things, be sure to thoroughly beta-test it with a small number of players for them to give feedback about their experience playing at “your place”. Then fix any bugs or issues that come up, so everyone is happy when opening day arrives (or soon after). Most providers offer extensive support during this crucial time – be sure to take advantage of it.

8. Communicate your marketing and advertising plans with a reputable gaming PR team

So that you can get some excellent press mentions on international websites, magazines, newspapers, etc., which will attract more players who play online gambling games in the long run (and also bring them back again after they have had an awesome experience playing at “your place”).

9. Launch your online casino!

Get the word out and start collecting peoples’ money –  you are now in business as a New Zealand based offshore gambling operator – congratulations! We hope you become one of the best online casinos out there.

Final Thoughts

New Zealand is a great place to start an online gambling operation – and it’s relatively easy as long as you work with the right provider from day one. It also offers plenty of cool things for your players that other countries might not be able to provide due to government policies, like accepting New Zealand DOB verified passport details or kiwi phone number registration (overseas providers often ask users if they are in NZ). You could even host tournaments here, too, because no laws prevent it in the online gambling industry.

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan