New Zealand Poker Sites

If you’re a Kiwi poker player, life is pretty good. You’ve got plenty of New Zealand poker sites eager to accept your action, and you can gamble online without any legal hassle. For the most part, New Zealand players shouldn’t have any problems playing on a New Zealand poker site. This page lists the best legal New Zealand poker rooms, in addition to answering some of the more common questions from NZ players. This includes; What are the laws that govern online gambling in New Zealand? Do Kiwis have to pay taxes on gambling winnings? What are some New Zealand-friendly deposit methods? And which are the best New Zealand poker sites online?

What Are the Best New Zealand Poker Sites?

Players from New Zealand tend to flock to two main poker sites: 888 Poker and Party Poker. Both are excellent choices. A third site, Winner Poker, isn’t quite as well known; but it’s an up-and-comer that all New Zealand players should consider and of course Pokerstars, the largest poker site worldwide.


Is Online Poker Legal in New Zealand?

Simple answer: pretty much. Less-simple answer: not entirely.

It is not illegal for New Zealand residents to play online poker on sites based outside of NZ. Since there aren’t really any poker sites headquartered in New Zealand, in practice this means that residents can legally play online poker almost everywhere.

It is, however, illegal for residents to play at New Zealand poker sites operating from within the country. So if you find a poker site that claims to be based in New Zealand, and you live in New Zealand, don’t play on that poker site.

Like most pieces of gambling legislation, New Zealand’s is aimed mainly at protecting the State’s monopoly over gambling. Note that it isn’t illegal for the State to operate a gambling site within the country, and it isn’t illegal for citizens to gamble on a State-run site.

The moral of the story is that gambling isn’t a crime, as long as you’re paying your government for the privilege.

In case you’re interested, all the gory details of NZ gambling law are contained in a single act: the GAMBLING Act of 2003. If you’ve got a thing for long, boring walls of text, read the full Act here.

Can I Safely Play at a Poker Site Open to New Zealand Players?

Yes, feel free to fire up your poker account whenever the mood strikes. Since it isn’t illegal to play online poker at a foreign-run site, you’re good to go.

If I Win Money on a New Zealand Poker Site, Do I Have to Pay Income Tax?

Probably not. As always, though, it’s good to consult a financial professional before making any tax decisions. I’m not an accountant, so I can only give an informed opinion.

According to the news outlet STUFF, the Inland Revenue Department only requires gamblers to pay taxes when gambling is more than a hobby or pastime. How they define “hobby or pastime”, who knows. It could be a function of gross winnings, or it may be a function of consistency of income.

If online poker is a source of income for you rather than a mere hobby, your winnings may be taxable. Again, consult a professional financial advisor if you want to figure out whether your gambling is a hobby or an income-producing activity.

Can I Deposit at a New Zealand Poker Site in NZD?

Most New Zealand poker sites won’t let you deposit straight to a NZD account. You’ll usually have to convert your funds to one of four major currencies: USD, CAD, GBP, or EUR.

The conversion process is automatic, so it’s not hard to do. Simply make your deposit through a poker site’s cashier, and the site will apply current exchange rate data to your transaction. Your funds will be converted from NZD to the account currency of your choice automatically.

What Deposit Methods Can I Use at New Zealand Poker Sites?

You can use all kinds of deposit methods at NZ poker sites, from e-wallets to credit cards.

The most popular e-wallets for Kiwis are NETELLER and Skrill. Both are excellent services. You simply sign up, fund your e-wallet using either a bank account or a credit card, and then transfer cash from your e-wallet to a poker site. It couldn’t be any easier.

What’s more, e-wallets are by far the safest way to move money around online. NETELLER uses 128-bit encryption technology for all transactions, and implements a number of real-time security measures designed to prevent fraud and theft. Money transfer is a serious business, and both NETELLER and MoneyBookers are as secure as it gets.

If you don’t want to use an e-wallet, no problem – most New Zealand poker sites will accept your credit card as a payment method. VISA and MasterCard are popular options, and both are widely accepted. If you don’t have a credit card, you can purchase prepaid VISA cards and MasterCards at certain retail outlets. These work well for online poker deposits.