Responsible gambling: thinking beyond NZ dollars

On this page we explain why it’s important to make sure you keep gamble responsibly, how to spot any issues even from their early stages and what to do if you’re facing problems with gambling. New Zealand responsible gambling pledge

At we make sure that any NZ online casino we recommend shares our same priorities regarding player safety. All our recommended casinos offer a strong and easily-accessible responsible gambling that offers a lifeline to players who may be struggling.

We will refuse to recommend any New Zealand online gambling site that doesn’t protect the interests of players, and this is why when we are carrying out reviews, our experts spend a long time testing the responsible gambling tools available.

Once we’re satisfied that all the necessary support is accessible, then we can move on to gauging the rest of the casino’s offerings, like bonuses and games.

Top tips on how to play responsibly

We advise all players to be familiar with the concept of responsible gambling, so as to be able to safeguard your well-being from the very start. Below, we’re going to offer a checklist of things to look out for so that you can nip any problem in the bud.

  • 1

    Pick reputable and licensed online casinos

    Those online casinos recommended by NZ have already passed all these security checks, so you don’t need to research further.

  • 2

    Check your playing history

    Are you favouring playing time over time with your family or friends? Or maybe it’s detracting from your work performance? These are both red flags.

  • 3

    Set personal limits

    Plan a budget that you’re willing to spend and don’t exceed it. Make sure this is your disposable income, not money you should be spending on food and other necessities.

  • 4

    Don’t gamble under the influence

    No-one makes the best decisions in these scenarios as you won’t be thinking logically.

  • 5

    Understand bonus terms

    It’s important to be aware of wagering requirements and other terms so as not to be pressured into spending more than you realised.

  • 6

    Don't chase losses

    Sometimes you lose, that’s life. Don’t spend more than you budgeted just to ‘give it one more try’.

  • 7

    Test some demos before spending real money

    Free online casino games will give you a good indication whether they are for you or whether you’d rather be doing something else.

How to keep gambling fun

The healthy way to enjoy gambling is by viewing it as a hobby. If you find yourself using it as a substitute for other social activities, you need to take a step back and understand whether gambling has stopped being fun and become a problem. The same applies if you realise that gambling has taken over all other areas of your life. On the other hand, if you treat it like any other hobby - there to serve you when you like - you’re on the right track.


Gambling support in NZ

If you do realise that gambling has become an issue for you, don’t panic. There is a lot of help available to help you overcome this hurdle and to take you back to a good place. In New Zealand there are various support groups and professional organisations to accompany you on this journey of well-being. Let’s take a look at your options below.

Getting professional help with gambling addiction in New Zealand

Taking the step to ask for help is not an easy one, but there’s no reason to be anxious or scared. New Zealand boasts several organisations with people who are especially trained in helping others overcome gambling problems, and you will receive the best professional care discreetly and for free. Here are some of the top organisations you can reach out to:

The Problem Gambling Foundation

The Problem Gambling Foundation

Trained counsellors will offer advice both to you and the people around you who have been affected by gambling. The help you receive will be free and confidential.


Safer Gambling Aotearoa

Safer Gambling Aotearoa

This is run by the NZ Health Promotion Agency and aims to minimise gambling harm within New Zealand communities. They also offer a handy ‘test your gambling’ quiz if you’re unsure whether you’ve crossed the line from fun to harm.


Gambling Helpline

Gambling Helpline

This is a national freephone service that you can call 24/7. This support network offers a number of services and also accepts anonymous calls. You can call confidentially or send a free text on 8006.


The Salvation Army New Zealand

The Salvation Army New Zealand

Players and their family are welcomed into a supportive environment with support and guidance given via their Oasis facility.


What is gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction is the opposite of responsible gambling. Responsible gambling involves making conscious choices that ensure gambling remains a fun activity that you can control. Gambling addiction, on the other hand, arises when you find yourself in a situation where you are not managing to stay in control over your gambling patterns and you end up spending more money and more time than you can afford.

What causes gambling addiction?

There is no one thing that causes gambling addiction. A form of mental disorder, there are several things that can lead to addictive behaviour. Some of them may be psychological, particularly if we are going through a difficult time and we use gambling as a means to make us forget this.

For others, it can be a genetic reason, or even perhaps peer pressure. We can’t really know what the reasons are behind gambling addiction. All we know is that it can happen to anyone, but that there are steps that we can take to try and avoid it.

Warning signs of gambling problems

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your gambling habits, because gambling addiction happens slowly, over time, rather than from one day to the next. There are certain signs that, if spotted in time, can help you stop the problem in its tracks. If your behaviour is showing any of the below signs, now is the time to take action.

  • 1
    You rely on gambling to make money: money should never substitute your real job. It’s a risky endeavour that should be viewed as playing with disposable money, rather than earning a living.
  • 2
    You are keeping your gambling secret: this is possibly because you know that your loved ones and friends would spot the signs that you’re having problems, and you don’t want to face them.You are taking out loans so as to continue gambling: This is a sign that your spending is spiralling out of control and going beyond disposable income.
  • 3
    You are suffering from bouts of anxiety or depression: Your subconscious is already aware that there’s something wrong and is giving you signs to stop and think.
  • 4
    You’re no longer taking good care of yourself: Gambling has become more important than eating well, then grooming yourself or even socialising with other people.

If you spot any of the above signs, stop and think. On this page you’ll find plenty of support options that won’t cost you a dollar so you don’t need to face this challenge alone.

Why playing at a licensed casino is important

Background and Safety Check

One of the first things we mentioned in relation to responsible gambling is the importance of playing at a trustworthy and reputable casino. This is because such platforms will not encourage you to make bad decisions related to gambling.

This is why at we only recommend NZ online casinos that are licensed by a reputable gambling regulator. A gambling license automatically means that the site is held legally accountable to protect players and to promote safe and responsible gambling.

All our sites are licensed by bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao eGaming and the UK Gambling Commission among others, with some even boasting more than one gambling license.

How are NZ online casinos preventing addiction?

Besides age verification, NZ online casinos offer a suite of responsible gambling tools to help prevent addiction, identify it, and even provide solutions that help. Let’s take a more detailed look at the facilities you can expect to find at a licensed NZ casino.

Casino reality check

Ever wondered how much you can trust online casinos? We’ve examined the biggest online gambling myths for you. Plus, see how welcome bonuses really work.

Casino responsible gambling tools for NZ players

Our recommended casinos offer a number of responsible gambling tools that are easy to access for players. These are usually found within the ‘responsible gambling’ tab of the site and include the following:

Setting personal limits

Setting personal limits

This tool offers a way to keep control over various aspects of gambling. Most NZ casinos will allow you to set deposit, loss and bet size so that you don’t exceed your personal thresholds. You can even set up session time limits so that you don’t spend more time gambling than you really want to.

Cooling off periods

Cooling off periods

Sometimes you may feel like it’s a good idea to take a bit of a break from gambling. This feature will allow you to tell the casino that you want to take a specified break, maybe for a few weeks or months. Throughout this time you won’t be able to log back in so as to give you time for a reality check.



For those who are facing tougher challenges brought about by gambling, it may be time to ask the casino to bar you from playing. To do this you will usually need to get in touch with customer support and they will act up on it within 24 hours. Typically, self-exclusion can be for a period of one year or permanent.

Gambling website blocking tools

There are also a number of support tools that you can implement yourself so as to create a safer environment. If you know that temptation is a problem for you, set up your social media profiles and your computer to hide gambling adverts.

On Facebook and Instagram, you can choose to hide gambling adverts by adjusting your advert preferences or simply clicking on the ‘x’ if an advert comes up. You can also do the same on Google and YouTube via the Ad Personalisation feature.

Protecting children from underaged gambling in New Zealand

In New Zealand, it is illegal to gamble if you’re underage, and this applies even to online casinos.

All licensed NZ online casinos have a very strict ‘no underage gambling’ policy, and this is another reason why it’s so important to pick a licensed casino. Anyone who is trying to register for the first time will be asked for age verification methods such as proof of identity and date of birth.

These sites are also regularly audited by independent parties, so if they don’t deliver on these legal requirements they will be handed a huge fine and may have their license suspended or revoked.

As an adult player, you can protect your children by ensuring that your computer profile is locked at all times if you access gambling sites. Don’t leave your device unattended when you’re logged on to a gambling site, and make sure you speak to your children about the dangers of gambling.

  • Talk to your children about gambling. Explain to them what gambling is, and why it can be both a fun and enjoyable pastime while also potentially being harmful. Talk to them about the risks of gambling, such as losing money, getting into debt, and developing a gambling addiction.
  • Set a good example. If you gamble, make sure that you do so responsibly. Don't gamble more than you can afford to lose, and don't let gambling interfere with your work, school, or relationships. Always prioritise the needs of your child over any gambling related activity.
  • Monitor your children's online activity. Be aware of the websites that your children are visiting, and the games that they are playing. Many online games now include gambling elements, and it's important to be aware of these so that you can talk to your children about them.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of loot boxes. Related to monitoring online activity, it’s important to address loot boxes in video games. These are a type of in-game purchase that gives players a random chance of winning a prize. Loot boxes have been linked to gambling addiction, and it's important to talk to your children about the risks before they start buying them.
  • Teach your children about financial responsibility: Help them to understand the value of money, and how to make wise financial decisions. This will help them to avoid getting into debt, and to make better choices about gambling.
  • Use blocking tools to add a layer of protection: Using parental control tools such as NetNanny (where available) to block potentially harmful sites from being accessed by children is a great way to help protect kids from problem gambling. While the industry is regulated and most markets have legal minimum age requirements for gambling, unregulated and unsafe sites exist. By installing blocking tools you can keep your child from accessing these sites in the first place.
  • Be supportive: If you are concerned that your child may be at risk of developing, or have already developed, a gambling problem, be supportive and offer your help. There are many resources available to help children and families who are struggling with gambling problems and can be a big help when dealing with the issue.
  • Stay informed: Keeping yourself updated on what's legal in New Zealand means you can pass on accurate information to your child to keep them safe.
Why NZ prioritises responsible gambling is deeply committed towards helping make sure that gambling remains a fun activity for all players. We want to create a safe gambling environment for all and our aim is to raise awareness among players about how to avoid common pitfalls. For this reason, we will always highlight the safety aspects of any casino we review and we will always offer a balanced view that encourages players to play responsibly.

Responsible gambling FAQs

What is responsible gambling?

Responsible gambling is when you view gambling as a casual hobby, and when you set your own time and money limits and have no issue meeting them.

What is problem gambling?

Problem gambling is when the activity takes on an undue importance in your life, changing it from fun to an issue that affects your life, your work or your personal relationships.

How do I know if I’m addicted to gambling?

There are several signs that point at gambling addiction. If you find that you cannot control the time or money spent on gambling, then it is time to seek help from one of the gambling support organisations mentioned on this page.

Who can I speak to about problem gambling?

In New Zealand there are several organisations that offer help for problem gambling. These will offer free, professional and confidential advice to help you pull through.

What limits can I set?

Our recommended casinos offer a number of safe gambling tools. These include loss, bet and time limits, as well as time outs and self-exclusion. You will be able to access these from the ‘responsible gambling’ tab at the casino.

Ramona Depares

Written by Ramona Depares

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NZ casino expert

Ramona Depares is an award-winning journalist focused on cultural and entertainment related content. Based in the Mediterranean gaming hub of Malta, she has taken a deep interest in gambling related news since the earliest days and has seen the global landscape evolve. Ramona specialises in the legal and regulatory aspects of gaming across multiple jurisdictions, with specific interest in NZ and US markets. She is also a best-selling author of fiction and non-fiction books.