New Zealand Wages War On Illegal Casino URLs

Tia Winter | 24 April 2019

Foreign global online operators have supposedly caught on to the fact that they are able to pass as local New Zealand sites by making use of .nz domains. The real problem is that not all of New Zealand’s citizens are familiar with the country’s gambling laws. If they had been, they would have realised that the sites were in fact operated by offshore operators, as online gambling offered by locally based operators isn’t legal in the country.

The issue is that illegal operators; also known as black-market operators; are impersonating legitimately licensed operators by making use of New Zealand web addresses. The country has started to wage an outright war on rogue operators but cannot do much more than shut down their online operations, as the operators aren’t based in New Zealand itself. To date, 13 rogue operator sites have been identified as making use of local NZ domains. 

Criminal Activities And More

The actual problem is the fact that many of these operators are suspected of criminal activities and are making use of the platforms to launder money. But dirty cash is the least of it, as some of the sites have all sorts of dubious connections. By accessing the services and games offered by black-market operators, players are subjecting themselves to everything from identity theft to having all of their money stolen.

In addition to the immediate and obvious losses, there are also issues relating to player protection that must be taken into consideration. Being unlicensed, rogue operators do not care for things like age verification and responsible gambling and as such, do not bother to enforce the necessary safeguards.

They are exclusively interested in achieving their own sordid targets, with no regard whatsoever to anyone on the other side of the transaction.

Beware The Illusion

New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs has confirmed that it has made contact with the majority of the unlicensed sites making use of .nz domains and has ordered them to take the sites offline with immediate effect.

One of the operators, in an obvious attempt to create the illusion of a government-affiliation, even went as far as using the New Zealand’s Coat of Arms as its official logo.