New Zealand Considers Credit Card Ban For iGaming Transactions
Online gamblers in New Zealand could be in a spot of bother as they may no longer be able to make deposits using their credit cards. While most online casinos offer multiple banking methods, credit cards continue to be one of the most popular deposit methods for Kiwi players.
This is because the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs recently announced that it is considering banning credit cards from being used in online gambling activities. This is a strong step taken by New Zealand as so far the UK is the only other country that has discussed the possibility of banning credit cards in online gambling as a measure to curb the growing increase in problem gambling numbers.
Bad Timing For SkyCity
If the proposed credit card ban does push through, then it will have a negative impact on local casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group. The company is preparing to enter the online gambling market and this ban could present a big hurdle to its proposed launch.
New Zealand’s online gambling market is currently limited to TAB and the state-run Lotto. When SkyCity announced plans to enter the iGaming market in New Zealand market, it received a lot of flak as online gambling is currently banned in New Zealand. Gaming laws prohibit a company that is based in New Zealand from offering iGaming services but allow offshore operators to offer iGaming to Kiwis.
SkyCity already owns several hotel and casino properties across New Zealand and this entry into the market received a mix of reactions. The plan was for SkyCity’s Maltese subsidiary, SkyCity Malta to run the online gambling operation targeting the New Zealand market.
This move did not go down well with many legislators in the country and critics pointed out that the launch of SkyCity online gambling operations would increase the cases of gambling addiction as the SkyCity brand is very popular in the country.
Some analysts have stated that authorities could be targeting SkyCity by proposing to ban the use of credit cards at online gambling sites.
New Zealand Could Change Gambling Laws
As for the ban, it is still early days and there is not a lot of information available on what the authorities propose. The main goal for the ban appears to be very similar to the way UK authorities have framed it – a way to protect local gamblers from spending too much by using their credit card to bet at online gambling sites, especially on sites that are not covered by local gambling laws.
This might mean a general reform in New Zealand gambling laws as the government becomes more concerned with how gambling operators conduct their business.