New Zealand Gambling Tax – Your Definitive Guide For 2022

The topic of NZ gambling taxation isn’t exactly exciting. So if you’re looking for fun and amusement, sorry.
But since you’ve probably searched Google wanting to know about casino tax in our country, you’re in the right place.
And (spoiler alert) I have great news for you.

Let’s start with the biggest question and one that’s beautifully simple to answer…

Do You Have To Pay Taxes On Gambling Winnings In New Zealand?

No – you don’t have to pay taxes on your gambling winnings. They are complete tax-free in New Zealand.

How awesome is that? We don’t have to pay tax on what we win and neither do our Aussie counterparts.
Which is super lucky given folks in the USA are looking at around 24% tax on their winnings. Oof.

Why Aren’t Gambling Winnings Taxed In NZ?

They’re not taxed because gambling and casino gaming is viewed as a recreational activity or hobby.
I’m only answering this as people get curious about it. I’m certainly not complaining that our lovely winnings are tax free!

Are Lottery Wins Taxed In New Zealand?

No – wins from the lotto are completely tax free in NZ. So if you’re lucky enough to win the jackpot, all that money is yours to keep.
Or you can send some my way to boost my roulette bankroll 🙂

Is Crypto Gambling Taxed In NZ?

Although the Act currently doesn’t explicitly mention crypto gambling, it falls under the umbrella of gambling and therefore isn’t taxed.
Crypto gambling is a new industry so I would expect to see explicit guidance from the NZ Government in future.
(Again – Australia doesn’t pay tax here either but the US does).

What About Online Casino Winnings?

Relax, dear reader – online roulette and other casino winnings are not taxable!

So now you know the good (great!) news, let’s find out more.

Income Tax Act 2007

The piece of legislation we have to thank for not paying tax is the Income Tax Act 2007. This Act had public assent on 1 November 2007.
The act is administered by the Inland Revenue Department.

It’s not to be confused with the UK’s version of it – co-incidentally also called the Income Tax Act 2007!

The Act stipulates things around New Zealand gambling tax like:

  • What income is taxable
  • What income is exempt
  • How it is taxed
  • How tax is calculated

This is a wide reaching Act which covers income sources such as:

  • Dividends
  • Investments
  • Employment/self-employment income
  • Property
  • Overseas investments
  • Life assurance
  • Pensions
  • Benefits

….and tons more. It’s a hefty document to say the least, with over 3800 pages. (And no I haven’t read them all – I’m too busy playing roulette tax-free:) )

But You Do Need To Declare Winnings If..

If you are on Special Benefit, Temporary Additional Support or Accommodation Support, you need to declare gambling winnings if you’re getting an income from them.
If you’re in any doubt at all about whether yours should be declared, contact them – it’s not worth risking it.

What Taxes Do Casinos Pay In New Zealand?

So us lucky gamblers don’t pay anything in tax for our winnings. What about the casinos, are they so lucky?
Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, no. Let’s look at how it’s taxed.

The percentage varies according to the type of gambling.
Each carries a ‘duty‘ and a ‘problem gambling levy‘. I’ve spoken about problem gambling in New Zealand before and the levy shows how seriously the Government takes it.

Here’s how the types of gambling are taxed for the operators:

Type Of GamblingHow It’s Taxed
Gaming machines1) Gaming machine duty (20%)
2) Problem gambling levy (1.08%)
Lottery1) Lottery duty (5.55%)
2) Problem gambling levy (0.44%)
Totalisator / TAB1) Totalisator duty (was 1.33% but from 1 July 2021 is 0%)
2) Problem gambling levy (0.76%)
Casino Operators1) Casino duty (4%)
2) Problem gambling levy (0.87%)

Links & Further Reading

Do Australians have to pay taxes on gambling winnings?

No – our Aussie friends also benefit from tax free casino and betting winnings!

What is the Gambling Act 2003?

This is the key piece of legislation that covers the law in NZ for gambling (both online and live).
You can read more about it in our guide to NZ gambling laws and also the official site here.

Do I have to pay tax if I win on the lotto?

No, the lotto winnings are also exempt from tax in New Zealand.
Not something most of us will have to worry about in our lifetimes, but is good to know!

So which countries do pay tax on gambling winnings?

Loads! The worst are Germany, France, Austria and Luxembourg., We have it easy here in New Zealand!

What should I do if I win big?

You can PayPal it to me:)