Major Online Casino Exploits Kiwi Legal Loophole

18 May 2018, by Shihaam Isaacs

Major Online Casino Exploits Kiwi Legal Loophole

The online casino industry is massive and, according to most digital gambling experts, is set to continue growth well into 2018/2019. Not only is the online casino industry one of the most significant sectors on the net, but it is also one of the most competitive. There are hundreds of online casinos operating on the web right now, and more are launching every month. Many of the newer online casinos are even more exciting, offering the latest cutting-edge games that web technology can produce. Competition is fierce to say the least, so it is little wonder then that online casinos will find any way possible to get their particular brand across to potential customers.

On the flipside of the coin, gambling addiction, whether that be online or real-world gambling, has risen dramatically over the past few years. In fact, one can place a direct correlation between the expansion of the gambling industry and the rise in gambling addiction. This is particularly true when it comes to online casinos since signing up, depositing real money, and playing online casino games is quick and easy, taking less than five minutes to complete. So, from this point of view, it’s also quite easy to see how authorities, such as the New Zealand government, really see the need to take drastic steps to curb or combat the issues that lead to gambling addiction, which includes a ban on casino advertisements in mainstream media outlets.

How One Online Casino Found and Exploited a Simple Loophole

New Zealand strictly regulates online gambling and, other than state-owned and run lotteries, and Totalisator Agency Board betting facilities (TAB). It is currently illegal for any New Zealand-based companies to offer online gambling to New Zealand citizens, although it is legal for Kiwis to gamble online at off-shore online facilities. Also, advertising or promoting any form of gambling, or the online operators that offer gambling services is considered a contravention of the New Zealand Gambling Act.

But, there is a loophole in the law and Jackpot City, one of the biggest online casino operators on the web, is exploiting it for all it’s worth. The Gambling Act stipulates that it is illegal to advertise online gambling in New Zealand, but this only applies to real money gambling. Dot-net websites are not included in this ruling since they are considered to be free to play websites, not the same as gambling for real money.

Jackpot City, one of the largest online casinos on the web, has found a smart way to exploit this difference to draw in new players from New Zealand by advertising on New Zealand’s Three Channel. Jackpot City has been running new ads during prime time programming, including catchy lines like “Play for free at Jackpotcity.net and get treated as a VIP, 24/7. Jackpot City – a whole world of casino games” and “At JackpotCity.net, you can do amazing things with just one casino chip,” and some other tempting adverts.

But here’s the really clever bit.

When prospective players, looking to have some fun at a free to play (social) online casino, enter Jackpot City into Google (for example), they don’t land on the .net site. Instead, seem only to find .com or even .org Jackpot City sites, all of which are in fact real money casino sites, offering huge bonuses to sign up and play real money online casino games. Stroke of genius or blatant exploitation?