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New Zealand Court Rules Poker Tournaments are not Gambling

New Zealand FlagAccording to PokerNews.com, in landmark news for poker, a New Zealand court has decided that .net ads are not promotions for gambling operators, and that poker tournaments are not gambling.


In the first case of its kind, his Honor Justice David J Harvey has dismissed all of the charges, and the court's key findings are as follows:

  • The pokerstars.net website is not promotion of a gambling operator, promotion of gambling overseas, or likely to induce New Zealanders to gamble overseas.
  • The pokerstars.net website is not a gambling website nor is it synonymous with pokerstars.com.
  • Poker tournaments are not "gambling" in terms of the Act because they are a competition, with an entry fee, and pay prize money at the end (as opposed to roulette or craps which are based solely on chance).

This ruling is good news for online poker players everywhere, as New Zealand becomes one of the first countries to make a distinction between games of skill and games of chance.  Whether or not the United States and the rest of the world follow remains to be seen.

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