June 8, 2023 3 min read


Entain Gets Scrutinized over Illegal Advertisements in NZ

Entain is expected to breathe new life into NZ gaming but things are not off to a good start

Entain, which recently teamed up with TAB New Zealand, has breached the New Zealand Gambling Act by illegally promoting its products. This comes less than a week after the company secured ministerial approval in the country.

Entain took over TAB NZ after Racing Minister Kieran McAnulty approved the move, allowing the company to operate TAB for the next 25 years. Entain is expected to breathe new life into NZ gaming, investing $900 million in the local racing industry over the next five years.

However, things are not off to a good start as the government learned that Entain had sent sports betting advertisements to customers after the ministerial approval but before the TAB NZ deal went through. While NZ doesn’t have the strictest regulations on gambling, it prohibits promotions by offshore operators.

According to reports, Entain sent out emails incentivizing players to participate in a “fantastic sports betting offer.”

New Zealand’s Laws Are Outdated

New Zealand’s Gambling Act 2003 is largely believed to be outdated. While no legislation prevents offshore gaming, the law clearly bans the advertising of foreign gambling sites to local audiences.

Entain addressed the matter, saying that it would support immediate regulation in the country. However, a spokesperson emphasized that the current regulations do not prohibit sites from transacting with customers in New Zealand.

Entain’s representative promised that the company has been working hard to shut down its unlicensed brands in NZ following the ministerial approval of its partnership with TAB NZ. The process of closing Party Casino and Bwin in the country is already underway, the spokesperson claimed.

Despite the breach, McAnulty hopes that Entain will do everything in its power to comply with the rules while minimizing gambling harm, as per the Act. He is optimistic that Entain’s scale and experience will allow TAB NZ to provide better harm minimization than what NZ currently has.

While only TAB and Lotto can offer legal online gambling in New Zealand, the reality is that the region is constantly targeted by foreign companies. The lack of strict legislation makes New Zealand a nice target for companies seeking lax rules.

However, regulating online gambling is something that is often discussed, meaning that legislative change might be introduced in the near future.

Not the Only Trouble for Entain

This is not the only trouble Entain has been involved in. Last year, the company was slammed with a huge multi-million fine over multiple AML breaches in the United Kingdom. In more recent times, the company was caught red-handed secretly lobbying against UK’s white paper.

In April, the operator received a fine in Australia over illegal gambling products. At the same time, Entain continues to deal with an HMRC investigation.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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