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Gambling in Tokelau

Gaming Laws in the Tokelau Islands

By Reno Rollins

There is no organized gambling on the island of Tokelau. It is unknown whether or not it would be legal to do so, but the small population and meager incomes of the residents are more than enough to prevent the gambling industry from flourishing.

Facts About Tokelau

Tokelau is comprised of three coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, each of which is considered a territory of New Zealand. Tokelau, sometimes referred to as The Union Islands or Tokelau Islands, is considered a Non-Self-Governing Territory.

The islands of Tokelau are situated halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. They are around 500 miles north of Samoa.

The islands which comprise Tokelau are: Atafu, once known as the Duke of York Group, Nukunonu, once known as the Duke of Clarence Group, and Fakaofo, which was also known as Bowditch Island. A fourth island, Swains Island, also exists, but it has been under the control of the United States since 1925.

Evidence suggests that the atolls were settled around 1000 years ago. Atafu was discovered in 1765 by Commodore John Byron. Nukunonu was discovered in 1791. Fakaofo was discovered in 1835.

All total, the three islands have a combined population of less than 1,500. The Polynesian residents speak both Tokelauan and English. Many of those born on the islands have emigrated to New Zealand or Samoa.

Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state for Tokelau. An appointed head of government represents her in these matters.

Tokelau has the smallest economy of any country in the world. Per capita, their annual purchasing power is estimated to be $1,000. They receive financial aid from New Zealand, as well as having medical and educational services provided.

In recent years, Tokelau has sold its domain name, .tk, in order to increase its GDP. This has also allowed the country to get Internet access for residents and more computers.

Many children travel to New Zealand to receive an education. Each year around Christmas, they load up on boats and come back to the island to see their families. Once the holidays are over, they head back again for another year of study.

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