Gambling has been a popular pastime for Kiwi players for a long time, with the first gambling activity in the country documented as early as the 1830s. During this time, players were focused primarily on horse racing. In 1913, when George Julius invented the ‘automatic totalisator’, or the tote board as it is known today. Since then, gambling in the country has thrived until online gaming was introduced in the mid 1990s. As such, the New Zealand government has had to put measures and legalities in place to regulate the online gaming market. Our guide covers the best online casinos in New Zealand and how to play legally in the country.
- 1 Online Gambling Legislation in New Zealand
- 2 Land-based Casinos in New Zealand
- 3 How to Choose an Online Casino
- 4 Types of Bonuses at Online Casinos in New Zealand
- 5 The Most Popular Casino Games in New Zealand
- 6 Live Casinos
- 7 Mobile Casinos
- 8 What Payment Methods are Available for Domestic Players?
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 FAQs for Online Casinos in New Zealand
Online Gambling Legislation in New Zealand
Gambling in all forms was prohibited for a long time in New Zealand, and under the Gambling Act 2003, all gambling in the country is prohibited unless authorised by the government. These days, the online gambling industry brings in a revenue of around $NZ 2 billion a year, with online pokies making up 35% of that total, casinos making up 26%, lotto accounting for 21% and sports betting making up 18%.
In New Zealand, gambling is categorised into four classes, and each class requires a special licence to legally operate in the country. There are also maximum prize amounts and turnovers for each, which differs according to the gambling class. Gambling activities that are prohibited in the country, including online gambling and bookmaking when playing at gambling sites based in New Zealand. Players of legal age can, however, play at offshore online casinos. The legal age for players to enter land-based casinos in New Zealand is 20 years old, while 18 years old is the legal age to particulate in sports betting, lotteries and scratch cards.
Land-based Casinos in New Zealand
New Zealand is an interesting and unique country, especially when it comes to its gambling laws. The country actually restricts registering new land-based casinos, which means that the current establishments offer a wealth of exciting opportunities to locals and international visitors. Presently, there are six land-based casinos in New Zealand, namely Dunedin Casino, Christchurch Casino, Sky City Auckland Casino, SKYCITY Hamilton, SKYCITY Queenstown and Wharf Casino.
This casino is a gateway location in New Zealand and a top option for visitors all over the world thanks to its incredible gaming opportunities and breath-taking architecture. It is conveniently located close to Dunedin International Airport, adding to the many reasons why this casino is so popular. The casino is designed to be reminiscent of the Victorian era and was established in 1999.
Aside from its jaw-dropping architecture and design elements, the casino is a gambling hotspot and features a wide variety of casino games to suit all needs and preferences. This includes electronic gaming machines like slots and video poker, as well as table games like all-time favourites blackjack and roulette, to name a few.
Sky City Auckland Casino
Sky City Auckland is the place to be for those looking for world-class entertainment and beauty in one location. This sensational land-based casino is the best New Zealand has to offer and is well-known for its affluence and luxury – perfect for high rolling players looking for a sought-after place to enjoy some of their favourite casino games.
The casino boasts a wide variety of gaming options, from gaming machines to traditional table games and everything in-between. When the hunger pangs start, Andy’s Burger Bar is the perfect place for a convivial respite while the attached hotel offers 5-star accommodation to rest your weary body after a long day of gambling action.
This is one of the oldest land-based casinos in New Zealand, having been established in 1994. This casino has managed to maintain an excellent reputation as one of the leading gambling venues in the country thanks to its top-class services and gaming opportunities for local and international players.
The casino is luxurious and regal, presenting visitors with a decadent gaming experience while still being welcoming and hospitable. In addition to gambling, Christchurch Casino is also great for families with many activities to keep everyone entertained, including a wealth of restaurants and bars.
How to Choose an Online Casino
In New Zealand, players are spoilt for choice with a variety of online casinos and gaming sites from which to choose. Due to the proliferation of online casinos on the internet, choosing the right site can be a difficult process, but that’s where we come in. Thanks to our team of die-hard gambling experts, we have compiled a list of top online casinos in New Zealand, so you don’t have to scour through every result you come across online. That said, there are certain things you need to look out for when choosing a gaming website to suit your specific needs and preferences.
Safety and Security
Due to the popularity of online gaming, you will come across some dodgy sites as everyone wants a piece of the online gambling pie, but not everyone wants to put in the hard work. As such, safety and security are important when choosing an online casino. The first thing you need to look out for is a gambling license. If the casino is licensed by a legitimate and reputable gambling authority, like the UK Gambling Commission, you know that it is regulated and proven safe. In addition, make sure that the casino uses the latest SSL encryption technology and additional firewalls and safety measures to ensure the protection of your personal data at all costs.
Since online casinos deal with real money transactions, it’s important that you choose a gaming website that offers a wealth of reputable and reliable banking methods for deposits and withdrawals. The casino must offer banking methods that Kiwi players can use, including credit and debit cards, e-wallets, cryptocurrency, bank transfers and more. Also, all withdrawals must be paid out in a timely manner, ideally within 24 – 48 business days.
Bonuses and Promotions
All online casinos should have a good variety of bonuses and special offers awarded to new and existing players. This can include welcome bonuses, sign-up offers, daily offers, seasonal promotions, loyalty points and VIP programs, to name a few. This proves that the casino is willing to incentivise players for their dedication and loyalty to the site. That said, bonus terms and conditions must be thoroughly read and understood, and wagering requirements should be fair and achievable in the required period of time.
The online casino must have a wide range of games to suit all needs, preferences, skill levels and budgets. The games lobby should be powered by well-known and reputable software providers; some casinos feature just one top-class developer while others offer multiple developers. The lobby should host various game categories, including online slots, table games, video poker, bingo, lottery games, scratch cards, live dealer games and more.
Customer support is important when playing at an online casino. Since you can access the site from anywhere in the world that the casino allows, knowing that you can get in touch with a customer support agent 24/7 makes all the difference in the world. Customer support should be available around the clock, and you should be able to get in touch via live chat, email or telephonically. There should also be a dedicated FAQ section covering all of the most important and regularly asked casino-related questions.
Types of Bonuses at Online Casinos in New Zealand
As mentioned above, bonuses are incredibly important at online casinos. In addition to attracting new players to the site, casino operators put promotions in place to incentivise existing players who have made deposits at the casino. In this way, everybody is rewarded for their dedication to the site. Typically, casinos should have a range of bonuses, promotions and special offers for players to choose, including welcome bonuses, ongoing promotions, loyalty programs, VIP schemes and more.
These bonuses do come with terms and conditions so you may not qualify for every offer on the site. There are also strict wagering requirements that must be met before you can claim any winnings earned from the bonus. Therefore, it is important that you read the terms and conditions in detail before proceeding with any bonus offer available at an online casino. Some of the most common and popular casino promotions available to Kiwi players include the following:
A welcome bonus is generally available to new players joining the casino for the first time. This bonus can be designed in numerous ways, although the standard is a match bonus on your first deposit, although it could consist of various matches on your first few deposits. In many cases, this deposit bonus is combined with a free spins offer and sometimes even loyalty points, depending on the casino. When you sign up to the casino, you will be required to make a deposit to claim the offer, which will appear in your account instantly.
In some cases, no deposit bonuses apply, whereby you are not required to make a deposit, you must simply join the casino. It is important to remember that these bonuses are designed to be used at the casino and not to be withdrawn. You can say that this bonus is a way of attracting new players to the casino site.
No Deposit Bonus
As mentioned above, a no deposit bonus does not require an initial deposit. All you have to do is join the casino to qualify for this offer. In some cases, no deposit bonuses will also be available to existing players as a nice perk for being loyal to the site, but it mostly takes the form of a welcome offer. That said, no deposit bonuses are not as common at casino sites as deposit bonuses, so if you do come across this offer, you should take advantage. That said, this type of bonus also comes with wagering requirements that must be met before you can withdraw any winnings.
Free Spins Bonus
This is a bonus of free spins that can either be doled out on its own or in combination with a no deposit or deposit bonus. This is perfect for slot players as it gives the chance to play some of the most popular slot games for free, without having to spend your own money.
Free spin bonuses usually form a part of the welcome bonus and are also regularly dished out to existing, loyal players as part of ongoing or daily promotions and special offers. It is one of the most common bonuses available at Kiwi online casinos. There are a few caveats to this bonus as well, including using specific slot machines only and an expiration date. These limitations and more will be made clear in the terms and conditions of the bonus.
Reload bonuses are similar to deposit bonuses in that you receive a bonus when making a deposit. These are different in that they are only available to existing players, and the terms can vary according to the casino operator. For example, you could receive a reload bonus for your first deposit of the week or month or as part of a special offer for the day. This is casino-specific, so do check out the Promotions section of your chosen casino on a regular basis.
This is a bonus awarded to registered players who have referred others to the site. If your referrals actually sign up and make their first deposit, you receive a bonus in the form of free cash, free spins or casino credits, depending on the casino operator.
Loyalty points are offered as part of the casino’s loyalty or VIP program. These points are earned every time a player makes a deposit. You will get a certain amount of points for every deposit, which can then be redeemed for real cash once you accumulate a fair amount of these points. These points could also contribute to the VIP program, where you move through different levels depending on the number of points you have. This is a popular way of awarding players for their loyalty to the site, as the name suggests.
The Most Popular Casino Games in New Zealand
Like players all over the world, Kiwi players seem to gravitate to a certain type of casino game more than others. Slot machines remain the most popular casino game of all time, although table games and video poker machines are up there with the best of them. Games like live tables, bingo and scratch cards are also becoming more popular while mobile games are having their moment as more and more players start accessing their favourite online casino from their mobile device.
Online slots remain the most popular casino game around the world, and with good reason. These games are fun and interactive, easy and require no skill. There are also hundreds of titles available, with almost every software provider dedicated to creating brand new games on a regular basis to meet demands. This means that Kiwi slot players are spoilt for choice, including a myriad of five reel, three reel, 3D, mobile, video slot and progressive jackpot options. With exciting and dynamic features, immersive themes and plenty of winning opportunities, it’s no wonder online slots are and will continue to be fan favourites among New Zealand players.
It is unlikely that you will come across a land-based or online casino that doesn’t host a variety of roulette games. This classic table game has been around for decades and continues to draw the crowd both online and in real life. The game is popular because of its easy gameplay and rules. It is a game of luck, making it a top option for new players while its great winning opportunities attract experienced gamers as well. Roulette games are readily available at online casinos and come in many variations, including American Roulette, European Roulette, Multi-Ball and Multi-Wheel.
Blackjack is another top game for Kiwi players online. The game is as popular online as it is at land-based casinos thanks to favourable odds and plenty of action. There are also a myriad of variations available to suit all players, including American and European Blackjack, to name a few.
Video poker has seen a resurgence in popularity since the launch of online casinos. These games combine the fast-paced action of slot games with the skill and technique of poker games to provide a truly thrilling gaming experience. This makes it a top option for players looking for a nice challenge while still enjoying good odds and lots of action. Popular video poker games include Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, Joker Poker, Aces or Faces, Jack or Better and more. Single and multi-hand versions are also available.
In addition to exciting online casino games, Kiwi players will also have access to some exciting live casino offerings. Live casinos are gaining in popularity as it offers the most immersive and interactive gaming experience available online from the comfort of your home. Live casino games are designed to offer the most authentic and realistic virtual gaming experience without having to step foot on an actual casino floor. These live table games, ranging from baccarat to roulette and blackjack and everything in-between, are live-streamed and feature real dealers, real players and real-time action.
The benefit of playing at a live casino versus a traditional one is that there is no waiting time as these tables run 24/7. All you have to do is join your preferred table, make your bet, and the action will begin. Once you have decided on a table game, you can now interact with the dealer and other players, all in real-time, making this a popular option for players seeking the atmosphere and excitement of a live table game without leaving home.
Mobile gaming is fast becoming the most popular way to play online casino games, with almost every gaming site offering a mobile version. These sites are optimised for mobile devices, providing a sleek, smooth and seamless gaming experience on your smartphone or tablet while on the go. Mobile players can enjoy fast load times, a wide variety of mobile-friendly games – all of which are responsive and perfect to play on the smaller screen of your device. They are also touch-enabled to suit the touch abilities of most
What Payment Methods are Available for Domestic Players?
Having a variety of safe and efficient banking methods is key at online casinos. Moving money with speed, convenience and security are important while playing for real money. The type and quality of payment providers will vary depending on the casino operator but also on what best suits your needs and availability. Generally speaking, though, the best online casinos will offer a wide range of payment methods to suit all needs, all of which will be quick, simple and secure. Some of the most popular banking methods for Kiwi players include the following:
Credit and Debit Cards
Credit and debit cards are two of the most popular options at online casinos as they are generally safe and secure as well as widely-used and available. That said, when cashing out, these methods could take a bit longer than others. Popular options include Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express and Discover, to name a few.
Digital wallets are fast becoming the best option for players wanting safe and fast deposits and withdrawals. Many online casinos and betting sites accept a wide range of e-wallets, including Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, WebMoney and EcoPayz.
Prepaid Cards and Instant Payment Services
Prepaid cards work like a debit card, but instead of withdrawing funds from an account or loan facility, the funds must be topped with onto the card before you can spend it. Some of the best options for these at online casinos include Paysafecard and Entropay. Instant payment services act as a middle man between the bank and the online casino. This is great for players wanting to keep their banking separate from their online playing. Popular methods are ClickandBuy, iDebit and Click2Pay.
Direct Bank Transfers
This includes Bank Wire Transfers, where you use your online casino account details to transfer funds to your bank or online banking. This is convenient, but clearance times need to be considered. Instant Bank Transfer involves using your bank details to transfer cash to your bank account or online banking account instantly.
Pay by Phone
The Pay by Phone option is for players making deposits only. The cost of the deposit is added to your mobile phone bill and to use this option, you must have a phone and a casino account. The amount you want to deposit is charged to your phone bill or taken from your pay-as-you-go credit. This is a fast, efficient and secure option for making deposits.
More and more online casinos and betting sites are catching on to the cryptocurrency trend and now offer some options for players wanting to use these methods. The most popular of these are Bitcoin casinos, while others include Litecoin, Ethereum and more. These are known for its safety, security and anonymity.
Online gambling is one of the most popular activities in New Zealand. From online casinos to betting sites, igaming is a safe and secure pastime in the country, as long as you play at legitimate sites. If you follow our guides and recommendations, you will enjoy a thrilling and rewarding gaming experience at online casinos in New Zealand, right from the comfort of your home or while on the move.
FAQs for Online Casinos in New Zealand
✅Is online casino gambling legal?
Online gambling is fully regulated by governing bodies to ensure ethical practices at all times. New Zealand players are allowed to play at numerous online casinos based outside of the country and accepting of Kiwi players.
✅What are the most popular deposit options?
Deposit options for Kiwi players are rather diverse. All available banking options are widely used and reputable and include Visa and MasterCard as well as e-wallets, prepaid vouchers and online payment options like Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, Paysafecard, WebMoney, Entropay, ClickandBuy and more.
✅Are online casino games fair?
Yes, if you are playing at a top online casino, the results will be fair. Online casinos make use of Random Number Generators, which is used to control the outcome of the game. These results will be completely random, with no outside influence from players or casino operators. What’s more, leading NZ casinos will also be regularly audited for fairness and safety by third-party testing agencies like eCOGRA.
✅Can I play on my mobile device?
Yes, almost all online casinos will feature a mobile version of the casino that has been optimised for mobile use. As long as you have a smartphone or tablet using compatible operating systems like iOS, Android and Windows and have a solid internet connection, you should be able to access your favourite casino game on your mobile device in New Zealand.