The recent page about online casino gambling in the United States was so popular that I decided to publish this page about New Zealand online casinos next. And I have some good news about the laws there:
Internet casino games in New Zealand are legal if they’re coming from websites outside of New Zealand. The same holds true for internet poker and online sports betting.
A Guide to Online Gambling in New Zealand
The starting point for this page is to explain that the goal is to provide the best guide to online gambling in New Zealand anywhere.
What should such a guide include?
For one thing, it should include details about where to play the most popular casino games enjoyed in New Zealand.
- Video poker
One of the other critical issues to discuss in such a guide is which online casinos deal in NZD$. Sure, you can find plenty of online casinos which accept action from New Zealanders.
But not all of them operate in the country’s official currency.
Save yourself some time and effort and do business with online casino New Zealand gambling sites that do operate in your currency.
Here’s a word about the editorial decisions made when creating this guide:
- You’ll only find casinos which offer quick, easy deposits and cashouts in NZD$ on this list.
- The casinos in this guide offer at least 200 different games to choose from. Most offer games unique to that specific site.
- Each of these casinos has been reviewed and rated by multiple experts with years of experience dealing with online casino businesses.
- Details about the legalities of online casinos in New Zealand are also covered.
The big question is this:
Which is the best online casino for New Zealand players?
This page offers 5 online casinos vying for that title. You should try playing at each of them and decide for yourself which one is your favorite.
Summary Reviews of the Top 5 New Zealand Casinos
You can find pages with full-length, comprehensive, detailed reviews of each of the casinos listed below on this site. The goal with these summary reviews is to provide you with a quick and accurate overview that you can use to decide where you want to get started if you want to get started fast:
1- Sloto’Cash – If you’re looking for the biggest signup bonus for pokies players, Sloto’Cash is probably your best bet. They offer a $7,777 welcome bonus, which is, of course, huge. The casino has been in business since 2007 and is licensed by the Curacao Gaming Commission. Their payouts are some of the fastest in the business, and they offer a great selection of games that are focused largely on pokies. But they also offer live dealer table games. The only products they’re missing are sports betting and poker games.
2- Lucky Creek Casino – The signup bonus of 150% up to $300 is nothing to write home about, and they don’t have any progressive jackpot games, but Lucky Creek Casino offers other perks. For one thing, they have a wide selection of mobile games. For another, customer service is available any time day or night via the live chat function on their website. They specialize exclusively in traditional games, and they don’t offer poker or sports betting.
3- Intertops – The 100% signup bonus up to $100 sounds small, and it is, but Intertops has better terms and conditions for their wagering requirements than any other casino on this list. What does this mean? You have a better chance of walking away with some winnings. Also, unlike some of the casinos on this list, Intertops also offers multiplayer poker and sports betting. They’ve been in business since 1998, making them one of the oldest and trusted brands catering to Kiwi gamblers.
4- DrakeCasino – The 2nd best signup bonus on this list is the 3X 300% bonus at DrakeCasino. It’s worth up to $6,000 to the new casino gambler. ($2000 per deposit, times 3 deposits.) DrakeCasino is also licensed by Curacao Gaming Commission and specializes in casino games and specialty games (like keno). Their biggest selling point is the selection of Betsoft 3D pokies, which are the best looking and sounding pokies games on the internet.
5-Mr Green – This casino offers a 100% signup bonus worth up to $100, but they top that off by giving you 200 free online pokies spins, too. They offer one of the biggest selections of games on the internet, using almost a dozen different software providers to power their games. MrGreen also has some of the biggest withdrawal limits in the business. Where other casinos might restrict you to withdrawing no more than $1500 a week, MrGreen allows you to withdraw up to $10,000 per week.
New Zealand Online Gambling Laws
One aspect of online gambling in every country that you should consider is the cultural and legal significance of the activity. I’ve seen reports that Kiwis gamble more than other populations, but that isn’t the truth.
The reality is that only 2% of New Zealanders gamble on a regular basis. This is comparable to the rate of gambling in the United States. It doesn’t come anywhere close to the amount of regular gambling you’ll see in New Zealand’s neighboring country Australia. Several Asian countries can also boast about the high percentage of their population that gambles regularly.
The main law that might apply to online gambling in New Zealand is the Gambling Act of 2003. Nothing in that legislation makes it illegal to play casino games on the internet for real money in New Zealand.
That being said, it IS illegal to run any kind of online casino or online poker site from within the country. If you live in New Zealand, it’s legal to play at an online casino or poker room that’s located OUTSIDE of New Zealand.
It is also illegal to play games for real money at any kind of online casino or online poker room that’s located IN New Zealand.
Sports betting in New Zealand is different. It’s legal, but it’s also regulated and monitored by the New Zealand Racing Board. All legal online sports betting is handled through that organization; they have a monopoly on sports betting on the internet in New Zealand.
Some Context about Casino Gambling in New Zealand
Gambling has been around since the dawn of time. It seems like it’s also always been considered a vice, though — regardless of the time period or the country. Casino gambling has always been part of New Zealand’s national identity.
New Zealand, like Australia and the United States, was originally settled by Europeans. They went through a colonial period in the same way, too, and gambling was popular during that period. In fact, gambling’s popularity in New Zealand only began to wane with the Gambling Act of 1908.
That piece of legislation outlawed all gambling except for bets placed at racetracks in the country. Of course, underground wagering took place all the time. This seems to be true of any country in the world; the more you try to outlaw or control an activity that’s seen as a vice, the more popular it seems to become.
In 1951, legislation eased some of these regulations. The Golden Kiwi Lottery was launched. Several legal, regulated, traditional casinos opened in subsequent years:
- Christchurch Casino
- Dunedin Casino
- SkyCity Auckland
- SkyCity Hamilton
- SkyCity Queenstown
- SkyCity Wharf Casino
Obviously, the SkyCity chain of properties dominates the land-based casino scene in the country.
The legal gambling age in New Zealand is 18.
Pokies in New Zealand
If you’re from a country other than New Zealand or Australia, you might be wondering what these “pokies” are that I keep referring to. Pokies is just what people from that part of the world call slot machines, because they originally called them “poker machines” instead of “slot machines.”
These pokie games aren’t just available in casinos, though. Since 1987, you’ve been able to play pokies in bars and hotels throughout the country. Most of the money from these games fund various charities in New Zealand.
Pokies are a huge industry in New Zealand. I don’t have access to any kind of realistic statistics about online pokies, but I do know that in 2008, pokies represented almost $1 billion in profits for the pokies operators. They also make up almost half (46%) of the gambling revenue reported in New Zealand.
The country boasts of almost 20,000 machines in 1500 venues. These are operated by just shy of 400 licensees.
One thing New Zealand does right is require pokies to include “Player Information Displays.” which include information about how long they’ve been playing a machine and how much money they’ve lost.
I’m of the opinion that this should be common practice throughout the gambling industry worldwide. In the United States, it’s recently become common practice to include the number of calories in various food products on menus at restaurants. Casinos should be at least as forthcoming about what your gambling is costing you.
Other Popular Casino Games in New Zealand
Pokies are so overwhelmingly popular that it’s easy to forget the other casino games.
But if nothing else, you should learn how to play baccarat and blackjack. As far as odds go, you won’t find better games than these.
The big difference is that blackjack requires you to make decisions, and the quality of those decisions affects your odds.
In baccarat, you might as well be flipping a coin. You have no control, but the odds are pretty good anyway.
Get good at either game, and you can face a house edge of 1% or so.
The Pros and Cons of the Way New Zealand Handles Online Casino Gambling
One of the biggest advantages of the legal situation related to online casinos catering to New Zealand players is that players can do more or less what they want with their money. If they want to gamble with it at an online casino, there’s no legal disincentive to do so.
On the other hand, in countries like England, where online casino gambling is legal and regulated by the government, players have protections that are lacking in New Zealand.
I contend that this is one of the reasons New Zealand gamblers should use a guide like this one when choosing an internet casino at which to play.
If you just sign up at random casinos you find in Google, you could be dealing with all manner of rogues.
But when you sign up at a casino that’s been vetted and reviewed here at GambleRock, you can feel some confidence that you’re money will be safe. You can know that you’ll get your winnings (if any), and you’ll know that the games are fair and random.
That’s as complete a guide to Kiwi online casinos as I could write. To summarize the main takeaways from this page, here are some thoughts to leave with:
- It’s legal to play at online casinos FROM New Zealand as long as you’re not playing at online casinos IN New Zealand. This means it’s legal to run an online casino in New Zealand if you want to take bets from outside the country. It also means it’s legal to play at an online casino, as long it’s located outside the country. That’s a relatively unusual situation.
- Online pokies are the same as pokies in land-based casinos in the country. Pokies are powered by computer programs called random number generators. These programs work the same way online as they do in real life, as long as you’re playing at a reputable casino.
- Don’t play at just any online casino that’s willing to take your action. Find a reputable portal or information site (like this one) that offers recommendations and reviews. One thing to look for is a balanced approach to these reviews. You’ll notice that the summary reviews on this page offer both pros AND cons for these gambling sites. If you find a site with universally positive reviews, put one hand on your wallet, because they only care about your money.
Do you feel comfortable gambling at an online casino from New Zealand now?
Let me know what you think in the comments below:
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