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Here at the Gambling Metropolis, it’s important to us that you have access to the most up-to-date information when choosing an online casino. So, we’ve take great care to review the best operators in detail, including those available to players in New Zealand!
A brief overview about New Zealand gambling activities.
Whilst Australia is widely considered to be one of the most mature and lucrative gambling markets in the world, less is known about the industry in neighbouring New Zealand.
The marketplace in New Zealand is certainly smaller than the equivalent in Australia, for example, whilst its history can only really be traced back to 1835. This coincided with the arrival of early European settlers at the beginning of the 19th century, many of whom retained a passion for horse racing and real money wagering.
However, it’s interesting to note that gambling was largely considered to be illegal in New Zealand prior to the 20th century, whilst even the introduction of the Gambling Act in 1908 only really made provisions for legal wagering live at racetracks nationwide.
However, this legislation represented a minor turning point for the gambling market in New Zealand, as it laid a regulatory foundation that ultimately enabled real money sports betting to be fully legalised amid rising levels of demand.
This evolution continued with the introduction of the so-called TAB in 1961, which saw the introduction of the Totalizer Agency Board. This type of system was also rolled out in Australia, where the TAB encompassed a number of state-operated monopoly totalizer organisations that have gradually been privatised throughout the years.
In New Zealand, however, all horse racing and sports betting remains under the control of a central TAB, whilst the overall market itself is regulated by the Department of Internal Affairs (DOIA). Whilst the TAB was rebranded as the New Zealand Racing Board as part of the Racing Act in 2003, this remains a statutory monopoly that refuses to yield to private operators.
This highlights the lack of maturity in the market, as the restrictions placed on domestic betting brands and private operators continues to restrict competitiveness.
To this end, the nation’s first bricks-and-mortar casino wasn’t opened until 1994, whilst the even today that are only six land-based establishments accessible in New Zealand.
Is Online Gambling Legal in New Zealand?
Whilst offline gambling in New Zealand may have seen its growth restricted by statutory monopolies and centralised control, the regulatory stance on the iGaming market remains far less stringent and open to interpretation.
This is the same in a number of markets across the globe, as New Zealand’s 2003 Gambling Act failed to fully address the rise of iGaming or the fact that national subjects would have access to multi-national betting platforms from across the globe.
This represents something of a loophole in the Gambling Act, as whilst citizens are prohibited from gambling through a domestic platform via a communication device in New Zealand, the law does not currently make provisions for wagering with an international iGaming operator.
As a result of this technicality, gambling at an overseas website is fully legal in New Zealand, and there’s little chance of this changing any time soon.
This affords nationals access to a wide range of betting verticals online, from slots and casino games to sports betting, lotteries and video poker.
How do we Review the Top Online Casinos in New Zealand?
It’s estimated that 80% of all New Zealanders regularly gamble in one form or another, and whilst lotteries dominate this activity there’s clearly a large demand amongst nationals.
As a result, a large number of international operators currently target the fast-growing gambling audience in New Zealand. But how exactly doe we review these platforms?
Safety and Security:
Whilst you would expect multi-national gambling brands to offer reputable and secure platforms, we ensure that our listed casinos boast 128-encryption as a minimum. We also consider each site’s level of transparency and the return-to-player (RTP) rate on offer.
Operators who are active in New Zealand are used to participating in competitive markets, which means that the vast majority offer access to lucrative welcome bonuses. We’ll appraise these in relation to the value of each bonus and the wagering requirements attached to them.
As you can imagine, there are also a wide range of deposit methods available to gamblers in New Zealand. Many of these allow for instantaneous transactions, although you need to remember that e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill may occasionally be
With a similar range of methods through which you can access your winnings, you can guarantee a fast and often instantaneous withdrawal through one of our casino platforms. This includes a large number of e-wallets, which process payments quickly and don’t charge any transactions fees.
The legislation in New Zealand makes iGaming legal through overseas websites, whether customers use a laptop, smartphone or tablet. This means that our casinos offer excellent mobile capabilities, either through their instant play platforms or dedicated mobile apps.
All of the casinos that we list offer outstanding customer support, primarily through email and live chat channels. Some of our operators even allow you to contact them by freephone, and we can help you identify the best way to get in touch with an operator’s customer service reps.
Established Game Providers:
Our casinos boast huge and fast-growing games’ libraries, including titles from leading software houses such as NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Microgaming and Playtech. Some firms even use their own proprietary software, allowing their players access to unique and genuinely rare titles.
Licensing and Regulations:
We also publish details of each platform’s licensing information, including the authorities that regulate them and the individual jurisdictions in which they’re able to operate.
Playing with Real Money – What Currencies can you wager with at New Zealand’s Online Casinos
In most instances, operators that have moved into the New Zealand market have adopted this nation’s currency, meaning that players should be able to wager freely in NZD once they’ve registered for an account.
This sits alongside globally recognised currencies such as the Euro, the British pound and the Australian dollar, so there are plenty of options to choose from depending on exchange rates and your precise circumstances.
On a similar note, you can also credit and withdraw from your account using an array of widely-accessible payment options, including the following:
• Bank Transfer
Which Casino Games are Available in New Zealand?
Whilst sports betting is particularly popular amongst New Zealanders (especially when you consider sports such as Rugby Union, Cricket and Netball), punters can access a wide array of gambling verticals online in 2019.
We’ll provide a breakdown of these verticals below, whilst looking at some of the games that are on offer!
• Slots: When it comes to slots (or pokies, if you herald from NZ), there’s a huge range of low and high-variance titles available. From Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest to more unusual games such as Silver Lion, there’s something to keep everyone entertained whatever their preference!
• Table Games: There’s also a wealth of real money table games available to New Zealanders, some of which can be accessed for a low as £0.10. These include blackjack, roulette and video poker, whilst an impressive choice of live casino games.
• Poker and Casual Games: On the topic of poker, players can also enjoy a deceptively large range of titles in the digital age. These include staples like Casino Hold ‘em and All-American Double-up, which sit alongside titles like Jacks or Better and Caribbean Stud.
• Live Casino: Live casino platforms are all the rage in 2019, with market leaders like Evolution Gaming creating authentic experiences for players throughout New Zealanders. With games like Lightening Roulette, Monopoly and the innovative Dream Catcher available alongside real-time iterations of roulette and blackjack, there’s also plenty of choice to keep players guessing!
Popular Casinos Accepting New Zealand Players
As we’ve already said, players in New Zealand have access to a huge range of superb online casinos, many of which also operate in the UK and Europe.
We’ve picked out three of the best options below, whilst asking what exactly makes them so popular!
• Casumo: Casumo may be a relatively new online casino brand, and one that has certainly made its mark in New Zealand. This site has access to 375 outstanding slots and 27 different software providers, whilst new players can also benefit from a 200% deposit match welcome offer up to the value NZ$5,000 and 50 free spins.
• Party Casino: The fun never stops with the Party Casino, which is currently running an impressive NZ$500 welcome bonus that also includes 120 free spins. The games’ library also features a total of 400 titles, including 350 pokies from a range of high-quality software houses.
• Playzee: If you’re looking for a wide and diverse range of games, the Playzee platform is the one for you. After all, this site is currently home to more than 1,000 slots, table and live games, whilst a welcome bonus worth NZ$1,500 and 150 free spins is not to be sniffed at either.
Playing Online Casino Games with a Real Live Dealer
As we’ve already said, live casino games are all the rage in New Zealand, whilst market leading developers such as Evolution Gaming continue to drive the real-time gambling experience for players.
Make no mistake; this experience is becoming increasingly authentic with every passing year, as Evolution Gaming and similar software houses continue to replicate the pace of corporeal casino gameplay whilst leveraging interactive dealers.
New Zealanders can also access a host of increasingly unusual and innovative games, from Dream Catcher to Monopoly and Lightening Roulette.
Other live casino games include Deal or No Deal and the outstanding Super Si Bo, which is an immersive, ancient Chinese game played with three difference dice!
Casino Bonuses and Free Spins
We spoke earlier about one or two of the welcome bonuses being offered by the best New Zealand casinos, with these offers typically taking the form of deposit matches of between 100% and 200% up to a certain value.
It’s interesting to note that some of these welcome offers are particularly generous, with a rising number of casinos creating bonuses worth up to NZ$1500 and spread this across a player’s first three deposits.
Another prominent welcome bonus trend revolves around the deployment of free spins, with casinos likely to offer a high volume of complimentary gameplay in order to incentivise new players.
On average, New Zealanders can currently expect to earn between 150 and free spins when registering with a new casino in the current marketplace, and this is an extremely competitive proposition that should appeal to both casual and serious players alike.
What’s a Bonus Wagering Requirement?
Of course, all casino bonuses available in New Zealand come with built-in wagering requirements, and these dictate precisely how much money you’ll need to play through before you access any associated winnings.
On average, bonuses come with wagering requirements of between 30 and 50-times the total value of the offer. However, there are occasional instances where operators may run with wagering requirements of 20-times the bonus value, whilst free spin promotions may have no such terms and conditions attached.
So how does this translate into purely financial terms? Well, if you’re bound by wagering requirements of 35-times and trigger a welcome bonus worth £20 (including a £10 deposit), you’ll have to play through a total of £700 before you can withdraw any winnings into your main cash balance.
Regardless, you’ll need to check the full terms of any welcome bonus before making a deposit, in order to make sure that they suit your bankroll and activity as a player.
The Casino Market in New Zealand
The last two years have proved seminal for gaming and gambling in New Zealand, as the industry has enjoyed considerable growth during this time.
In 2017, the total gambling spend in New Zealand increased to an impressive NZ$2.33 billion, with this showcasing growth of 5.7% on the previous 12 months. Overall, punters spent a hefty NZ$125 million than during the previous year, with a rise in the iGaming GGY compensating for a 1.3% decline in TAB racing and offline sports betting during the same period.
Tellingly, the take from New Zealand’s six land-based casinos also fell by 2.4% to NZ$586 million, as punters continued to eschew domestic operators and instead utilise overseas platforms online.
These trends continued at pace last year, as New Zealanders spent $2.4 billion on gambling last year and an increased amount online. This total translated into a per capita spend of NZ$648, with this number set to rise further in the near-term!
Online Casinos Gambling Rules and Regulations in New Zealand
In simple terms, gambling is illegal in New Zealand unless it’s authorised by or under the Gambling Act of 2003. This replaced the overarching control of the TAB and the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1977, creating a transparent framework that’s easy for operators to adhere to.
However, horse racing betting continues to be administered by the Racing Act 2003, particularly the rules and regulations pertaining to trackside wagering in New Zealand.
The Gambling Act also segregates gambling into four distinct classes, excluding the activity conducted at bricks-and-mortar casinos and by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission. These classifications specify different maximum prize thresholds and licensing requirements, which operators must adhere to fully at all times.
Only class 3 and 4 gambling requires operators to apply for license, as they include prizes that are typically in excess of NZD $5,000.