Online Casinos New Zealand

Kiwis spent around $2.2 billion on various stripes of gambling in 2020. This is definitely not a small number. Betting and gambling are some of the most popular types of entertainment here. Nearly 40% of the adult population participate in it regularly. 

So, if you are not in that 40%, then you’re probably looking to get into it after listening to all your friends having fun with it! If you are already a part of that 40%, then welcome to our article about web betting sites in NZ! We’ll guide you towards picking a new online casino to get started at.

But before we jump into selecting the best ones, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Learning about the history of gambling in NZ might not sound exciting at first, but you’ll pick up plenty of trivia to wow your friends. More importantly, you might get an idea about the direction the industry will be headed in the future.

You probably aren’t at an online casinos review site for a history lesson, though. Don’t worry, once we’ve covered history, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of selecting casinos, so keep reading on!

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History of gambling in NZ

Like Australia, betting in New Zealand was brought over by the Europeans who settled here. The country was originally colonized mostly in the late 1700s and early 1800s. At that time, betting was insanely popular in Europe, especially when it came to Horse Racing.

Official records claim the very first act of organized gambling in NZ was horse race betting. It took place in 1835 – just a few years after Australia had started gambling. While gambling remained a popular pastime for Kiwis, there was not much attention paid to it for a while. It stayed relatively low key until 1908.

In 1908, a Gambling Act was passed that restricted most types of games other than Horse Racing. It’s unsurprising since most places at this time were hostile to gambling. They used to consider it a waste of time and money that could otherwise be better spent elsewhere. The only exception to this, Horse Racing, was popular among the wealthy people and thus managed to evade the ban.

However, that didn’t last long. Gambling practices were still going strong underground. You could easily find some card games at pubs, bars, private clubs, and other similar locales. There was so much economic activity that, about 40 years later, in 1951 a regulatory body was set up to manage gambling activities without banning them outright. 

Eventually, the first full-fledged physical casino was launched in 1994 – the Christchurch Casino.

Currently, there are six brick and mortar casinos in NZ: Christchurch, Dunedin, Skycity Auckland, Skycity Hamilton, Skycity Queenstown, and Skycity Wharf. As you can tell, most of the industry is owned by Skycity, but there is still plenty of healthy competition.

Online operators started popping up around the turn of the millennium. It is actually illegal to operate a web casino in NZ. So, there are no local web-based betting sites. However, is it not illegal for players in NZ to visit and gamble at one.

So, what does this mean? As an NZ player, you can visit any online gambling site in the world and play there, with no issues at all! It’s perfectly legal for you.

Today, the two main sources of gambling regulations in NZ you need to care about are the Gambling Act 2003 and the Racing Act 2003. These two have the most up-to-date rules. For the most part, they focus on regulating the various casino operators as well as setting up ways to reduce problem gambling. They don’t actually restrict or penalize individual players.

Today, the gambling industry in NZ creates huge amounts of revenue for the government in the form of taxes. This revenue has been used for developing infrastructure, schools, hospitals, etc. Even if there are issues with problem gambling, overall, online casinos NZ have contributed a lot to the growth and development of the country.

Is online gambling in NZ a legal and safe?

Before we get any further into discussing how to choose the best online casinos NZ players should try out and the criteria we used to judge them, there’s one more thing to go over.

“Is it legal and safe to play at an online casino?” 

This is an extremely common question, especially among those who have not played at one before. After all, even if they are not illegal, web gambling sites exist in a gray market. Some people wonder if they are actually fully legal since they are not allowed to set up locally by the government.

Fortunately, we can confirm that it’s totally fine and legal to gamble on the internet as a player from New Zealand. You won’t get into any trouble for simply playing your favourite games

Whether you are safe or not is a different question, however. There are lots of horror stories on the internet about being scammed out of your personal details or credit card information. Often, websites for torrent downloading or gaming are the source of the scam. It’s natural to be afraid of this, especially if you’re only just stepping into this world.

An unfortunate fact of life is that there are a lot of people out there trying to take advantage of others by scamming or frauding them. Online betting is a great way for them to do this, since registering at these sites requires you to enter valuable information such as personal details and credit card or other payment info. 

For instance, personal details can be used by a criminal to carry out identity theft and related crimes, while your financial security credentials will allow them to simply steal money right out of your account. However, the actual possibility of these occurring is a lot lower than you expect.

Typically, online gambling is perfectly safe. Like with anything else, you just have to take some protective measures and generally stay alert. The basic idea is simply to make sure the casino is reliable and trustworthy, and that you are on the correct website rather than a fake one trying to imitate the real one. Once you are sure, you can go ahead and sign up.

So, how do you tell the real ones from the fake ones? There are a few ways, which we will explain now.

The most important thing to check is the license. Every legitimate site is licensed by an internationally recognized authority. Some of the most popular licensors for these sites include the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, and several others. All of these regulatory bodies check if a casino is fair or not, and whether it has the proper security measures or not, such as the latest SSL encryption and proper HTTPS certification.

If it is approved, it will show off a sticker at the bottom of the page. You can then check their license number yourself. Even if a scammer tries to fake the sticker image, it won’t be able to fake the actual license information.

The other way to find out if a casino is reliable and trustworthy is to check various online casinos review sites, including this one. You can hear the thoughts of our expert reviewers and the results of their investigation. As you expect, we will never recommend a site that has proven to be untrustworthy. If there was a loss of data after signing up, or if the casino was not properly functional, then we assume that it’s a fraud site.

Keep these two approaches in mind and you won’t have to worry. Ensuring your safety is one of our top priorities, so rest assured you can try out any one of the casinos listed on this page without any worries.

How we rated online casinos in NZ?

Modern betting sites are complicated. They are made up of different parts coming from multiple origins, combining to create a betting site. The website itself as well as the bonuses might be from the operator. The games will be from several different software developers. The customer service and transaction processing might be outsourced.

Therefore, it’s important to consider each of these aspects separately. In order to review the sites, our reviewers created new accounts and tried out the various games and promos on offer. This way, they were able to experience the same things a new player like you would experience. If you know about the different factors we use to review a site, you will be able to make your own judgments as well.

Ultimately, we took the following criteria to account for determining the best online casino in NZ:

Theme and Design of the Site 

The theme and design of a site are one of the most important factors. It will affect the initial impression a new player has. If the theme is unappealing, over the top, or cringe-inducing, a prospective customer might close the window before they have seen anything else. The best modern operators usually focus on a particular theme, either with bright visuals or they go for the exact opposite, i.e. a minimal and sleek design.

The design of the site also involves navigation. Moving around between different sections of the site should be straightforward and easy. After all, if you get lost while looking for a game to play, that would be really frustrating. 

The best way a site can do this is by keeping it simple – different sections for About info, terms and conditions, user profiles, games, bonuses, VIP, etc. All the sections should be linked on a navbar or the footer.

Bonuses and Promotions 

As a player, this is one of the most important aspects you have to consider. The top online casinos NZ live and die by the bonuses or promotional offers they give out. When playing at a website, you are not nearly as immersed in gameplay as you would be at a brick-and-mortar establishment due to the lack of the environment. So, the operator has to make you invested in some other way.

Bonuses and promotions are how they do it. They allow you to earn extra cash or free spins. You can use this additional money to keep playing even more. It’s a nice bonus for players with big bankrolls, and extremely crucial to players who have smaller budgets. There are many different types of bonuses, such as Welcome Bonus, No Deposit Bonus, Cashback Bonus and Free Spin bonus.

  • Welcome Offer: A welcome bonus is given out when a player first signs up. This bonus is very lucrative, but may also have high requirements.
  • No Deposit: A No-deposit bonus can be earned without depositing any money at all. However, the bonus amounts are generally very small.
  • Cashback Offer: This bonus gives a small amount of the bet back after a loss.
  • Free Spins: This allows you to make a number of spins on a slots game for free.

All bonuses have some terms and conditions attached to them. These terms include the wagering requirement and game contributions. 

The Wagering Requirement is simply the amount of money you have to wager before the bonus amount can be withdrawn. It is usually given as a multiple of the total bonus amount, such as 35x or 50x. 

The contributions refer to ‘how much’ different types of games contribute to this requirement. Slots usually count 90-100% of the wager towards the bonus, but Table and live dealer games only give 10-20% at most.

The Games 

The games are the key reason you are here, right? We also took into account the quality and quantity of the various games offered at the site, ranging from slots to table games, live dealer titles, and sportsbooks. We rated good software providers highly.

Payment Methods 

Not all players are equal. Some might have access to credit cards and bank accounts. Others might be using a PayPal account for all purchases, or even simply a prepaid card. The best online casinos NZ will take this into account and offer a wide range of payment options. Depositing and withdrawing are a key part of playing at them, so this will help make it more accessible.

Customer Support 

At a brick and mortar establishment, you can ask an attendant or dealer for help whenever something goes wrong. They will direct you to the appropriate person to speak to. At online establishments, you can’t just go talk to a nearby employee in case of issues.

Rather, you have to contact customer support to help resolve any problems. Customer support should be helpful and available 24/7. There should be several different ways of contacting them, such as email, live chat, and phone.

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