New Zealand has a booming gambling market, with hugely successful casinos across the country. So, it’s no wonder why so many Kiwis play casino games online – of course, they’d want to be able to experience that same excitement without having to leave home!
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There are hundreds of NZ casino sites available to you, and it’s important to know how to choose most reliable gaming destinations that cater to your specific gaming tastes. Here, we’ll help you learn everything you need to know about gambling online from New Zealand – from gaming laws and licensing to mobile games and bonuses.
New Zealand Online Gambling Laws
In New Zealand, there is an unregulated online gambling market. This means that the government does not oversee the online casino industry; in fact, the Gambling Act 2003 prohibits remote interactive gambling. Operators are not permitted to provide players with gambling services using communication devices, such as computers, telephones and radios.
It may seem like New Zealand has strict online gambling laws, but the Department of Internal Affairs is mostly focus on companies that are operating from within the country. As such, there are still many international online casinos that offer slots, poker and casino games to players across from New Zealand. These are called offshore gambling sites that are owned by private companies and have obtained licenses from external locations like the United Kingdom, Alderney and Gibraltar.
Is It Legal to Play at Online Casinos in New Zealand?
If you enjoy playing casino games and pokies online, it’s natural that you would be worried about the legal repercussions in a country where the laws are somewhat unclear. It should come as a comfort, then, to know that players in New Zealand cannot be get in legal trouble for playing at online casinos or placing sports bets online.
The main thing that you would have to worry about is if your chosen site decides to no longer offer its services to players in New Zealand. If this is the case, you’ll have to find a new site that offers your favourite games; however, there are dozens of quality offshore sites to choose from.
You’ll also be able to rest assured that you’ll be able to withdraw your money, even when the site withdraws the country. All reputable online casinos have a player refund reserve that allows them to pay out their players even if they are no longer operating in a certain location.
There is one outlet where online gambling is regulated by the New Zealand government – lottery sales. The MyLotto website was launched by Lotto NZ in 2008, offering players the chance to play various online lottery games, including:
Keno: Players can buy tickets between $1 and $100 per line and have the chance to make up to 10 numbers. There are four daily draws, with a maximum prize of $100 up for grabs.
Bullseye: Players select a six-digit number between 000000 and 999999 and the player with the closest number to the randomly generated bullseye number wins. The prize depends on how close to the bullseye the player is.
Play 3: Players select a three-digit number from 000 to 999 and they can win prizes up to $500 depending on how many numbers they match and in which order.
Lotto: Prizes worth over $350 000 art available. Players select six numbers from 1 to 40, and prizes are paid based on the numbers that they are able to match.
What to Look for in a Quality NZ Casino
In New Zealand, players have hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to playing at online casinos. While there are plenty of great choices out there, players should be very cautious and ensure that they choose wisely. After all, you’re going to be spending money – so you want to ensure that you’re playing in a safe environment and that the site caters to your personal gaming tastes.
Even though the New Zealand government doesn’t license and regulate online casinos, this is still a very important aspect of playing at NZ gambling sites. When you’re browsing offshore site options, licensing should be your main priority.
When an online casino has obtained a license from an international gaming commission, they must adhere to specific rules concerning player protection and game fairness. Without a license, an NZ casino doesn’t have to be accountable to anyone, and players never truly know where they stand. So, ensure that you only ever play at New Zealand casino sites that have a license.
There are several locations that license online casinos, and the jurisdictions that you should keep an eye out for are:
- The United Kingdom
- Costa Rica
Word of mouth tends to be the most popular form of marketing among online gambling sites in New Zealand. You can always find out about the best places to play NZ online casino games by listening to other players as well as gaming experts.
So, you should always browse player forums to find out what others have to say about any sites that you’re considering signing up for. Find out what the most common complaints are for that site, and decide whether they are deal-breakers. Issues concerning banking are always a red flag, and you should not register with an NZ casino site that is known for having difficulty processing withdrawals.
Expert reviews also provide you with important information that will influence your decision. You’ll be able to find out what gaming professionals, who have years of experience in the industry, think about specific sites. They know exactly what to look for and provide you with a comprehensive look at the most important aspects of the site.
It’s essential that you do this kind of research when looking for the right NZ online casino for you. You want to ensure that you’re playing with a reputable operator that you can trust to look after your best interests to ensure that you have a fun and safe gaming experience.
It’s important that you never use cash-based banking methods to make your deposits and withdrawals. If a site deals in Western Union transfers, that is usually a very big flag.
It’s important that you pay close attention to how secure your chosen NZ online casino is. The most crucial sign is SSL encryption. You can easily tell whether a site is secure in this way by checking the address bar. If it says “https” instead of “http”, you’ll know that there is a sophisticated encryption system in place that ensures your information cannot be accessed by third parties.
When it comes to playing casino games online at New Zealand casinos, it’s important that you’re playing at a destination that offers the kinds of games that you’re interested in. There’s no point in signing up to an NZ online casino that has a great reputation if it only offers slots and you’d rather play live dealer games.
At most sites, you can take a look at the game selection without having to sign up or deposit. So, browse the lobby to ensure that there are plenty of games that tickle your fancy.
You should also consider which specific developers offer their games to the site. It’s best to sign up to a site with casino games from well-known and reputable designers like NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT and Yggdrasil Gaming.
This is to ensure that you’re being offered fair gaming experiences, and that the outcome of any game you play has not been manipulated in any way. These developers are known to be trustworthy because they conduct their own in-house testing, as well as obtaining assistance from third-party auditors, to ensure that every outcome is completely fair.
Mobile gaming continues to become increasingly popular among online casino players. Fortunately, you can play to your hearts; content while on the go thanks to the use of HTML5 technology among online gambling operators. If you’re a mobile player, ensure that your chosen operator offers gaming services that can be accessed on tablets and smartphones.
It’s always a good idea to take a look at the mobile site of any online casino that you’re considering signing up to. The best NZ online casinos have responsive sites that adjust to the size of the screen that you’re using, which means that you’ll be able to get the same gaming experience on tablets, smartphones and PCs. However, some operators have been slow on the uptake of mobile gaming, so you should keep an eye out for any glitches or lagging when making your decision about where to play.
What Types of Casino Games Are Available at NZ Gambling Sites?
The best NZ online casinos offer up a wide range of activities for you to enjoy. No matter what type of gaming experience you’re after, you’ll be able to find a New Zealand casino site that caters to your tastes.
Slots game are in huge abundance at NZ casino sites. At any given site, you should be able to find hundreds of online slots games. Even sites that specialise in sports betting or online poker will provide you with the chance to play a wide range of slots games in various formats and with unique themes.
Online poker games are usually found at dedicated poker sites. You’ll find a wide variety of poker variants like Seven Card Stud, Texas Hold’Em and Omaha – along with many different tournaments that you can take part in for life-changing prizes.
There are several online sportsbooks out there for you to wager on games in a wide variety of leagues. Sports betting is one of the most popular gaming pastimes in New Zealand, and you’ll find no shortage of online bookmakers so you can place your bets from virtually anywhere.
Blackjack, craps and roulette are among the myriad of online table games available at NZ casino sites. You’ll be able to find different variations and games that cater to high rollers as well as those are on a budget.
Instant Win Games
Instant wins games are basically online scratch cards. With the click of a button, you reveal whether or not you’ve won a prize. They are rather niche games, so you’ll only find a few whenever you’re playing at online casinos.
Bingo is like poker, in that the game is usually found on sites that are dedicated to this particular game. You’ll be able to take part in fun bingo games with various prizes available, and a wide range of ticket prices. Online bingo is just as social as its land-based counterpart, with lively chat rooms where players can interact.
Live Dealer Games
Live dealer table games offer you the chance to interact with dealers in real time. They are broadcasted to you via webcam, and you can place your wagers using a digital interface. A wide range of live dealer games are available, including blackjack and roulette. This is perfect for players who want to experience the thrill of land-based casino games without having to leave home.
Don’t Miss Out on Great Bonuses
The great thing about playing at NZ online casinos rather than in land-based venues is that there are always amazing bonuses available. You can get extra cash and free spins to make your online gaming experience all the more exciting.
Welcome bonuses double your first deposit. The operator will match whatever you’ve deposited so you have some extra cash to play with. Sometimes, the welcome bonus will extend to your second and third deposits.
No Deposit Bonuses
No deposit bonuses are becoming increasingly common at New Zealand casino sites. These types of bonuses provide you with a small cash bonus upon registering, before you’ve made your first deposit. It gives you the chance to get to know the site and its software without having to make any kind of financial commitment.
Reload bonuses are just like welcome bonuses – except they are available to all players rather than just new players. They tend to offer a smaller match, usually about 25% to 50%, on your deposit.
NZ online casinos often give away free spins on popular slots. You can play games like NetEnt’s Aloha Cluster Pays and Starburstwithout having to spend any money. Your spins are usually worth about 10c, and you’re given anywhere from 10 to 100 in a single go. This is a great chance to experience new titles.
Enjoying your time at a specific online casino? Tell your friends about it! Whenever someone signs up using your referral code or your email address, you’ll receive a small cash bonus or free spins.
Wagering Requirements for New Zealand Online Casinos
All NZ online casino bonuses come with wagering requirements attached. These are terms which dictate how you have to spend your bonus cash before you can withdraw it.
When you claim a cash bonus, you have to wager the original amount a number of times over before you can withdraw it. So, for example, if a site has a 30x wagering requirement and you’ve claimed a $10 bonus, you’ll have to spend $300 before you can withdraw that original $10. Fortunately, casinos release your bonus in increments, so you don’t have to worry about meeting the wagering requirements all at once.
When it comes to free spins, there is usually a maximum win limit. This is usually no more than $100. So, if you’re playing your free spins and win $125, you’ll be able to keep the first $100 (available to withdraw immediately). The remaining $25 will either be forfeited to the casino or come with pretty hefty wagering requirements.
It’s always a good idea to check out the terms and conditions of an NZ casino site before you sign up. Wagering requirements vary from casino to casino, ranging from 25x on the lower end of the spectrum all the way up to 50x. Ensure that you have a budget that supports the wagering requirements of the site, so that you can make the most of your gaming experience.
Mobile Gaming at NZ Casinos
If you’d prefer to play NZ casino games while on the go rather than from your desktop or laptop computer, this is easily doable. You can use your tablet or smartphone to access your favourite games, without having to download any software.
Since New Zealand is an unregulated online gambling market, you won’t find mobile casino apps on the Google App Store and Apple App Market. This means that your main option is the play on the mobile version of the website.
In some cases, if you’re playing from an Android device, you can download the apk file. These files are usually available directly from the operator’s website, and you have to enable downloads from unknown sources to be able to install them.
Online casino games aren’t very demanding in terms of bandwidth, and it’s unlikely that you’ll go through gigabytes of data just by playing slots and blackjack. Still, you should always ensure that you’re connect to Wi-Fi when playing casino games from your mobile device, just to ensure that you don’t run over your data allowance.
NZ Online Casino FAQ
Have a quick question about the NZ online gambling market? Take a look at our FAQ for more information about playing at online casinos in New Zealand:
Are my NZ online casino winnings taxed?
When you have a winning session playing at a New Zealand casino site, you don’t have to worry about paying taxes. The money is free to withdraw to your account, and there’s no need to give any of it away.
What are the benefits of playing online versus in person?
While you might enjoy the glitz and glamour of playing casino games at brick-and-mortar venues, online casinos offer up some great benefits. First of all, you don’t have to leave your house to play your favourite slots and table games, and you can even play from your mobile device.
Land-based casinos also aren’t as generous when it comes to bonuses. At NZ online casinos, you can claim all sorts of great offers that boost your bankroll, such as reloads and free spins.
Is it safe to play at New Zealand online casinos?
It’s safe to play at online casinos from New Zealand, as long as you sign up to a reputable site. Check out our guide above to find out ho to select the most trustworthy NZ casino site to sign up to, by considering security, licensing and reputation.
How do I deposit and withdraw money to my account?
A wide range of banking methods are available for you to deposit to and withdraw from your casino account. Credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets and bank transfers are all available – but bitcoin is considered the safest option. It is a completely anonymous online banking platform that helps players stay safe and when making online casino transactions.
Can I play free casino games online in New Zealand?
There are plenty of opportunities for players to access free online casino games at NZ gaming sites. Most operators provide you with demos alongside the real-money version of their slots and table games – so you can “try before you buy”. It’s only live dealer games that don’t have free versions available.
Can I play online casino games using my mobile device?
Most NZ casino sites are optimised for play on tablets and smartphones, as well as on PCs. Real-money casino apps are not available to download in New Zealand, but you can play from sites that offer HTML5-powered games.
Bethany is a graduate of York University’s Professional and Creative Writing program. Having earned her degree in 2009, she quickly jumped into blogging and has worked as a writer in the casino market for 10 years. Bethany loves all things gaming and, when she’s not writing, you can usually find her glued to her Xbox.