How We Review the Best New Zealand Online Casinos
The Casino Gorilla may not look like the most conscientious of creatures as he lounges in a hammock scratching his belly, but in fact the big hairball is laser-focused when it comes to casino reviews. When examining the requirements of a particular country he leaves no stone unturned in a bid to find the best of the best. In this case, our expert reviewer has sifted through hundreds of candidates to find the ultimate list of New Zealand-friendly online casinos.
There are a variety of factors to take into account when it comes to choosing the ideal online casino for New Zealanders, so here is how we have been able to come up with our list of the best of the best casinos:
- Game Selection. The reason we love online casinos is because of the thrill of being able to play real money casino games no matter where we are in the world. Nothing is more disappointing than signing up with a new site to discover a limited game selection and boring titles from second-rate providers. That’s why the Casino Gorilla hunts out the sites which offer the best range of high-quality games from top developers, tailored to meet the needs of a New Zealand audience. That means the latest slots, traditional table games, jackpots and live dealer options.
- Security. Any time you are entrusting your money and your personal information to an online company you want to be able to trust that both are safe and secure. The Casino Gorilla does the background checks to make sure that our recommended casinos offer watertight encrypted security processes as well as impeccable safety records when it comes to making transactions. When you play with any of our New Zealand online casino options security will be guaranteed.
- Welcome Bonus. One way that players have a real chance to make a profit from the casinos is by taking advantage of a generous welcome bonus. Our Casino Gorilla has sought out the best welcome offers which New Zealand players can take advantage of, so you will never miss out on the best promotions. That means high-value offers with reasonable wagering requirements offering players a real chance to profit.
- Deposit Options. There is not much point in signing up with an online casino if you find yourself unable to make any deposits. Sometimes New Zealand residents have trouble making deposits with debit and credit cards, but if that is the case for you then don’t worry, as our selected casinos will have plenty of alternative options. One of the factors we take into account when recommending online casinos is how easy it will be for local players to make deposits, with the more options the better.
- Fast Payout Times. There is nothing guaranteed to annoy online casino gamers more than sites which are slow to process withdrawals. When players hit a big win, the last thing they want to be confronted by is unnecessary delays as they await their pay-outs. Our selected casinos have been tried and tested to ensure that payments are made on time and without any fuss or additional conditions.
- Mobile Gaming Experience. More New Zealanders choose to play at online casinos using their smartphones ahead of any other device. For that reason, we made sure that all of our recommended casinos are perfectly adapted to mobile play. That means a great selection of mobile gaming options, plus sites that can be easily navigated on the small screen as well as larger desktop devices.
- Customer Support. Customer support is the human ‘face’ of any online casino, as they are how you will be able to speak to the casino. For that reason, we expect and demand professional and courteous support staff who are well-qualified to deal with any queries or complaints in a prompt and efficient way.
New Zealand Online Casinos & Pokies
Our list of online casinos to suit players from New Zealand covers all of the points mentioned above. New Zealand may not be the world’s biggest online gaming market but it deserves access to the best that the online gaming market has to offer. The Casino Gorilla has selected these casinos after countless hours of research to ensure that they are suitable for Kiwi casino players. That means the best payment options, bonus offers which can be claimed in New Zealand, and the type of game selection that local players enjoy.
Pokies are to be found not only in New Zealand’s six land-based casinos, but also in hundreds of bars and restaurants across the country.
Playing pokies is the favourite past-time of Kiwi casino gamers, beating out the competition for more traditional table games.
Today it is possible to play literally thousands of online pokies in New Zealand without even leaving the house, as there are so many options from international online casinos. Here at Casino Gorilla we are your guide to the best online pokies out there and the best online casinos where you can find them. We separate the best from the rest, and keep you up to date with the best games and promotions for New Zealand based players.
Most Popular Casino Games in New Zealand
New Zealanders have always loved playing casino games and are fans of just about every genre. However, besides sports betting it can’t be denied that pokies – that’s ‘slot machines’ to the rest of the world – are number one in the list of most popular casino games. Hardly a surprise when you consider the vast quantity of different slot games available online, covering a wide range of different genres from blockbuster movies to niche interests. Some of the more popular slots with a Kiwi audience include classics like Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst, as well as the Age of the Gods series of games from Playtech. And like most other countries around the world, the massive jackpots like Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune are hugely popular in New Zealand as well.
Besides pokies, New Zealanders retain a fondness for traditional games as well. Since the advent of live dealer online casinos this genre has become particularly popular. Games which originated hundreds of years ago in continental Europe are just as popular in 21st century New Zealand. Blackjack, roulette and (to a lesser extent) baccarat are popular with Kiwi casino gamers. Poker also had a huge impact on the New Zealand market, whether that be on dedicated poker platforms or playing versions of stud or hold ‘em poker at online and land-based casinos.
Online Casino Banking with New Zealand Dollars
The biggest online casinos will generally provide a wide range of different payment options, as well as a variety of different currencies to choose from. New Zealand dollars are not occasionally, but not always, among the available currencies at online casinos. The relatively small size of the population means that not every online casino will offer this currency, unless they are specifically targeting New Zealand. However, even when Kiwi dollars are not among the available options, New Zealand-based players can simply choose one of the other currencies when they deposit and their local currency will be exchanged for AUD, USD, EUR or whichever currency is selected.
We know that you have questions, and so the Casino Gorilla has tried to anticipate what you really want to know about NZ online casinos. Check out our list of frequently asked questions to find the answers to these common queries:
QUESTION: Is online gaming legal in New Zealand?
ANSWER: The Gambling Act of 2003 covers the legality of gambling in New Zealand. Online gambling was in its infancy when this Act was created, which means that there are no precise regulations corresponding to online casino gaming as we know it today. The Act does prohibit “gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device” which is a blanket term to cover online gambling. However, this only relates to New Zealand based online casinos and so there is no restriction on New Zealanders playing at international online casinos.
QUESTION: Do I have to pay to register at these NZ online casinos?
ANSWER: It is not necessary to pay money to register at New Zealand online casinos. Any casino which asks for a fee to register should be ignored as this type of behavior would be deeply suspicious. Most online casinos will require players to make a deposit in order to claim a welcome bonus, but no payment should ever be required simply to register at an online site.
QUESTION: Do I have to pay taxes on winnings as a Kiwi?
Gambling winnings in New Zealand are only taxed if gambling is your primary source of income. For example, a professional poker player would be required to pay taxes on his/her winnings if they had no other source of income. However, assuming that you have another source of income you will never be charged tax on winnings from an online casino.
QUESTION: What are my deposit options for online casinos?
ANSWER: Players based in New Zealand will have a range of different payment methods to choose from. Debit and credit cards are the most common options, but there are plenty of alternatives. Electronic wallets like Skrill and Neteller are very popular and omnipresent options for casino gamers. Further payment options include online fund transfer mechanisms, pre-paid voucher systems and cryptocurrency transfers.
QUESTION: How do I claim the welcome bonus?
ANSWER: Nearly every online casino will offer a welcome bonus for new players, and New Zealanders are eligible to claim such bonuses in our recommended online casinos. A deposit will be required in order to claim the welcome bonus, and generally this bonus will match your deposit to a certain percentage. Some casinos award bonuses on the first three, four or five deposits, with varying levels of bonus on offer for each. Sometimes a bonus code is required so check the terms of the bonus to see if this is the case, although normally simply making the deposit will suffice and the bonus funds will be credited to your account.
QUESTION: How do I know the sites I am playing at are safe?
ANSWER: You can be sure that any sites recommended by the Casino Gorilla are safe, because we do the background checks so you don’t have to. If you plan to use a different online casino, it is always a good idea to scan down to the bottom of the page to find out just where the casino is licensed. The absence of a license is a definite red flag, and ideally you would like to see casinos which hold licenses from respected regulators such as those in the UK, Malta, Isle of Man or Gibraltar.
Best Land Based Casinos in New Zealand
There are a total of six land-based casinos currently operating in New Zealand, the first of which opened back in 1994. These casinos have proved enormously popular with the New Zealand public, and thousands upon thousands flood to the casinos and associated entertainment complexes every week. Here’s a brief introduction to what you can expect from the New Zealand casino scene.
- Dunedin Casino: Opened in 1999, Dunedin Casino boasts 12 gaming tables and 180 modern gaming machines. Come to this elegant casino and you can play games like blackjack, roulette, stud poker and baccarat at the professionally run gaming tables.
- Christchurch Casino: Styling itself as ‘Christchurch’s Entertainment Destination’, New Zealand’s original casino is open 7 days a week, from 11am to 3am. Play your favourite casino table games on any of the available tables or select a gaming machine from their extensive range. Restaurants and bars help to make a trip to this casino an entertaining night out.
- SKYCITY Auckland: At the base of the looming Sky Tower in Auckland you can find the SKYCITY entertainment complex. The enormous casino houses more than 2,000 gaming machines and over 150 gaming tables so you are certain to find the game for you. There are VIP rooms for high rollers, and you can also book packages to learn how to play some of the most popular casino games.
- SKYCITY Hamilton: Another of the SKYCITY group of casinos, the Hamilton complex includes bars, restaurants and a bowling alley as well as the opulent casino. Here you will find around 330 gaming machines and a large number of table games which include baccarat, roulette and blackjack options.
- SKYCITY Queenstown: One of two Queenstown-based casinos from the SKYCITY group, the Queenstown site opened in 2000 and was taken over by SKYCITY in 2012. Open from 12 noon to 4am seven days a week, the Queenstown casino offers 86 gaming machines plus tables where you can play popular games like roulette, baccarat, stud poker and blackjack.
- SKYCITY Wharf Casino: The second Queensland venue is the SKYCITY Wharf Casino. This casino is slightly smaller than its sister, hosting 6 gaming tables and around 70 gaming machines. Drop in any day of the week from 11am to 2am – over 20s only.
Information on Problem Gambling in New Zealand
Problem gambling can creep up on anybody, no matter where they come from or how much money they have. Here at the Casino Gorilla we want people to play at online casinos because they enjoy it, not as a way to try and earn money or pay off debts. There’s an old saying that ‘the house always wins’ so casino gambling should never be used as a way to generate income.
Here are a few signs to look out for if you believe that you or someone you know my be experiencing problems with gambling:
- ‘chasing’ losses and exceeding your gaming budget in the process
- lying to friends/family about the extent of your gambling
- borrowing money to gamble, either from friends or financial institutions
- stealing money to gamble with
- being unable to think about anything else except gambling
- betting more and more to get a ‘buzz’ from gambling
- losing interest in previous hobbies or activities
- gambling to escape problems rather than for fun
If you believe that you or a loved one may have an issue with problem gambling, then we recommend that you get in touch with one of the following organizations. They will be able to offer advice and assistance and are completely confidential: