If you're an online casino fan living in New Zealand, then you can benefit from a great range of sites that accept players from NZ.
You can use this page to find the best New Zealand casinos out there, the ones that are highly rated by the Casino Guru team to give you a brilliant casino experience. As well as that, you can see information about gambling legislation in the country, how it affects the typical NZ casino and what are the aspects to consider.
Read on to find out more about:
- Land-based gambling in New Zealand
- Internet gambling in New Zealand
- How to choose the best New Zealand online casino
Land-based gambling in New Zealand
Gambling is a popular pastime in New Zealand and has probably existed since the first European settlement there in the late 18th century.
The introduction of the 1908 Gambling Act placed heavy restrictions on the practice, however, with legal gambling limited to racetracks – a policy in line with the more puritanical thinking of the time.
Despite these measures, gambling continued to be a common activity and 1951 saw the country relax its laws to allow lotteries – the famous Golden Kiwi draw being the first – slot machines, and a few casinos dotted around the nation.
Today, much of the gambling action takes place via 'pokies' — the word New Zealanders use for slot machines. These arrived in the country in the late 1980s and are owned by charitable organizations rather than commercial enterprises.
Note: While gamblers still have to be careful to gamble safely, they can play with the knowledge that a percentage of their stake goes to charity and public causes, such as the building of a $402 million convention center in Auckland.
Despite fairly relaxed gambling laws, there are still only a handful of legal casinos in New Zealand, with the first opened in 1994. This may be down to the fact that a lot of the winnings must go to public funds, making it less attractive for businesses to open multiple venues.
Current gambling legislation follows the Gambling Act of 2003, and is regulated by the Department of Internal affairs. With its strong emphasis on public funds and responsible gambling, New Zealand is an example of a country with a modern social outlook on land-based betting.
Internet Gambling in New Zealand
Online gambling is a little more complicated in New Zealand. The 2003 Gambling Act forbids domestic operators from running online casinos, to the point that only online lotteries and sports books affiliated with the country's authorities are allowed.
This might sound a tad extreme, until you see that the Act doesn't forbid foreign operators from offering games to New Zealand residents. This means that anyone of legal gambling age can set up an account with an overseas site. New Zealand players, therefore, will have to trust the gambling regulations of other countries, but they will find that many big casino sites accept their currency and allow them to play to their heart's content.
The reasoning behind banning domestic operators is powered by one thing: it's much more difficult to regulate online companies, and where their profit goes. For this reason, the Act prefers to keep things simple and issue an outright ban.
Note: For those unlicensed operators caught breaking the law, the punishment can be severe – with heavy fines and prison sentences the most likely outcomes.
Of course, things could always change, and the government could decide to allow online gambling. Laws are subject to amendments and may be altered from day to day, so it's always a good idea to do your own research before you start playing.
Today, online betting – in foreign casinos – is a popular pastime among New Zealanders, and, with more options than ever before, it's useful to know how exactly to find a reliable online casino to play on.
How to choose the best New Zealand casino for you
While there are many New Zealand-friendly casinos to choose from, it's important to find one that you can trust. At Casino Guru, we use a rating and review system designed to help you find the best online casinos to play on, and this page will show you how to make use of it.
First, to make it onto this page, the casino must accept players from New Zealand: that's a basic requirement.
Our team scrutinizes each site to make sure that they have a good reputation and treat players fairly. You can find the casinos heading this list by selecting the 'Recommended' tab at the top of the page. You can also employ different filters, so the 'Newly opened' tab will give you the latest casinos available to New Zealand players, while 'All' will let you see the full list of eligible options.
Further filters will help you narrow down your search even more. Our advanced filters, also simple to use, allow you to see factors such as those New Zealand-eligible casinos that are mobile-friendly, in case you're keen to play during a long journey. You can also use 'Payment Method' to find those casinos that accept deposit from methods popular in New Zealand, such as Mastercard, Bitcoin and Paysafecard.
To supplement this page, we also have a How to choose an online casino article that gives you a detailed look into the things you should look for in an ideal casino. Reading this will help you avoid making the same mistakes other players make when choosing online casinos to play on.