Your ultimate guide to online casinos in New Zealand
If you enjoy visiting brick-and-mortar casinos but don’t want to keep traveling to the venues, have you considered online casinos? These are a great alternative and are incredibly accessible from your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can play amazing casino games whenever you want, and of course, there is always the chance to win big jackpot prizes.
When it comes to New Zealand residents, it’s important to note that online casino legality varies globally so it’s vital that you understand how they work in your country. Below, we have compiled the ultimate guide to online casinos in New Zealand, including legality and what to expect.
Legality of online casinos in New Zealand
As mentioned, online casinos are not universally legal, and each country has varying laws relating to their use. For example, in the US, online casinos are only legal in approximately five states! New Zealand has very specific regulation relating to online casinos, which is set out in the Gambling Act 2003 by the NZ government.
Gambling Act 2003
The Gambling Act 2003 aimed to define the legality and availability of gambling in New Zealand, including online casinos. As it stands, NZ citizens can gamble online on lotteries, sports betting and casinos, but online casinos are not legal within the country.
The government does not issue online casino licenses, which means that NZ players can only use offshore alternatives. Simply put, you can play at a licensed online casino outside New Zealand if it accepts NZ players, but there are no NZ-based online casinos.
What to expect from online casinos that accept NZ playersThis means that NZ players must use other means to play at online casinos. In terms of availability and what to expect from the platforms, we discuss the common features below for New Zealand online casinos:
Let’s get one thing straight — not all offshore casinos are created equal, and there are unscrupulous platforms that have malicious practices. This is why New Zealand customers must only ever play at licensed online casinos. If an online casino has a gambling license, it means that it is regulated and must comply with the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction the license covers.
This means you have a level of protection in comparison to unlicensed offshore casinos, where they can essentially do whatever they want without reprieve. You can usually find licensing information in the website footer of the online casino and ideally, there should be a link to the licensing body’s website.
Different online casinos accept different currencies, so it’s vital that you check what a platform supports before you create an account. Obviously, as a Kiwi you want NZD to be an accepted currency and luckily this is one of the more widely accepted currencies around the world. Other popular currencies accepted at NZ online casinos include EUR, USD, GBP and AUD.
If a casino doesn’t accept NZD, then you need to consider the cost of exchanging currency and what you stand to lose out on by converting to something like USD or EUR.
Accepted payment methods
In addition, make sure you take a look at the payment methods accepted too. Most casinos for NZ players have a dedicated banking page where you can see information on deposits and withdrawals, limits and the accepted payment methods.
In most instances, you will find that NZ online casinos accept common payment methods that Kiwis use, including Visa debit cards, MasterCard credit cards and PayPal. Oftentimes, more specific payment methods such as Union Pay might be available too, and if you are into cryptocurrency, you can often make deposits with currencies like BTC and ETH.
Casino games are obviously one of the main reasons we enjoy online casinos, and platforms for New Zealand players typically have an amazing game selection. This includes the main categories of pokies, table games, progressive jackpots and live dealer games.
Pokies are usually the most popular category and NZ casinos offer hundreds of titles including well-known games such as Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst and Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead. Oftentimes, they have huge progressive jackpot prize pools too that can be won on games like Mega Moolah and Divine Fortune.
NZ players have access to some amazing live dealer games too, where you can interact with a real human dealer via voice chat and watch via a live streaming feed as they deal your cards and control the flow of play like in a real casino.
Many casinos for New Zealand players have a wide range of promotions, the most common of which is the welcome offer. This is usually a matched deposit bonus where you get a percentage of bonus funds based on how much you credit your account with.
For example, a casino might give new registered users a 100% matched deposit bonus of up to 1000 NZD. This means that if you deposited 200 NZD, you would get 200 NZD in bonus funds too. Aside from welcome offers for new customers, there are frequent promos for existing customers too, such as reload bonuses, cashback, free spins and weekly deposit bonuses.
VIP / Loyalty programs
Some casinos that accept New Zealand customers have a VIP or loyalty program. These essentially reward repeat customers and those who play at the casino on a regular basis. VIP programs usually have different tiers, and you accrue loyalty points every time you spend money.
These loyalty points can be exchanged for real money, prizes and things like free spins on pokies. Loyalty programs usually have other benefits such as birthday gifts, improved withdrawal processing times and access to exclusive rewards and bonuses.
The accessibility of casinos for NZ players is usually excellent and most platforms have both a web browser version and a mobile version of their website. The mobile version is responsive and automatically shrinks to fit properly on the smaller screen size of smartphones.
A lot of casinos also have dedicated mobile apps that you can download on Android and iOS devices from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. These are often preferable to web browser versions as they are easier to use and can store your login information.
NZ players have access to some amazing online casinos
Despite the legality issues with online casinos in New Zealand, Kiwis still have access to some superb offshore online casinos that cater to the NZ audience. The key is to make sure that the casino is licensed by a reputable licensing body and that it accepts NZD and common payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.