Gambling in New Zealand
Sports Legal since 1951
Daily Fantasy Legal since 2003
Casino Legal since 1990
Poker Legal since 1990
Lottery Legal Since 1987

Guide to Online Gambling in NZ: The Best New Zealand Gambling Sites for 2019

Top Online Gambling Sites for Real Money

If you are a New Zealander looking for the best gambling sites, then look no further – we have got you covered! Given that it is completely legal to gamble at sites based outside of the country, there is no shortage of operators for you to choose from. Yet not all platforms are created equally. We have thoroughly researched the options available to Kiwis to bring you legal and renowned gambling sites that you can trust. Whether you enjoy betting on sports or playing casino games, poker or lotto, on this page you will find top sites with high quality products – here are our top 2019 platforms for online gambling in NZ:

  • Secure
  • Trusted
  • Verified
Last updated: August 09, 2019
Welcome Bonus Pros and Cons Test Score Trusted Link
350% Top Pokies Fully Mobile Compatible No Live Casino Games 4.9/5 www.planet7oz.com
NZ$1600 500+ Casino Games Excellent Live Games No PayPal Payments 4.8/5 www.jackpotcitycasino.com
NZ$375 30+ Game Providers Many Promotions Fewer Games on Mobile 4.4/5 www.playamo.com
NZ$1000 Many Jackpot Pokies Excellent Mobile App PayPal Not Accepted 4.1/5 www.spincasino.com
Why You Can Trust online-gambling.com
  • We have complete understanding of New Zealand gambling laws and follow the changes in the legislation and the activity of the Department of Internal Affairs and the Gambling Commission
  • We monitor gambling-related news and upcoming developments of the industry in the country by following the biggest local online media like TVNZ, The NZ Herald and stuff.co.nz.
  • We have extensive experience in creating free gambling guides and operator reviews. Some or most popular articles are our guides about the best online slots and the best online roulette.

Types of Gambling in New Zealand

Unlike some countries around the world, there is no ambiguity when it comes to gambling laws in New Zealand. The Gambling Act 2003 clearly details what constitutes legal and illegal gambling. And it is good news for Kiwis who like to gamble remotely. It is completely legal to gamble online, provided the operator is not based in the country. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the types of gambling New Zealanders can partake in, as well as recommended sites to gamble at.

Online Casino Gaming in New Zealand

As already mentioned, the legality of gambling in New Zealand is defined within the Gambling Act 2003. Section 9 (2)(b) clearly states that remote interactive gambling is illegal and prohibited within the country. Yet, the Department for Internal Affairs, who enforce gambling regulation in the country have clarified that gambling at casinos based outside of the country is perfectly legal and permitted. As such, Kiwis who want to play casino games online can do so at an offshore site. Given the clear legal status of remote gambling, many offshore casino sites accept players from New Zealand. So, you get a wide choice of casinos with great game selections and enticing bonus opportunities. We have tried and tested online casinos to bring you the best online casino that accepts players from New Zealand:

Top Casino Offer By:
JackpotCity
Up to NZ$1600 Bonus Package

Sports Betting

According to the Gambling Act 2003, it is illegal to operate as a bookmaker in New Zealand. Yet there is an exception. Sports betting is permitted under the Racing Act 2003, if it is offered by the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB). The NZRB is the statutory body that governs and promotes the racing industry. They operate the only licenced racing and sports betting agency in the country, The TAB.

As such, if Kiwis want to bet on sports, the TAB online sportsbook and shops are the only way to legally do so. However, in a similar way to remote gambling laws that permit New Zealanders to play at offshore casinos, residents of the country are also legally allowed to participate in online sports betting if the operator is based outside of the country. As such, NZ citizens have a great choice of operators to choose from. We have assessed the operators that accept New Zealanders to bring you the best sports betting offer currently available:

Top Sports Betting Offer By:
Betway
100% Bonus up to NZ$60 Free Sports Bet

Daily Fantasy

Daily Fantasy is a fairly new way to gamble on sports. Daily Fantasy sites enable you to put your skills to good use to become a legendary manager. You can take your pick from football, hockey, basketball, whatever fantasy sports take your fancy. Whilst you will not find any Daily Fantasy sites based within New Zealand, remote gambling laws permit Kiwis to bet at offshore Daily Fantasy sites. To find the best site, you need to take various factors into consideration, from security standards to available leagues and promotional offers. For your convenience, we present to you our top recommended Daily Fantasy offer for New Zealand:

Top Daily Fantasy Offer By:
DraftKings
Free Entry to a Daily Fantasy Sports Contest

Online Poker

Poker is hugely popular in New Zealand, and residents can play the card game legally in the country’s land-based casinos. Yet in recent years, online poker has become the preferred way for many New Zealanders to play. The country’s gambling laws permit residents to play at poker sites, provided they are located offshore. Some of the world’s best-known poker sites accept players from the country. Given the large choice available, we have assessed poker sites to find those with the best games, tournaments and bonus opportunities. Below, you can find our top recommended poker site for NZ:

Top Poker Offer By:
William Hill Poker
Deposit and Get £100 Bonus

Lottery

The New Zealand Lotteries Commission was established under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977. It continues to operate under the Gambling Act 2003, which superseded the 1977 law. The commission operates nationwide lotteries in the country. Lotto New Zealand was launched in 1987 and continues to be popular to this day. The games available from Lotto New Zealand include Lotto, Powerball, Strike, Keno and Bullseye. Residents can participate in lotteries by buying tickets from an authorised retail outlet, or from the official website. There are also a wide variety of alternative lotteries that can be played online. If you want to play in international lotteries with whopping cash prizes, we recommend checking out the best lottery offer below:

Top Lottery Offer By:
The Lotter
Play with a Subscription Get Each 10th Ticket Free

Online Gambling Guide for NZ Players

New Zealand gambling laws permit citizens to legally gamble online, provided the site is based outside of the country. As such, you will find many offshore sites accept New Zealanders. Given that there is no shortage of choice when it comes to sites you can gamble on, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind when deciding where to play. From safety to game selection, bonuses to convenient payment options, we have prepared a complete guide to help you choose only the best gambling sites.

Gambling Licence & Safety in New Zealand

When deciding where to gamble online, your safety should be your number one priority. There is simply no point of taking risks when it comes to protecting your privacy and sensitive data. You need to be confident that you are playing at a legit site where you will be protected. Fortunately, there are simple checks you can carry out to be certain that you are playing at a safe and secure site.

If you want to play at an online casino, you should check for a valid licence issued by a respected regulatory body, such as the UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority. This verifies that the operator has proven they adhere to the highest standards of players protection. This includes encrypted transactions, independently tested fair games, and a commitment to promoting responsible gambling. To help you choose safe sites to bet at, we have listed key gambling safety symbols you will find displayed on trusted gambling sites.

Gambling Safety Symbols:
UKGC The UKGC issues licences allowing gambling sites to legally operate in the UK. The commission regulates the UK gambling industry to ensure players are protected. A UK licence verifies an operator is legit.
eCOGRA eCOGRA is an independent, internationally respected testing agency. It specialises in testing and certifying online gaming software. An eCOGRA seal of approval verifies the integrity of a casino’s games.
MGA The Malta Gaming Authority licences and regulates real money gambling sites that are located within its jurisdiction. An operator must adhere to the highest standards of player protection to gain an MGA licence.
GLI GLI is a leading testing authority within the online gambling industry. They provide a range of services, including RNG testing and game result audits. They produce reports detailing actual payouts of games at an online casino.
GamCare GamCare is an organisation that provides help, information and support to anyone affected by problem gambling. They also aim to minimise gambling-related harm through education and prevention initiatives.

How to Spot a Great Product: Games and Bets

Once you have confirmed that an operator is safe and licenced, the next thing to assess is the games and bets the site has to offer. If you want to play at an online casino or poker site, you need to check that the operator has a rich selection of games and tournaments to choose from. Whereas if you want to bet on sports, you should look out for a good selection of betting markets with competitive odds. Whilst many gambling sites offer good bonus offers, it is worth nothing if you cannot play the games or make the types of bets that you want to. To help you identify the best products, we have listed the minimum requirements the site should have. We have also listed the best gambling operators for New Zealanders.

Gambling Type Min Product Requirements Best Gambling Operator Why It’s the Best?
Sports Betting Competitive Odds Fast, Hassle-Free Payouts Mobile Compatibility Betway Wide Variety of Betting Markets Great Mobile App Renowned Operator
Online Casino Rich Game Selection Mobile Compatibility Mobile Compatibility Jackpot City Big Welcome Bonus 500+ Mobile Games Many Jackpots
Daily Fantasy Many Tournaments Mobile Friendly Various Sports Leagues DraftKings Hundreds of Tournaments Create Custom Leagues Top Mobile App
Online Poker Rich Variety of Games Many Poker Rooms Multiple Tournaments William Hill Poker Major Tournaments Many Payment Options 15+ Poker Variants
Online Lotto International Lotteries Syndicates Regular Promotions The Lotter Lotteries from 20+ Countries Intuitive Mobile App Money Back Guarantee

Best Gambling Bonuses in New Zealand

A real advantage of gambling online is that you can benefit from welcome bonuses. There are various types of offers available, including matched deposit bonuses, free spins and free bets. Some are even available in your currency. Yet before you accept any bonus at a gambling site, you need to understand the terms and conditions attached to it.

Many bonuses come with a wagering requirement, which is a set number of times you must play through the bonus before you can withdraw any winnings you make with it. Bonus conditions can vary greatly, and it is important to remember that the biggest bonus does not always offer you the best deal. As such, you should always read and understand the bonus conditions before you accept it. For your convenience, we have made a list of the best gambling bonuses in New Zealand:

Gambling Type Best Bonus Offer Bonus Terms Bonus Offered By:
Sports Betting Free Sports Bet Up to $60 Min. deposit 20 NZD, 100% match up to 60 NZD. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock free bet. Betway
Online Casino Up to NZ$1600 Bonus Package 100% match up to $400 on the first 4 deposits. Bonus must be wagered x50. Jackpot City
Daily Fantasy Free Entry to a Daily Fantasy Sports Contest With your first deposit of $5 or more, you will receive a FREE $3 ticket to play in any $3 paid contest. You must use this ticket within 1 year of depositing. Not redeemable for cash. DraftKings
Online Poker £100 Bonus + Twister Discovery Park Opt-in required. X1 per customer. New customers only, min deposit £10. Game restrictions and Terms Apply. Twister Discovery Pack: 1X tournament tickets total value of €6. £100 Bonus Money: WHPoints to redeem Bonus, 45 days validity. William Hill Poker
Online Lotto Play with a Subscription and Receive Every 10th Ticket for Free When you subscribe, you will play every draw of your favourite lottery until you cancel it. If you play with a subscription, you will receive every 10th ticket for free + 25 VIP points. The Lotter

Gambling Sites with the Best Payouts

There is no denying the thrill and fun of real money gambling. Yet if you want to make your gambling experience profitable, as well as enjoyable, you need to check out the operator’s payout rates. Reliable operators will provide payout reports on their site, which have been independently produced. These reports give you an indication of how much of all real money wagers is returned as winnings. The overall payout percentages will change each month, yet they give you a good indication of how favourable the site is. In the table below, we have listed the NZ gambling sites with the best payout track record.

Gambling Site Type Operator Name Payout Payout Verified by: Best Payout Game:
Best Payout Casino Jackpot City 96.47% eCogra All Aces Power Poker
Best Payout Betting Site Betway 93%-98% eCogra Football Betting
Best Payout Daily Fantasy Site DraftKings 91%-96% n/a Football
Best Payout Poker Site William Hill Poker 95%-99% GLI Texas Hold’Em
Best Payout Lotto Site The Lotter 50%-70% N/A Australia Powerball

Accepted Payment Methods

To gamble online with real money, you will need to make a deposit. Licensed operators support a wide range of payment options for depositing and withdrawing securely, providing solutions to suit the needs of all gamblers. All gambling sites that accept players from New Zealand allow you to pay by credit/debit card or bank transfer. Yet the best operators provide many alternative solutions too. E-wallets such as PayPal and Neteller are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their extra layer of security and the speed of cash outs. You can also find an increasing number of NZ gambling sites that support cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Here, you can see at a glance the various payment options accepted by gambling sites in New Zealand.

  1. e-Wallets:
    1. PayPal
    2. Skrill
    3. Neteller
    4. EcoPayz
  2. Credit/Debit Cards:
    1. Visa
    2. MasterCard
    3. EFTPOS Card
  3. Bank Transfers:
    1. Instant Banking
    2. Bank Transfer
    3. Wire Transfer
  4. Other:
    1. ApplePay
    2. Bitcoin
    3. Paysafecard

Mobile Gambling Apps

Gambling on the go is a trend that has gone from strength to strength in recent years. The convenience of placing bets on your mobile phone or tablet means you can have a flutter anytime and anywhere the mood takes you. The best gambling sites have embraced this trend, developing top-notch mobile apps to meet their customers’ needs. Many sites are fully optimised for mobile play, so you can grab your device and gamble instantly from your browser. Some operators have also developed native apps which can be downloaded for iOS and Android devices. We have tested out mobile apps and created a list of the best gambling apps available in New Zealand:

Gambling Type Best Gambling App iOS Version Required Android Version Required
Sports Betting Betway iOS 10.0 or later Nougat or later
Online Casino Jackpot City iOS 9.0 or later KitKat or later
Daily Fantasy DraftKings iOS 9.0 or later KitKat or later
Online Poker William Hill Poker iOS 9.0 or later KitKat or later
Online Lotto The Lotter iOS 8.0 or later JellyBean or later

Safe & Fair Gambling Software

To be considered one of the best gambling sites in New Zealand, the operator must use safe and fair gambling software. A solid and reliable platform is essential in providing you with a smooth, bug-free user-experience. It also ensures that games are fair and not rigged. Operators rely on specialist software developers to power their sites and there is no shortage of providers for them to choose from. Some of the leading providers in the industry include Playtech and Microgaming. If you are new to gambling online, you may be unfamiliar with the different providers. As such, we have listed the best gambling software providers in New Zealand for you:

Gambling Type Best Gambling Software Other Popular Software
Sports Betting OpenBet Microgaming
Online Casino Microgaming Playtech
Daily Fantasy GAN Software Scout
Online Poker iPoker Network Playtech
Online Lotto Kootac Playtech

New Zealand Gambling Laws & Regulations

There are many forms of gambling which are legalised and regulated within New Zealand. The key piece of legislation that defines the legality of gambling is the Gambling Act 2003. The Department of Internal Affairs enforces gambling regulation in New Zealand, to keep gambling in the country honest and fair. When it comes to gambling online, there are very clear-cut guidelines within the law. In the following sections, we will delve into the details of gambling laws in New Zealand. Or if there is a particular topic which is of interest, you can jump directly to that section below.

Is Online Gambling Legal in New Zealand?

The NZ Gambling Act lists remote interactive gambling as prohibited and illegal. Yet this only concerns operators that are physically located within the country. So, whilst it is illegal for an online casino to operate from within the country, it is perfectly legal for New Zealanders to gamble online when the operator is based offshore. The legality of sports betting is governed by the Racing Act 2003. There is a single, state-run bookmaker that is authorised to legally operate within New Zealand. Although, it is again completely legal for Kiwis to partake in sports betting with an offshore bookie. Of cours, this means that New Zealand online gambling sites aren’t actually from the country – but this is rarely a problem for local players.

Land-Based Gambling in New Zealand

There are 6 land-based casinos within New Zealand, with the first opening its doors in 1994. The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for monitoring these venues and ensuring that they comply with the standards set out in the Gambling Act 2003. At the country’s licenced brick and mortar casinos, you can legally play a wide range of games, including pokies, roulette, blackjack and poker.

Sports betting is also popular within the country. There is a single racing and sports betting operator which operates legally in the country under the rules of the Racing Act 2003; the TAB. The organisation is run by the New Zealand Racing Board. There are currently over 600 TAB outlets based within the country where residents can bet on horseracing, greyhound racing, rugby, football and a range of other sports. Lotto New Zealand is the official licensed national lottery provider within the country, and tickets can be bought online or from hundreds of retail outlets.

Biggest gambling brands in New Zealand:
  • TAB – the sole sports betting operator in New Zealand, with over 600 retail outlets and online betting.
  • SkyCity – The company operates 4 of the country’s 6 land-based casinos, with the largest based in Auckland.
  • Lotto New Zealand – The country’s national lottery was launched in 1987 and there are more than 1400 lotto stores across the country.

Regional Gambling Laws & Differences Between Territories

The laws surrounding online gambling in NZ do not vary from one region to another. However, Territorial Authorities are responsible for creating a gambling venue policy. As such, they can impose limits on the number of machines, venues and TAB outlets within their region. The purpose of gambling venue policies is to assess the social impact of gambling within the district. Factors such as location of kindergartens, schools and other community facilities can affect a territory’s gambling venue policy. An operator must apply for consent from their TA in cases where they want to increase the number of gaming machines within their venue, or if they want to change location. Each TA must review their Class 4 gambling venue policy every 3 years.

Official Regulatory Bodies

The Department of Internal Affairs enforces gambling regulation within New Zealand. They aim to ensure that gambling adheres to the law, to control its growth, and to prevent and minimise the potential harm. The primary piece of legislation that is used to regulate the industry is the Gambling Act 2003. Under this act, the Gambling Commission was also established. The independent body is responsible for hearing casino licensing applications and appeals on licensing and enforcement decisions made by the Secretary of Internal Affairs, among other functions.

Department of Internal Affairs Overview
Website www.dia.govt.nz
Address 45 Pipitea Street, PO Box 10-095, Wellington 6011
Phone 0800 257 887
e-Mail gambling.compliance@dia.govt.nz
Active Since 1840
Key Persons Tracey Martin

The New Zealand Gambling Commission is an independent statutory decision-making body established under the NZ Gambling Act 2003. It is responsible for licensing casino operators and venues, approving any changes to casino licences and hearing and dealing with official gambling-related complaints. Additionally, the Commission can provide useful information about the prevention of gambling addiction, even though the Ministry of Health is officially responsible for the treatment and prevention of problem gambling. For more details, please consult the table below.

Gambling Commission Overview
Website www.gamblingcommission.govt.nz
Address Level 2, 41 Bath Street, Parnell, Auckland 1052
Phone +64 9 353 7223
e-Mail info@gamblingcom.govt.nz
Active Since 2003
Key Persons Graeme Reeves, Lisa Hansen, Scott Pearson, Donna Matahaere-Atariki, Wendie Harvey

Gambling Taxation: Do I Have to Declare My Winnings & Pay Taxes?

Great news for casual and recreational gamblers in New Zealand – you do not have to pay any tax on your winnings. This is because the Inland Revenue specifies that operators must pay duties on profits made from gambling activities. If an operator has any profits from gaming machines, they must pay a gaming machine duty (GMD) of 20%. There are, however, exemptions for charitable organisations. Casino operators must pay casino duty at the rate of 4% of the casino wins. In addition, a problem gambling levy (PGL) must be paid by operators on their profits, as follows:

  • Casino operators – 0.87% on casino wins
  • Non-casino gaming machine operators – 1.3% on machine profits
  • New Zealand Racing Board – 0.52% on betting profits
  • New Zealand Lotteries Commission – 0.40% on turnover less prizes paid and payable

Legal Gambling Age

Gambling Type Legal Gambling Age
Sports Betting 18
Casino 20
Daily Fantasy 18
Poker 20
Lotto 18

The legal age for gambling in New Zealand varies depending on the type of activity. To participate in sports betting, you must be 18 years of age or above. The same is true for buying a lottery ticket. However, to play at a casino within the country, or even to enter the gambling area of a casino, you must be 20 years or above. Any person under the age of 20 who is found to be in a gambling area or actually placing bets in a casino is liable for a fine of up to $500. Yet if a casino operator knowingly allows an underaged person to play in their venue, they could receive a fine of up to $5000. Thus, most casinos would look to restrict the access of underage gamblers, hence the very strict ID verification procedures that most online sites run.

Advertising Laws

We have mentioned several times in this guide to online gambling in New Zealand that residents are permitted to register and gamble at offshore sites under the terms of the Gambling Act. However, section 16 of the Act also stipulates that it is prohibited to advertise overseas gambling within the country. Any form of communication that publicises or promotes an operator based outside of the country is an offense under the law. Likewise, any communication that could be reasonably likely to encourage a person to gamble outside New Zealand is outlawed. There are however a few exclusions to the rule, namely when the intention of the advert is to minimise, prevent or treat gambling-related harm.

The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) provides a code of practice for advertising gaming and gambling within the country. All such advertisements must comply with certain principles. For starters, they should comply with the laws of the country, with particular attention being paid to age restrictions. Adverts should also observe high standards of social responsibility. Furthermore, they must not mislead or deceive customers, for instance, exaggerating chances of winning or implying that a player’s skill can influence the outcome of games of chance.

Penalties for Illegal Gambling

Any gambling which is not authorised by or under the Gambling Act 2003 is illegal, and there are various penalties attached to different forms of illegal gambling. Fines of up to $50,000 can be imposed on any organisation that participates in unauthorised gambling. In 2005, an Auckland man, Yi Li, was fined $12,000 for his role in operating an illegal casino, which was the first conviction of its kind under the Gambling Act. Unauthorised gambling can include remote gambling where the operator is based within the country. Penalties can also be imposed for overseas gambling advertisements. Below you can see a summary of the penalties for illegal gambling in New Zealand.

Penalties for gambling-related crime:
  • Underage Gambling – A fine of up to $500 for the gambler and up to $5000 for the operator
  • Advertising Overseas Gambling – a fine of up to $10,000
  • Participating in Unauthorised Gambling – A fine of up to $50,000 for organisations and a fine of up to $10,000 for individuals

Upcoming Regulation Changes

The legalities of online gambling in New Zealand came under the spotlight recently. The land-based casino brand, SKYCITY announced its intention to create an online casino. Given that it is illegal under current legislation to operate an online casino from within the country, the operator will base their services offshore. This re-opened the debate about whether updates should be made to the Gambling Act to be able to legislate and regulate the industry within the country.

Internal Affairs Minister, Tracey Martin is expected to deliver a white paper to cabinet later this year, which may recommend allowing online gaming services to be based within the country. Such a move could bring legislation that would provide better protection for New Zealand based gamblers. It is estimated that Kiwis are spending around $400m at offshore gambling sites. Locally-hosted gambling services could not only be regulated, but also taxed, bringing extra funds that could be reinvested into the community.

Responsible Gambling & Addiction Prevention

There is no denying that gambling can be great fun, but for some, it can become problematic. Problem gambling services in New Zealand are funded through a levy on all gambling operators within the country. The Ministry of Health is responsible for the prevention ofaddiction and treatment of problem gambling. They also oversee the funding and co-ordination of problem gambling services. If you or a family member is affected by such problems, there are various services and organisations which you can turn to for help and support. A good starting point is the Gambling Helpline, which can be contacted any time night or day on 0800 654 655. Below, you can find useful contacts that can offer help to anyone affected by problem gambling:

Online Gambling in New Zealand Trivia – Curious Facts

Gambling has never been more popular in New Zealand. New Zealand online gambling is definitely on the rize. Official statistics compiled by the Department of Internal Affairs show that gamblers in New Zealand spent $2.38 billion in the 2017/18 financial year. That is $49 million (2%) more than the previous year. There are 4 main forms of gambling within the country and each type saw an increase in expenditure. Lotteries spending increased by 1.1%, racing & sports betting rose by 3.6%, casinos recorded a 1.1% rise and non-casino gaming machine (pokies) expenditure increased by 2.9%. Over the year, an estimated $749 million, or 31.4% of gambling expenditure was invested back into the community.

History of Gambling in New Zealand

Current laws and legislation relating to gambling in New Zealand centre around the Gambling Act 2003 and the Racing Act 2003. Yet gambling has a rich history in the country and its origins can be traced back as far as the 1830s. Over the years, various restrictions and regulations have been placed on all forms of gambling, sculpting the legal framework in the country – though online gambling in NZ is still considered sort of a grey area. In the timeline below, you can see at a glance the major events in the gambling history of New Zealand.

New Zealand Gambling History
1830s The origins of gambling in the country can be traced by to the 1830’s and was predominantly centred around horse racing betting.
1920 Gambling met resistance, with a ban put in place prohibiting bookmakers from accepting wagers on horse racing anywhere other than at the race track.
1933 The first national lotteries, known as art unions were established. Prizes were relatively small, while in the early Art Unions the prizes were quantities of alluvial gold.
1951 The New Zealand Racing Board is established. The Totalizer Agency Board (TAB) is introduced as the sole betting operator in New Zealand and betting on racing and sports became lawful at the bookmaker.
1961 The Golden Kiwi lottery was launched by the government and ran until 1989. The lotto was based on philanthropic art union lotteries held for many years.
1977 The Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977 is created. The act gives ground for the establishment of The New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.
1987 The New Zealand Lotteries Commission was established, and Lotto New Zealand was launched. The first lotto broadcast is on 1 August 1987.
1988 Electronic gaming machines, known as “Pokies” were made lawful as a way to raise money for charities and gained significant popularity in the country.
1990 The Casino Control Act 1990 is created. it remains in power until 2003 when it is replaced by New Zealand’s new Gambling Act.
1994 Christchurch Casino was the first licenced land-based casino to open in the country. Nowadays, the casino operates five hundred slot machines and thirty-four table games.
2003 The Gambling Act 2003 is created, repealing the Casino Control Act 1990 and the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977, integrating them into a single Act. The licensing conditions and legislation focused on minimising gambling related harm and to ensure that the community benefits from gambling proceeds.
2003 The Racing Act 2003 is created, providing legal framework for sports and racing betting. In 2017, the Government announced its intention to amned the act and enable the introduction of charges for offshore betting operators.
2015 Gambling Amendment Act 2015 adds updates to the Gambling Act 2003. The Gambling Amendment Act 2015 is valid today. However, new amendmnents might be implemented in the near future and change the landscape of online gambling in NZ.
2018 The Department of Internal Affairs releases figures showing New Zealanders spent $2.38 billion in the 2017/8 financial year, 2% up on the previous year.

Famous Land-Based Casino and Gambling Resorts

The introduction of the Casino Control Act 1990 paved the way for land-based casinos to operate legally within New Zealand. The first of these, Christchurch Casino opened its doors in 1994. The country boasts 6 casinos in total, and this number is strictly limited under the Gambling Act 2003. The SKYCITY Entertainment Group opened their first casino in Auckland in 1996 and currently operates 4 of the country’s 6 casinos. The group also acquired a 40.5% holding in Christchurch Casino in June 2004 after buying the Aspinal Group.

List of the biggest casinos in Canada:
  1. SKYCITY Auckland – New Zealand’s biggest casino resort, with over 2000 gaming machines and 150 table games. The complex features 2 luxurious hotels, a 700-seat theatre and the iconic Sky Tower.
  2. SKYCITY Hamilton – The casino boasts more than 330 gaming machines and 23 table games.
  3. SKYCITY Queenstown – Located in central Queenstown, the casino features 86 slot machines and a variety of table games.
  4. SKYCITY Wharf – A boutique casino located in the heart of Steamer Wharf Queenstown.
  5. Christchurch Casino – New Zealand’s oldest casino and host of the New Zealand Poker Championships.
  6. Dunedin Casino – New Zealand’s southern-most casino, renowned for its stunning, opulent internal features and gaming rooms.

Famous Gamblers and Poker Players from New Zealand

When it comes to famous poker players and gamblers, Kiwis may not immediately spring to mind. Yet, on the contrary, there are several standout poker players who hail from New Zealand. Some have made a name for themselves on the Australasian poker scene, whilst others have had global success in the world’s biggest poker tournaments. If you would like to know more about famous gamblers from New Zealand, then check out the overview below.

List of famous New Zealand players:
  1. Jack Efaraimo – Known as the Godfather of New Zealand poker, Efaraimo’s achievements include winning $50,000 in the Main Event at the NZ Poker Championships 2016, 2nd place in the 2018 WPT DeepStacks NZ and 3rd place in the 2017 Aussie Millions tournaments.
  2. David Yan – TYam started his career as a successful online poker player and has gone on to make a name for himself in live tournaments as well. Highlights of his career include 2016 EPT Malta 25k High Roller Championship and 9 SWOP tournament cashes.
  3. Lee Nelson – The retired doctor and professional poker player is a regular in Australasian poker tournaments. Among his achievements are wins at the main event of the Crown Australia Poker Championships in 2006 and the Victoria Championship Main Event in 2012. Nelson has previously represented PokerStars.
  4. Sosia Jiang – The 39-year-old is a fast-rising tournament poker star. Jiang won the 2017 PokerStars Championship HK$103,000 High Roller in Macau, taking the top prize of HK$3.87 million. She has amassed total live earnings of over $1million.

New Zealand Gambling Books and Movies

There is no denying that gambling has inspired countless movies and books worldwide. From comedy to drama, the topic has led to the creation of plenty of entertaining stories. Yet when it comes to New Zealand films and books on the topic, there is only a small representation. Plus, the overriding message behind such tales is cautionary, with numerous books and movies addressing the issues of problem gambling. In the list below, you can see a selection of New Zealand gambling books and films:

List of New Zealand Gambling Movies:
  1. Open Door – Problem Gambling (2009) – A community-based television documentary film about problem gambling, with frank and revealing interviews.
  2. It’s Not a Game (2017) – A documentary that looks into the lives of New Zealanders affected by problem gambling and available support.
  3. Came a Hot Friday (1985) – Set in post-war rural New Zealand, the film traces the efforts of 2 con men trying to run a betting scam in a small town plagued by illegal gambling.
List of New Zealand Gambling Books:
  1. Problem Gambling New Zealand Perspectives on Treatment – Author: Richard Tan and Susan Wurtzburg
  2. On a Roll: A History of Gambling and Lotteries in New Zealand – Author: David Grant
  3. Problem Gamblers Support Group Logbook – Author: Brenda McQuillan

Land-Based Gambling vs Online Gambling in New Zealand

For New Zealanders who enjoy the thrill of playing real money casino games, there are two options to play your favourite games. There are 6 licensed and regulated land-based casinos in the country, each offering a diverse selection of games along with bars and restaurants for your enjoyment. The other option is to play at an online casino. It is perfectly legal for Kiwis to gamble at offshore casino sites, and there are many top operators that accept players from New Zealand. Playing at an online casino has many advantages. Not only is it super convenient to play online, you can also benefit from lucrative bonuses which simply do not exist at a brick and mortar casino. Whether you prefer to play at a real casino or a casino site, we have selected the best options available to you:

Best Online Casino in New Zealand
JackpotCity
100% up to NZ$1600 New Player Bonus
Best Real Casino in New Zealand
SKYCITY Auckland Casino

As we reach the end of our guide to online gambling in New Zealand, why not check out some of our other detailed and useful articles. On our site, you will find a whole range of guides to all things gambling related. From country gambling guides to how to play different casino games, we have covered it all. Below, you can find some of our most popular gambling guides along with interesting blog posts and gambling-related news. Of course, if you’re a Kiwi, we would advice you to stick to this page and take your pick from one of our recommended gambling sites in New Zealand.

Our Most Popular Gambling Guides

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