Online casinos and gambling online can be a confusing subject for new players. There are so many different casinos, games, banking options, and other concerns; it is no wonder that new players can sometimes struggle when it comes to the online casino industry. Don’t worry, though, as we here at New Zealand Casinos decided to sit down and write out the most comprehensive online casino guide we could. This guide will cover everything from how gambling got started in New Zealand to modern gambling laws, bonuses, banking, and much more. If you have ever had a question relating to online gambling and online casinos in New Zealand, we highly recommend you read through our comprehensive guide for Kiwi players.

Image of online casino representation

Online Casino Guide 2017 – History of gambling in New Zealand

Gambling in New Zealand got started at the same time as the first settlers arrived from Europe. These settlers had enjoyed various forms of gambling back in Europe, and they brought these casino games with them. For many years gambling was quite common in New Zealand until 1908 when the government tried to regulate gambling activities. The Gambling Act of 1908 was introduced, which stated that the only place gambling could legally be enjoyed was at the race track. However, this act turned out to be largely ineffective and did little to stop the country from pursuing its love of gambling, both at the race track and away from it.

history of online casino gambling

It wasn’t until the 1950s when TAB was introduced; that other venues started to become legal gambling venues. Since then, the government has slowly relaxed the laws surrounding gambling and made it more readily available. This has included the introduction of a state lottery, the approval and opening of casinos, and allowing Kiwi players to enjoy online casinos.

New Zealand has five main types of gambling available for people living here, which are as follows.

Horse Racing

Horse racing was the first major type of gambling that started in New Zealand. Racing first started back in 1835, and today, New Zealand has over 50 race courses, hosting over 3000 horse races every year and prize money of around NZ$50 million.

Horse Racing history

The Lottery

The first lottery to be held in New Zealand was held in 1933, but lottos remained fairly small until the beginning of the 1960s. This is when the country saw the introduction of the Golden Kiwi Lottery, which was much larger than previous lottos. It remained open until 1987. At this point, the New Zealand Lotteries Commission was formed, and it introduced the Lotto. To this day, the Lotto continues to be very popular with Kiwi gamblers.

Pokies

Pokies have been very popular throughout the world for many years, but they arrived in New Zealand quite late. The first pokies arrived in 1991 and are often run by charitable foundations. Pokies can be found in many pubs and clubs and back in 2014, it was estimated that there were nearly 17 000 pokies in our country, located in 1300 venues. These numbers don’t include the pokies found in casinos, though.

Land-based Casinos

Pokies weren’t the only thing that showed up in New Zealand late. For a country that enjoys gambling, it may surprise you to learn that the first casino opened its doors in 1994. There are five licensed casinos in New Zealand, and the largest one is SkyCity in Auckland. In 2013, Kiwis wagered NZ$520 million at land-based casinos, which accounted for a quarter of all money spent on gambling that year.

Online Casinos

Online casinos have burst onto the scene, and it’s great that the New Zealand government hasn’t restricted Kiwi players from enjoying them. The Gambling Act of 2003 states that it is illegal for an online casino to be operated from inside New Zealand, however, it is legal for a player based in our country to play at an online casino based in another country. On top of this, all winnings are tax-free, which is great news for all Kiwi players.

Online Casino Guide: Casino Bonuses

Online casinos love to throw bonuses and special promotions at players. The casinos do this for numerous reasons, which include attracting new players, promoting new games, and rewarding loyal players. Still, all these different bonuses can be confusing to new players so we’ll go through them with you and help you understand what all of these casino bonuses are and how they’ll benefit you.

online casino bonuses

The Welcome Bonus

This is the most common form of bonus used by online casinos in New Zealand and around the world. They also tend to be the largest bonuses on offer by an online casino, because their job is to attract new players and get them to sign up. Typically, the welcome bonus will consist of the player making several deposits, with the casino giving the players a certain percentage of money on each deposit. Some casinos are willing to give away thousands of dollars in their welcome bonuses.

online casino welcome bonus

No Deposit Bonus

The Welcome Bonus may be the most common bonus that online casinos offer, the most sought after bonuses have to be the No Deposit Bonus. Players can claim this bonus without having to deposit any of their money into their account, who doesn’t like getting something for free? The No Deposit Bonus gives new players the chance to try out the casino without any risk. Generally, a No Deposit Bonus will give players a small amount of money to play with, for example; NZ$10 or so, or they will allocate a set number of free spins for a selected pokie.

Deposit Match Bonus

The Deposit Match Bonus works in a similar way to the welcome bonus, where the player will deposit funds into their account, and the online casino will match that deposit, up to a certain amount. This will double the money the player has at their disposal and is used to reward players for depositing.

Percentage Deposit Bonus

Similar to the deposit match bonus above, this will reward players for depositing money. However, the casino will not double the player’s deposit in this case. With this type of bonus, the casino will give the player an additional percentage of their deposit, 50% or 25% are the most common.

Loyalty Rewards

This reward bonus strives to reward existing players who have proved to be loyal to the online casino. Normally Loyalty rewards have several tiers and players need to earn points to climb the ranks. They can earn points faster by wagering more money at the online casino. The higher tiers will offer better rewards than the lower ones and it can definitely be worth it to try to get to the top tier.

Friend Referral

This type of bonus is commonly used by all sorts of companies, not just online casinos. Essentially they will reward a person if they refer their friend. If you refer your friend to an online casino, and they create an account, you could get free casino credits or some free spins.

Payment Method Bonuses

Often an online casino will want to promote a certain banking method and will do so by offering a bonus to all players who use this particular method. The Kiwi online casino is probably only going to offer a small amount of credits or free spins, but it’s still worth taking.

High Roller Bonuses

These bonuses work in a similar way to the Loyalty bonuses, except they reward High Roller players. These are the players who spend a huge sum of money, bet big and win big. However, they also lose a lot of money as well, so online casinos try their best to keep them happy. High roller bonuses also tend to have a tier system, so the higher your tier, the better your rewards. These rewards will normally include several of the above bonuses, but might also include physical gifts from the casino, or even a holiday. It all depends on your tier.

Casino Bonuses Terms and Conditions

All of this sounds great, doesn’t it? The truth is, a lot of the time it is great but as with most things these days, there are always terms and conditions. It is important that you understand what you’re accepting when you claim some of these bonuses above. You’re not simply going to be able to claim a NZ$1000 bonus and then simply withdraw it. Everyone would do this, and online casinos would go bankrupt immediately.

To protect themselves, online casinos have a wagering requirement on their bonuses. This is the number of times a bonus has to be wagered before a New Zealand player can withdraw it. Make sure you keep an eye on this because some online casinos will make the wagering requirement so high that it’s very unlikely you’ll ever be able to get there and still have some of the bonus left.

Online Casino Guide: Banking Options 2017

If you’re looking to enjoy online gambling and playing for real money and hopefully winning real money, then you’re going to need a way to deposit funds into your online casino account and withdraw your winnings. Thankfully, most reputable Kiwi online casinos will have several different ways in which you can deposit and withdraw funds. This should ensure that all players will have some methods that will be viable for them. These are the most popular banking methods at online casinos.

online casino banking options

Credit and Debit Cards

Credit and Debit cards are perhaps the most widely accepted and commonly used methods of banking with online casinos. They’re easy to use and don’t require a third-party to deposit money into your account. However, the fact that there is a direct link between your bank account and the online casino makes some people uncomfortable and could potentially have some extra security risks attached. Some examples of accepted Credit and Debit cards include Visa and, MasterCard.

E-Wallets

E-Wallets give players who are concerned about security an extra layer of privacy because there is no direct contact between your bank and the online casino. These e-Wallets will see players transferring money from their bank account to their e-Wallet and then transfer it from there to the online casino. This means that it is safer. However, it can take longer, but the good news is that money normally clears quickly. Examples of e-Wallets include PayPal, InstaDebit, EcoCard, and Skrill

PrePaid Cards

These work in a similar way to e-Wallets, with no direct contact between your bank and the online casino, making it safer. With prepaid cards, you’ll need to purchase a card loaded with a certain amount of money and then transfer it to your real money casino account. The plus side of these is because there is only a certain amount of money on your card, you won’t be able to lose track of how much money you’ve spent. Examples of prepaid cards include Neteller, Ukash, and EntroPay.

Wire Transfer

Wire transfers allow you to directly transfer money from your bank account to your casino account. This is for people who are not concerned about any security issues. There is also the potential for higher transaction costs, and some transactions can take a while to clear as well.

E-Checks

An e-check, or electronic check, works the same was as a normal one, except it does not require any actual paper. However, it still takes a little more effort as the player has to fill out the e-check and will typically mean that it will take longer for funds to be transferred.

Online Casino Guide: Online Casinos

Online casinos have become extremely popular in recent years. However, there are still many players who don’t understand why you’d choose to play at an online casino over a land-based casino. Well, believe it or not, there are several reasons why you should think of taking your gambling into the digital world. We’re not saying that an online casino is 100% better than a land-based one, but there are certainly compelling reasons to gamble online.

It’s Convenient

Perhaps the biggest advantage online casinos have over their brick-and-mortar siblings is how much more convenient they are. Players don’t need to get dressed up and travel to their nearest or favourite land-based casino, which could be quite far away. Anytime you feel like gambling; you can just jump online and enjoy your favourite casino games for real money.

Game Selection

This is another reason to consider online casinos, the game selection. Because they exist in the virtual world, their game selection isn’t limited by the casino’s floor space. Thanks to this, they can offer far more games than a land-based casino ever could, and there’s also no waiting to play the game you want to.

The Welcome Bonus

This is something that is unheard of in the land-based casino industry. A Welcome Bonus for new players is something that online casinos do, but land-based ones have never really needed to. These bonuses tend to offer a lot of extra money to play with, so they’re worth using.

Free Play

Being able to play an online casino game for free is a fantastic way for players to learn a new game. Can you imagine walking up to the Roulette table at your local land-based casino and trying to play a few rounds for free? At an online casino, this is no problem and it’s something players should use the free play mode option to their advantage.

Privacy

Finally, we come to privacy. Many people don’t like the noise and sounds in a land-based casino. They don’t like any of the social interaction that might come along as well, and so, they prefer the private gambling they can do online, from the comfort of their home.

Online Casino Guide: Licensing and Regulation

When it comes to the safety and security of online casinos, many players still feel worried about whether they’ll be fairly treated. Part of the problem is that no online casinos can be operated in New Zealand, which means that the Kiwi government and laws can’t regulate online casinos. The online casino will be subject to the laws of the country it is based in.

But, this doesn’t mean that you’re completely unprotected, though. Several different third-party organisations regulate online casinos all over the world. Players will need to make sure that the online casino they have chosen has been licensed and is regulated by one of these third-party organisations. Any Internet casino that we recommend on our site will be fully licensed and regulated. Some of the names you should keep an eye out for is the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, and eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance).

online casino regulations eCOGRA

The organisations will make sure the player is being treated fairly, and the games are producing genuinely random results. All of this will ensure that when you choose a properly licensed and regulated casino, you get a fair experience that is guaranteed to thrill.

Online Casino Guide – The Random Number Generator

Many players still wonder how an online casino can generate fair results, results that can’t be predicted, and are as random as possible. The answer is something called a Random Number Generator (RNG). This is a piece of software within the casino games, which that determines the outcome of the round, by generating a random result. The program is designed to be as random as possible and makes sure that there will be no patterns that players can detect.

The random number generators play an important role in protecting the players and the online casino itself. In a game such as Roulette, randomness in integral to the gaming experience. If there were some pattern detectable, players would likely seize this opportunity and take advantage of it, costing the casino a lot of money. However, Random Number Generators also protect the players by ensuring that the results are as random as possible, and the casino isn’t manipulating the results to give itself an unfair advantage.

Online casino Random Number Generator

Types of Random Number Generators

There are two main types of Random Number Generators out there, the first being the Pseudo-Random Number Generator (PRNG) and the second being the True Random Number Generator (TRNG). PRNGs are not 100% truly random because they use a small set of variables to determine the results, these are called seeds. While the results might not be 100% random, detecting any pattern is still basically impossible, and these PRNGs are used where the speed of the calculation is important. This makes them perfect for the casino industry. The TRNGs are hardware-based and generate the random number from a physical process.

However, just because an online casino says its Random Number Generators are random and fair, how do you as a player know you can trust them? This is where auditing comes in, where a third-party company will come in and test the casino’s RNG. This can be done by one of the gambling commissions, such as the Malta Gambling Authority or the UK Gambling Commission, or it can be done by a regulating company such as eCOGRA. Online casinos will be required to pass this audit for them to get any license from the online casino regulatory bodies. They will also have to be re-audited on a regular basis to prevent tampering.

Safety & Security

Along with concerns about how fair an online casino is, players often wonder how safe it will be. This not only relates to the fairness of the games but also how secure their account details will be. The truth is that you’ll probably be just as safe playing at an online casino, as you’d be going to a land-based one.

There is always a chance something could happen at either, but they’re both pretty safe. There have been cases in the past where security at an online casino was compromised, but this doesn’t always hurt the players. Back in 2001, an online casino software provider had two of its casinos hacked, with 140 players winning substantial amounts. In total, AU$2.4 million was won, thanks to the hacker improving the odds for the players.

online casino safety and security

Unfortunately, sometimes it is the players who suffer, as back in 2007 an employee who worked at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet used a hack that allowed him to see what cards the other players were holding in their hands. Both of these sites were shut down rather quickly.

Checking Safety at Online Casinos

Generally speaking, you’re going to be perfectly safe gambling online. As long as you choose an online casino that has the correct licenses and is properly regulated, the games will be fair, and you won’t get scammed. As for protecting your personal details, most reputable online casinos use a 128-bit SSL encryption system, which is the same type of security used by top banks and online retailers around the world. This should ensure that your personal details are 100% safe and secure. If you still want protection, then you can always use e-Wallets or prepaid cards to deposit and withdraw funds from your account.

Online Casino Money Management

While winning is great, chances are you won’t get to win if you don’t manage your money properly. This is why we have a comprehensive guide on how to effectively manage your casino funds and give you the best chance possible to come out ahead. Be advised, though, none of this will guarantee you’re going to win, this will just help give you the best chance of winning and help limit your losses. Casino games are still games of chance, and if lady luck isn’t on your side, you’re not going to be getting rich.

online casino money management

Set your betting limit

The first step in managing your money is to set yourself a budget. Decide beforehand how much money you are going to bet and stick to it. One way of deciding how much money to bet is thinking about how much money you are prepared to lose. Setting a budget like this will help make sure that you don’t land up chasing your losses and spending money you didn’t intend to.

Choose the right game

It’s imperative that players choose the right games when planning out their online casino strategy. The most important part is making sure you stick to games you are familiar with. Playing new games is an easy way to get confused, make poor betting decisions and lose your money. Stick to games you know and understand. We also recommend you stick to games that fit your budget. If you only have NZ$50 to play with, you’re not going to get very far if you play an online casino game that has a minimum bet of NZ$10.

Spread out your budget

Another good idea is to split your budget between different games. Let’s say you’ve given yourself a budget of NZ$100, take that budget and split it between your favourite games. Maybe you want to spend NZ$25 at the Roulette table, another NZ$25 on Baccarat, NZ$25 on Pokies and NZ$25 on Poker. You can split your budget however you want and between whichever games you want. This just ensures that a run of bad luck on one particular game won’t wipe out your entire budget.

Changing your bets

There are several different betting strategies out there, but many of them recommend that a player increases the size of their bet after a win. The idea is that the amount you won beforehand should cover any losses if your larger bet doesn’t win. Plus, larger bets give the player the chance to win larger payouts. This same strategy will also require players to decrease the size of their bet if they lose. Again, this might not make you a millionaire, but it should help your bank balance to last longer and give you more chances to win.

Winners know when to stop

Deciding when to stop betting is probably one of the most important skills players need to develop. This is equally true for players on a winning, or losing streak. When you’re winning, it’s far too easy to keep pushing your luck and trying to win more and more. Many players have fallen victim to this and landed up losing all of their winnings.

online casino winners know when to stop

Walking away when on a losing streak is even more important. Chasing your losses is likely just to lead to you throwing lots of money away. It is often a better idea to walk away, cut your losses and come back another time. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know what to do. Players will just need to look at their situation and make the call.

Stick to the Plan

If you’ve spent the time to come up with your betting plan, you may as well stick to it. Far too many players have decided on a betting plan but lacked the discipline to adhere to it. It’s far too easy to bet bigger and bigger when winning or to keep chasing losses trying to get even again. This can get you into trouble, so stick to the plan. Remember, you were probably thinking a lot more clearly when you made that plan, so follow your advice.

Online Casino Glossary

If you’re going to become an online casino pro, you’re going to need to know the most important terms. This is the lingo that all players need to know when playing at an online casino.

Card Games

Ante: This is used to refer to the bet that players are required to place to receive their cards.

Banker: A term used to describe the dealer in certain card games. In some cases, a player can even take this role.

Card Counting: A technique used in Blackjack, where a player attempts to track the cards that have been dealt already, in an attempt to better guess what cards are still to come. This is countered by using more than one deck at a time.

Face Cards: Cards that have a face on them, such as the Jack, Queen, and King.

General

Bankroll: The amount of money set aside for gambling by the player,

Deposit: The act of paying money to an online casino, which the player can then use to gamble with.

Dice: Cubes made out of plastic with numbered sides, ranging from 1-6. Used in games such as Craps.

Edge: Refers to a statistical advantage. Normally used to describe the advantage a casino has over players.

High Roller: A player who spends far more money on the casino games than other players.

House: A term that refers to the casino.

Jackpot: Can be used to refer to any significant win. Perhaps is more correctly used when referring to the largest possible win from a game.

Payline: An imaginary line across the reels of a pokie. A winning combination of symbols must fall on these lines.

Progressive Jackpot: A game where the jackpot slowly grows as more people play the game. Each player who places a wager will have a small portion of this transferred to the jackpot pool. Hundreds or thousands of games can feed this jackpot, which helps it grow into million dollar jackpots.

RNG: Standing for Random Number Generator, this is the heart of casino games. It is responsible for ensuring that the results are completely random and fair. This is for both the player and the casino itself.

Welcome Bonus: This is a type of bonus used to attract new players to an online casino. It will require players to make deposits to be eligible to claim. However, there could be thousands of dollars in bonuses for new players.

Online Casino Frequently Asked Questions

What is the legal situation of online casinos in New Zealand?
How can I choose a safe online casino?
How do I deposit or withdraw money from the casino?
Why choose an online casino over a land-based casino?
How can I be sure the games are fair?
What exactly is a table game?