NZ online gambling – the ultimate guide
In the world of online gambling, Casino.org stands for honest and transparent information.
We are committed to providing Kiwis with factual and consistent reviews as well as tips related to real money gambling sites in New Zealand. We take a player-first approach, using our expertise to offer genuine advice to both beginners and advanced gamblers.
On this page you’ll find all you need to ensure a safe and fun experience when gambling online. Let’s start out with our curated list of best online gambling NZ sites.
The best online gambling sites in September 2023
Avoid these gambling websites
We only recommend online gambling sites that we are 100% sure will offer a positive experience. And we don’t hesitate to fail those that fall short of our experts’ safety standards, or that provide a poor overall experience.
Currently, we recommend that Kiwi players avoid the NZ casino sites listed below, as our tests revealed them to fall short of expectations.
What makes these New Zealand’s best gambling sites
Our mission is to guide you towards the best online gaming sites in NZ. To make sure that we provide the perfect option for any playing style, we’ve broken down our ratings according to the most popular categories.
Below we’ve listed the top online gambling sites based on specific features, such as fastest and biggest payouts, as well as best bonuses. The table also offers you a good indication of what ranges to expect from the top sites.
🥇 NZ’s top online gambling site
Jackpot City Casino
💸 Best for fast payouts
💰 Top paying gambling site
🎰 Popular gambling games
Online pokies, blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, craps, bingo
📱 Gambling apps
Android, iOS, tablets
⚖️ Licensed by
Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao eGaming, UK Gambling Commission
💳 Top gambling payment options
Visa, Mastercard, Instant bank transfers, Bitcoin, Paysafecard
What is online gambling – popular types
The online gambling industry in New Zealand has grown considerably, and Kiwis nowadays have a vast range of options at their fingertips.
You can find online gambling sites to fit pretty much any style of playing, whether you’re a beginner, a high-roller, a progressive jackpot hunter, a live dealer enthusiast or all of the above. If you’re new to the world of gambling websites and want to find out more, below we go into more detail about the different options that are available in NZ.
NZ Online casinos
Most Kiwi players who enjoy gambling online will be looking for the best online casinos. At Casino.org we specialise in helping you maximise the fun by guiding you toward the online casino best suited for your needs. Whether you're interested in top online casino games, mobile casinos, live casino sites and more - we have dedicated guides for every single topic.
Our top-rated sites offer an excellent selection of online pokies from top software providers, together with generous and fair online casino bonuses, a good range of payment options and a solid approach to player safety and security. You will also find data-driven, transparent NZ online casino reviews to guide you on your next gambling adventure.
According to the New Zealand Gambling Law Guide, 1 in 10 Kiwis bet on sports or racing in 2021, so we know that plenty of you enjoy the occasional flutter on their favourite sport.
The best betting sites recommended by our experts offer an excellent variety of sports and markets that include the top NZ sporting events. We’ve got everything from live streaming to free-bets and live betting at the most favourable odds, so boredom’s not striking any time soon.
Whether you’re into the most popular UFC, rugby and cricket leagues or you’re more of an eSports adventurer, we’ve got the best NZ online betting sites readily lined up.
From Texas Hold’em to Omaha, from low buy-ins to super bluffing stakes, our experts have gathered together just the right poker gambling sites for you. Our list of best NZ poker sites ups the ante with a super selection of variants that range from the most popular classics to other, innovative gametypes like Evolution’s Jumbo 7.
The online gambling sites that we recommend cater both for beginners who are just becoming familiar with this skill-based game, and to expert players who know exactly when to see, raise or fold. We’ve included free video poker for those who wish to practice first, as well as minimum stakes for low-rollers and exclusive live tables for serious players.
Eyes down because your full house is calling. The best part? No old-fashioned bingo halls for you, thanks to our experts’ selection of top bingo sites that have been specifically curated for NZ players.
It may have kicked off in the UK, but Kiwis who are into online gambling do enjoy a good game of bingo. Our top-scoring sites include a good selection of modern bingo variants, such as Speedy Bingo, tournaments, private rooms and others.
The biggest attraction to the game is that it’s high on entertainment and easy on the rules, so if you’d like to try it out for yourself check out our experts’ recommendations for the best bingo online gambling sites in NZ.
All other forms of NZ online gambling
Half the pleasure of online gambling is the variety it presents. We’ve mentioned the most popular game types, but there’s a lot more to discover. Our best gambling sites in NZ offer all the categories you can think of, from bitcoin gambling to virtual sports, crash games and others.
We’ve also gathered together a selection of the best sites for lotteries and keno games, both of which are fast increasing in popularity with Kiwis. Finally, live dealer games also occupy pride of place at our favourite sites, with live roulette, blackjack, baccarat and gameshows from top software providers.
How we rate online gambling sites
At Casino.org we operate a finely-tuned rating process that has been put together by a team of online gambling experts. This includes an in-depth research phase, as well as rigorous testing based on a list of important criteria that affect a player’s overall experience.
This means that all the scores for our NZ gambling sites are based on factual data that was gathered transparently, according to this proven process, resulting in honest and transparent online casino reviews that can be trusted.
Below, we delve into some more detail to properly explain each criteria used.
Bonuses & promotions
Online gambling and casino bonuses go together like salt and pepper. But our experts aren’t dazzled by mere generous numbers, though those are nice as well, of course. We score promotions based on quantity and on quality, so we take a good look at wagering requirements, expiry terms and other limitations to make sure that everything is fair and above board.
Our top scorers are those that offer high welcome bonuses coupled with low wagering requirements such as Quickwin’s deposit bonus of NZ$1,000 and 200 free spins at 35x playthrough. No deposit bonuses are in general much harder to come by.
When rating the best online gambling sites we also pay attention to the number of loyalty offers, such as cashbacks and reloads, as well as regular tournaments, which is why Quickwin scores high on all fronts with special weekly offers and a number of leaderboard promotions.
Online gambling product
We expect an online gambling product that’s superior across the board from our best NZ gambling sites. This means an excellent online gambling games lobby, with a large selection of online pokies, live dealer and table games from reputable software providers.
A library of 800 to 1,000 games is reasonable. Some of our top scorers go well beyond this, like Casinoly with 4,300+ titles. We also want to make sure that there are at least two to four software providers, including top-tier names like Evolution, Pragmatic Play, Playtech or MicroGaming. The likes of Casinoly have 100+ providers that include even newer names, which means the player has an excellent range of options.
Brownie points if the gambling product includes other verticals like sports betting, lotteries, poker or virtual sports.
Payment range and policy
When gambling online, it’s important to have access to payment methods that are secure and trustworthy, besides being convenient for Kiwis. Sites like Spinz casino, which accept VISA and MasterCard, are looked upon highly by our experts. This is both because the partnership indicates that the operator is viewed as trustworthy by licensed banks, as well as for the fact that many NZ players favour using credit cards as their favourite casino payment method.
We do expect to see a good balance between e-wallets, credit and debit cards, prepaid vouchers and cryptocurrencies at the best gambling sites in NZ. Sites like Greatwin, for example, have 17 options that include a little bit of everything.
Safety & licensing
One of the questions we ask when rating gambling sites in NZ is: is this site secure? Are the players protected when it comes to financial and personal data? And is there a priority placed on responsible gambling. Only if the answer is yes on all fronts, will we recommend it.
At a minimum, we look for licensing from a reputable gambling regulator such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission. Sites that hold both, like Rizk casino, score even higher. We also check for auditing seals from independent companies like eCOGRA and SSL data encryption.
Mobile gambling app experience
A strong percentage of Kiwis prefer to gamble online from their mobile device, so unless a site delivers a smooth performance in this regard, it’s not getting our vote. We do love us a smooth app, ideally compatible both with iOS and Android. Both Rizk and JackpotCity offer excellent mobile gambling apps that receive consistently high ratings from users.
However, newer casinos that are designed using HTML5 don’t even require an app to make it on our list of best online gambling sites. The technology allows them to automatically adjust the visuals to any screen size, so that players can simply use the in-browser mobile site in the normal way without losing any of the experience.
Sites like QuickWin use this technology and our experts have enjoyed a super smooth experience every time they tested it, so it certainly deserves a high rating.
Even the best online gambling sites will face questions from their customers from time to time. Maybe you want to check when your withdrawal will be processed, whether you can use your loyalty points on a specific game… whatever the question, we want you to be able to resolve it without any stress.
This is why we like to see 24/7 live chat available at our recommended sites and why we test them multiple times to ensure that you’re not kept hanging too long. Thus, sites like Wildz casino, which reply almost instantly, score higher than Winawin, which take around 30 minutes, in this respect. E-mail and phone options get bonus points.
Our top online gambling New Zealand sites go further than simply providing an excellent product in a safe environment. They make sure that they offer a user-friendly experience, with an intuitive platform that gives you access to your favourite games easily and rapidly.
We like to see a fast registration process, such as the one offered by Wildz. And a top-notch games filtering system like Rizk casino has, allowing you to filter by software provider, new releases, themes and so forth. All these elements push the online gambling experience from okay to superb.
Is gambling legal in NZ?
Newcomers often ask us whether it’s legal to indulge in online gambling in New Zealand. The short answer is yes, but we’re also happy to go into some more detail to set your mind at rest that it’s completely legal for Kiwi players to register and play at offshore gambling sites, as well as to visit land based casinos in New Zealand.
Let’s start out by saying that gambling is a long-standing tradition in New Zealand, with the most popular and oldest form being on horse-racing. Card games started gaining popularity around the 19th century.
Nowadays, online gambling in NZ is regulated by the New Zealand Gambling Commission, which was incorporated under the Gambling Act of 2003. The Commission oversees which online casinos are allowed to offer their services to Kiwi players, besides regulating landbased gambling activities.
Let’s take a look at the main points that affect online gamblers:
- Operators based in New Zealand cannot legally offer online gambling services to Kiwis.
- Overseas operators are legal. Kiwi players can legally and without any repercussions whatsoever use all online gambling sites that are based outside the country. All the sites recommended by Casino.org fall within this category.
- Winnings obtained while playing on such sites are not taxable under NZ law. The only condition is that these online sites cannot promote their services within the country.
NZ gambling timeline
- 1951 – TAB, the world’s first government run totalisator gambling service is introduced.
- 1987 – National lotto game is launched
- 1988 – Pokie machines are made legal
- 1989 – Parliament approves the introduction of landbased casinos
- 1994 – The first casino, Christchurch Casino, opens in New Zealand
- 2003 – The Gambling Act is introduced and the New Zealand Gambling Commission incorporated. A total of six casinos are now open across NZ
- 2004 – TAB starts offering a wider variety of sports betting options
Top places to gamble offline
Land based casinos are popular with Kiwis, especially when celebrating a special occasion. Currently, there are six casinos in operation and four of these are owned by SkyCity. For anyone familiar with online casino sites, you'll of course know that they are the name behind SkyCity online casino site.
Below, we list the top three most popular locations.
- 1SkyCity Casino in Auckland: This is the largest casino in New Zealand with more than 150 tables, almost 2,000 online pokie machines and 250 automated table games. The casino includes dedicated poker rooms, ongoing promotions and a reward scheme, besides offering top-notch live entertainment.
- 2Christchurch Casino in Christchurch City: Another well-loved option, with more than 450 pokie machines, 32 table games and a fully-fledged entertainment centre that counts multiple restaurants, bars and daily live events. The Players Club is free to join and rewards members with multiple on-site perks, such as food and beverage discounts.
- 3SkyCity Hamilton in Hamilton: This casino is renowned for its exclusive VIP services, but even casual players will find plenty to enjoy with 23 live dealer tables and 340 pokie machines. The live dealer tables come with multiple progressive jackpots, making them extremely popular on the floor.
How to gamble online – beginner’s guide
The first time you dip your toe into the world of online gambling does not have to be overwhelming. We’re here not just to point you in the direction of the best online gambling in NZ, but also to make sure that your experience is a positive one from start to finish.
Follow our tips below and you can’t go wrong.
Do your research
Before committing to an NZ gambling site, see what others are saying about it. Take a look at its games library and payment options. We recommend that you read the online reviews at Casino.org, as these are the result of thorough research and testing by experts.
Set yourself a budget
It’s always wise to plan what you’d like to spend before you get carried away playing. Decide on a budget and apportion it according to which games you’d like to try out.
Practice on the free play demos
Practice makes perfect, they say. Free gambling games are excellent for those who’d like to familiarise themselves with game mechanics, even though you won’t be able to cash out winnings.
Pick low stake titles
Avoid games which carry high minimum bets as you’ll burn through your bankroll too fast.
Make sure you pick up your welcome bonus
Despite wagering requirements, bonus cash and free spins will stretch out your bankroll further, especially if you follow the links from Casino.org to our exclusive casino bonuses.
Look out for special promotions on games
Most NZ casinos run special promos on new games to promote them, so take advantage of these.
Never chase losses
Once you’ve used up your budget, take a break and come back next time. Let’s keep gambling fun.
Are gambling sites for you? Pros and cons
Still not sure whether it’s a good idea to sign up to some NZ gambling sites? The below list of pros and cons will help point you in the right direction.
- You can win real money – yes, it all depends on luck, but everyone gets lucky once in a while.
- You are eligible for generous bonuses – all our recommended NZ online gambling sites offer good welcome packages with fair terms.
- You don’t need to dress up to enjoy a flutter – you can safely lounge in your sweats because there’s no dress code for your couch.
- You can play from your mobile device – the sites we recommend are all 100% compatible with all devices.
- You gain access to a huge games library – online gambling sites offer much more variety than their landbased counterparts.
- You need a stable internet connection – If your connection is patchy your gambling experience will be way inferior.
- You can lose money – The house always has an edge, so a percentage of loss is unavoidable.
- You miss out on the social angle – There is no real life interaction, although live dealer tables do counteract this.
- Cashouts can take some time – Many casinos have to follow a legal and administrative process before transferring your winnings to your account.
Online gambling FAQs
Which is the best website to gamble on?
Our experts highly recommend that you start off at Jackpot City Casino as it has scored the highest points across all the most important features, such as bonus terms, game choice, payment options, security and safety. Casino.org experts have also compiled a list of the best NZ online gambling sites, which have been scored according to our data-driven, transparent process. You will also find more recommendations within our online casino reviews.
Is online gambling legal in New Zealand?
Yes, online gambling is 100% legal in New Zealand and you won’t even have to pay tax on your winnings, as long as the company operating the remote casino is not based within the country. All you need to do is make sure that you pick a reputable and licensed site, such as the ones you’ll find recommended by Casino.org. You will find more in-depth information in our section about the history of gambling laws in New Zealand.
Can you win real money gambling online?
Yes, you can certainly win real money gambling online, although this depends on luck and can never be guaranteed by anyone. That said, there are ways and means to maximise your winning potential and to make sure you’re off to a good start. For some easy hacks, check out our online gambling tips.
Written by Ramona Depares
Ramona Depares is an award-winning journalist focused on cultural and entertainment related content. Based in the Mediterranean gaming hub of Malta, she has taken a deep interest in gambling related news since the earliest days and has seen the global landscape evolve. Ramona specialises in the legal and regulatory aspects of gaming across multiple jurisdictions, with specific interest in NZ and US markets. She is also a best-selling author of fiction and non-fiction books.