Even if you guys happen to be so close to Oz, New Zealand has quite a different set of regulations where online gambling is concerned, and those differences put you in a more favourable position than that of your Aussie neighbours. But while legally in the clear, you’ll still encounter the same problem online players around the world face on daily basis: how to choose a safe casino that will provide fair gaming and consistently deliver on all of the promises they make?
No worries, Casino Bloke is here to help Kiwi players enjoy their bellowed pokies with a complete confidence the machines are not rigged, and that their winnings would be promptly and accurately paid out. He has ventured into the tricky virtual gaming world in search of the operators which have done their best to adjust their offering to your needs and wants. And as the result, he came up with the list below – an overview of the best New Zealand online casinos you guys (and girls!) can play at these days.
New Zealand Gambling Regulation
Gambling activities in New Zealand are regulated by the country’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). The Gambling Act 2003 prohibits remote interactive gambling, meaning any “gambling by a person at a distance by interaction through a communication device” , those being computers, telephones and the likes. It also prescribes penalties for participants in unauthorised gambling, going as high as $10,000 for individuals.
BUT, and this is a big but: the prohibition applies to remote interactive gambling in New Zealand, and not to that which is conducted overseas. This effectively means that a New Zealander is free to gamble via the Internet if the online casino site is based elsewhere.
Ready for some more good news? Because in New Zealand gambling is considered recreation and not income, online gamblers will normally not have to pay any tax on their winnings. The only exception is professional gambling, and you could be considered a professional should this be the only or prevalent source of your income.
Playing online casino games for free can be loads of fun, but let’s be honest, wagering real cash to potentially win real cash, that’s an entirely different kind of experience. And Casino Bloke believes it should not be spoilt because some lame operator has chosen to limit one’s options to only a few payment methods, and/or those which you like the least.
Online gaming venues that have made it to our list of best New Zealand casino sites will as a rule offer credit and debit cards, E-wallets, the popular POLi, and Bank Transfer. More often than not, deposits will be manageable by using a simple prepaid payment method called Pay Safe Card. Bought online, it comes with a paysafecode which is the only thing you’ll need to pay money into your casino account. We’re also on the lookout for EntroPay, one of Europe’s biggest prepaid card providers which is becoming rather popular with New Zealanders.
Just as keen as you are to gamble using a tablet or mobile phone, Casino Bloke also likes to be given the opportunity to pay by PayForIt, Boku, or another one of mobile payment tools. They make life easy since the charges simply get added to one’s mobile phone bill, rather than ask for a credit card, bank account and whatnot.
Now, while the law treats you better than your neighbours, there is one element of disadvantage related to payments. New Zealand dollar is not as easy to find as a currency available for making deposits and withdrawals, which means you’ll often have to suffer losses caused by conversion fees. These might not seem like a big deal in case of fewer and smaller transactions, but they do tend to add up. Casino Bloke doesn’t like wasting good money any more than you do, which is why he did his best to find you gaming venues happy to accept NZD.
Software & Games
So you’re free to gamble online wherever you want (as long as it’s not in New Zealand), but can you launch whichever game you choose? Once again, Kiwi players have the benefit not all nationalities get to enjoy. You’ll be faced with a huge choice of pokies and increasingly popular poker games, as well as a variety of other table and card games. Want to see a live human being spin the Roulette wheel, or offer an additional card to form a hand which beats their own? No problem, the best Live Dealer software can be enjoyed without restrictions.
Microgaming and NetEnt are probably the first two names which come to mind when you think “online casino gaming”. Of course it’s the case, they’ve been around for yonks and dish out high quality products on monthly basis, continuously adding to their already large and varied gaming libraries. Is there any among you who hasn’t heard of, if not played, iconic Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Jack and the Beanstalk from NetEnt, or Thunderkick II, Immortal Romance and Couch Potato by Microgaming? Whether we’re talking pokies, tempting multi-million progressives, card and dice games, these two simply have it all. Including a respectable range of well-produced live games.
If it’s the latter you’re into, make sure to try those produced by Evolution Gaming. These guys have chosen to specialise and do nothing else than try to replicate the “real” casino experience as faithfully as possible. And that’s what they currently do better than anybody else. Their range naturally features Live Roulette, including varieties such as VIP high-limit, Double Ball, Dual Play, Mini, Slingshot Auto and Speed Roulette, standard Blackjack and BJ Party, Live Baccarat Squeeze, Control Squeeze and Speed Baccarat, several Poker games, and the unique Dream Catcher.
Ok, we know Kiwi players like their pokies, so let’s not forget a few fantastic developers specialising in that particular form of online gaming. NextGen does it with the help of beautiful graphics and entertaining gameplay, while Playtech wows us with superhero-inspired branded titles such as those from Marvel or MGM series. Amazing BetSoft 3D pokies are equally impressive in terms of visuals and animations as in gameplay and features, and innovative and impeccably produced titles by Yggdrasil and Thunderkick should under no condition be missed by anybody who considers themselves to be a pokies fan.