A Look at Online Casinos in New Zealand Versus Land-based Casinos

New Zealanders love to gamble, and it is safe to say that they have plenty of choices available, with a variety of land-based and online casinos. In the following article, we are going to take a look at the legalities of both, the advantages and disadvantages of playing at either kind of casino, and the type of gambling that Kiwis enjoy.

Gambling Laws in New Zealand

All types of gambling within New Zealand are fully regulated by the 20003 Racing Act or the 2003 Gambling Act. The former covers betting on sporting events such as greyhound and horse racing, while the latter includes all other types of gambling. In accordance with the 2003 Gambling Act, only the different types of gambling mentioned in either of the acts are legal – all other types of gambling are strictly prohibited.

Gambling at a casino is perfectly legal in New Zealand, and there are six land-based casinos across the country that Kiwis can enjoy. These six casinos are heavily regulated, so you can be certain that they offer a safe gambling environment. In fact, the strict gambling laws in the country is one of the main reasons why tourists have no issues gambling at these brick-and-mortar casinos when they are visiting the beautiful country.

While operating a land-based casino is legal, operating an online casino in the country is prohibited. The 2003 Gambling Act declares that all types of remote interactive gambling in New Zealand is illegal, with one exception being the authorized games that the Lottery Commission or the Racing Board offer.

Any gambling that is conducted by someone at a distance courtesy of a communication device is classified as remote interactive gambling and is not allowed. Online casinos fit into this category, meaning that anyone who operates an online casino within New Zealand borders is breaking the law. However, the law does declare that the online gambling ban does not include gambling online within New Zealand’s borders via an operator that is situated abroad. Therefore, it is legal for Kiwis to gamble at online casino sites that are not operating within New Zealand. However, these overseas online casinos are not allowed to advertise their product in New Zealand.

The Differences Between Online Casinos and Land-Based Casinos

Now that we know more about the legalities of land-based and online casinos in New Zealand, we are now going to take a look at some of the differences that exist between the two.


One of the most obvious differences between the two is the atmosphere. A brick-and-mortar casino usually has a buzzing atmosphere thanks to the large number of people inside. As soon as you step into a brick-and-mortar casino you will be able to feel the excited atmosphere in the air and you will become alert right away. To add to this, you can enjoy a variety of food and drinks at all of the best land-based casinos, so you can enjoy all of your favourite casino games while completely satiated.

When it comes to playing at an online casino, you are obviously not going to have any atmosphere and the only food and drinks that will be on offer will be whatever you happen to have in your cupboards and fridge.


If you want to go and play some games at a land-based casino, you have to shower, put on some of your best clothes, and then make your way to the closest brick-and-mortar casino. After a long day at work, you might not want to go through all of that hassle just so you can play some of your favourite casino games. It might be fun once you get there, but it is not as convenient as an online casino. With an online casino, you can put on your most comfortable clothes, sit on your sofa or bed, and play your favourite games to your heart’s content.

Variety of Games

A land-based casino is obviously limited by the amount of space that they have on the floor. They must make sure that they have enough of every type of game on the floor to cater to all tastes – if they go for more of one type of game over another, then they run the risk of alienating some customers, which will mean lost money. Obviously, when it comes to online casinos, there is no such issue as they have unlimited space. Therefore, one advantage of playing at an online casino instead of a brick-and-mortar one is that there are way more games available for you to choose from.

Bonuses and Promos

The online casino industry is a competitive one, and it is for this reason that most online casinos have a variety of bonuses and promotions on offer to their customers. When you sign up with an online casino, there will usually be some type of Welcome Bonus that you will be able to claim. This means that you can get some extra money to kickstart your online gambling experience. Also, the most popular online casinos in New Zealand will give you the chance to earn loyalty points that you can later trade in for some great prizes.

When it comes to land-based casinos, you will not be able to claim any bonuses or promotions as they are never on offer. Thus, this is another thing that online casinos have over land-based ones.

The Importance of Playing with New Zealand Dollars

If you are in New Zealand and you decide to register with an online casino from abroad, you should make sure that they accept New Zealand dollars before you go ahead and register with them. You do not want to sign up with an online bookie that does not accept New Zealand dollars as this means that you will be subjected to conversion fees whenever you go ahead and make a deposit. These conversion fees can be quite high, so avoid them at all costs.

Thankfully, there are many great online casinos that are happy to accept Kiwis as well as New Zealand dollars, and below are some of them:

  • JackpotCity Casino
  • Gate 777
  • Wildz
  • Caxino Casino
  • Betway Casino
  • Raging Bull
  • Jonny Jackpot
  • Lucky Nugget