How New Zealand Not Opening New Land-based Casinos Makes The Online Casino Industry Grow mdi-fullscreen

Gambling in New Zealand is one that can be termed a slippery slope. Based on the laws related to the 2003 Gambling Act, new land-based casinos, aside from the existing ones, are prohibited from being built. 

This creates a hostile environment for investors willing to make new land-based casinos while opening up an opportunity for stakeholders in the online gambling industry. We will be comparing land-based and online casinos, rounding off with how the restriction on land-based casinos in NZ has fired up the online NZ industry to grow to promote gambling online.

Land-Based Casinos in New Zealand

One of the problems stalling the growth of land-based casinos in New Zealand particularly relates to the limitation of the governing laws to control the establishment of newer ones. Relevant data from the Department of Internal Affairs updated in August reveals that the quarterly profits on gaming machines across the country hit a record high of $269 million.

This is noted to be a 6.6% increase from the profits generated within the industry as of March. Considering the limitations placed on land-based casinos, it leaves you wondering how much more this industry would generate if the laws were accommodating to the establishment of new brick-and-mortar casinos, appealing to New Zealand casino lovers.

Main Land-Based Casinos in New Zealand

So far, there are six main brick-and-mortar casinos that are permitted by the laws within the state to be operational as gambling establishments. Let’s take a quick at this list of the best land-based casinos that offer top-tier gambling in NZ. 

SkyCity Hamilton Casino

This is one of the four arms of Sky City casino establishments spread across New Zealand. It is aptly couched in Hamilton and currently boasts over 350 gaming machines and 23 table games, encompassing popular titles such as baccarat, blackjack and poker.

SkyCity Wharf Casino

This is one of the oldest branches of the SkyCity conglomerate, established in 2000 in Queenstown City. While the New Zealand casino is not as huge as the Hamilton branch, it offers over 60 electronic machines and six gaming tables on your favourite titles. 

SkyCity Queenstown Casino

This is the second and the most recognized SkyCity casino in Queenstown. This casino, which was founded in 2000, offers players a fine collection of gaming options, comprising over 86 electronic tables and about eight live tables. 

Grand Casino 

Established in 1999, this architectural masterpiece located in Dunedin is easily one of the country’s most talked about land-based NZ casino destinations. This is as a result of the wide gaming selection and the spacious yet tastefully designed interior that’s a delight for tourists. Currently, there are over 150 electronic machines and a robust collection of popular board games.

Christchurch Casino

This NZ casino, which is located in Christchurch, the southern island of New Zealand, is visited for its impressive collection of pokies machine games. As of the time of writing this review, there are 500 pokie machine games and as many as 45 table games available, the largest you can find in any casino in New Zealand.

SkyCity Auckland Casino

We saved the best for the last. The casino is renowned as the largest destination in New Zealand, which is deserving, seeing as it provides over 2000 slot games and over 150 table games on popular titles like baccarat, blackjack, poker and roulette. Thus easily making it one of the best land-based casinos in the country.

Pros and Cons of Land-Based Casinos in New Zealand


  • Majority of the land based casinos in the country offers a robust selection of slot machine games

  • Casinos offer a broad range of live dealer games that assures a gambling experience is unrivalled

  • The casinos come correct with other side attractions like bar, lounge, giving you an opportunity to cool off and socialise as you play  


  • There are just six land casino destinations for players within New Zealand

  • They are not as easily accessible for many New Zealand players since they are located in choice locations

  • Some of the casinos don’t have as much collection of slot games as attainable at online casinos

The Online Casino Industry in New Zealand

Given the unfavourable gambling policies in New Zealand that limit the establishment of new land-based casinos in the jurisdiction, more people are getting towards online gaming for obvious reasons, thus causing a boom in online gambling in New Zealand.

As a matter of fact, OnlineCasinos365 revealed that by the NZ industry statistics, about 20 new casinos have become available on the market, and about 35% of users check them out. They either visit the site or sign up to play with their money. For this reason, brands that review them and put their options into context are helpful for the average online casino gambler.

This goes to show how fast the online gambling industry in NZ is proving to be, so much so that SkyCity and Christchurch Casino have spread their services by offering New Zealand online gaming.

Pros and Cons of Online Casinos in New Zealand


  • Players have access to a great deal of offshore casino sites to choose from to enjoy premium casino gaming services, aside from the known sites in New Zealand. Some of the best online casino sites in New Zealand (offshore) include Wildz casino, Spinz Casino, Boom Casino, Mr. Bet Casino and Wheelz  Casino

  • They are stacked with a broader offering of online casino games in different categories

  • Users who play online don’t necessarily have to leave their comfort zone to enjoy top-tier gaming experience

  • Online casinos offer more highly attractive bonus offers than is attainable at offline casinos, including frequent new bonus offers

  • Live chat functionality is only available on New Zealand’s online gambling sites, providing 24/7 customer support 


  • Aside from the locally owned ones, players stand a risk of playing at offshore casinos since they can’t be protected by the New Zealand jurisdiction in worse-case scenarios

Online Gambling is the Future of Gambling in New Zealand

The truth still remains that the gambling industry is fast evolving and New Zealanders are looking more inclined daily to play at online casinos, given the comfort it affords than going to a casino destination.

The New Zealand government needs to create better policies and update the Gambling Act 2003 to accommodate the establishment of more domestic online casinos. That would not only go a long way in protecting Kiwi players as there will be institutions in place to regulate gambling activities online.  Also it would contribute greatly to the economy as more people will be encouraged to play games online and place bets online.

mdi-timer September 29 2023 @ 15:01 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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