Online Casinos in New Zealand
Before the rise of Internet-based gaming, gambling in New Zealand has always existed since the 19th century. It has since undergone various changes and transformations as the popularity increased steadily. During the 19th century, the popular forms of betting/gambling involved use of cards and betting on athletic games and competitions. It is also worth noting that the most popular form of gambling was on horse racing; the first one being held in 1835 in the Bay of Islands.
The gambling concept as we now know it was first introduced into the country by the first European settlers, however, it was still considered illegal before the 1900s. Gambling faced fierce opposition from Protestant churches leading to bookmakers being banned from taking part in horse racing from 1910. The New Zealand gambling Act came into play in 1908, and it is quite interesting that only gambling during horse racing was considered legal, everything else was against the law.
Despite the gambling being widely illegal, people still engaged in gambling illegally and as such, its popularity grew in bounds. As we speak, 5 cities within New Zealand have gambling infrastructure which is legal, the largest being Queenstown which has two gambling facilities, 161 gaming, 12 table games, slots, and poker machines. Currently, the main gambling activities accepted by the law are carried out in land-based casinos with the largest casino in the country being the Sky City Auckland Casino. And according to the latest statistics, Kiwis wager over NZ$2 billion a year thanks to the ever-growing popularity of online casinos.
Legislation of Online Gambling in New Zealand
The Department of Internal Affairs controls the Gambling industry in New Zealand. There exist other bodies that also control and regulate various gambling areas such as the Totalizator Agency Board (TAB) which is a sports betting organization run by the New Zealand Racing Board. TAB legalized betting on horse racing off the course, something that was illegal in the past.
Another body was introduced in 1933 under national lotteries, known as Art Unions. The lotteries were formed as a way of raising funds. The Art Unions didn’t realize much success; therefore, a review was conducted in the late 1950s by the Second Labour Government which led to the formation and introduction of the Golden Kiwi lottery.
Presently, following the introduction of the Gambling Act 2003 in New Zealand, some rules and parameters govern all the betting activities. There exists a provision in the act that stipulates that a portion of all the gambling profits have to be channeled back to the community. With that in mind, you must be wondering where you can start gaming online, right? Let us now look at how you can pick the best gaming site in the next section.
How to Detect A Good Online Casino in New Zealand
With the mushrooming of various online casinos, it can be difficult to determine the ones which are suitable for your gaming tastes. So, to make the best decisions, it is important that you consider certain key aspects of the casinos before you create your account to start playing. Below are the vital elements you can look out for when considering where you want to spend your time and money:
1. Game selection: Which Kiwi gamer doesn’t like a wide range of options at their disposal? A good casino should be able to offer players a wide variety of games all under one roof. Consider casinos that offer hundreds of games with selections such as pokies, blackjack, video poker, roulette, and other games. That way, you will never get bored in the lobby because you can switch from one type of game to another at will
2. Licensing, Safety, and Security: Does the casino offer safe and secure features for your personal information and transactions? Confirm that the site is protected by 128-bit SSL digital encryption protocol and redundant firewalls to ward off any potential cyber-attacks. Don’t forget to check the license of the house which must be from recognized online gambling regulation bodies.
3. Software Providers: It’s very important that the online casino you choose has credible software providers such as the NetEnt, IGT, NextGen, and Microgaming. This affects the quality of the games you can expect in the lobby because top rated providers are the ones that craft the most entertaining gambling games
4. Bonuses and Promotions: It has become common for online casinos to offer bonus opportunities to both existing and new customers. As a player, you should be on the lookout for a casino that gives you the opportunity to unlock real money bonuses that earn you an advantage as you play. While at it, you should also check the wagering requirements to figure out whether they are fair enough and easy to fulfill.
5. Payment Options: It has become way easier to deposit and withdraw cash from online casinos due to the introduction of the various payment options; from cards to e-wallets and bank transfers.Pick a casino that offers you all options with instant deposits and fast withdrawals for reliability and convenience.
6. Mobile Gaming: We live in the mobile phone era and as such online casinos should be able to provide players with the comfort of gambling straight from their mobile devices with ease. The best online casinos should provide dedicated mobile betting apps.
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Benefits of Gambling Online in New Zealand
If you are a Kiwi who’s never tried gaming online, then there are plenty of benefits that you are missing. While betting on a land-based facility is fun and exciting, there’s a lot more to enjoy if you shift your gaming activities online. Some of the advantages you will have after you start betting online include;
The internet has made the world a global village where people from different places can interact easily. The same applies when it comes to online casinos. Players from different geographical locations can play with and against each other on the same betting platform without even traveling!
Online gambling gives you the convenience of playing from anywhere and at your preferred time and schedule. It is a complete gambling experience from the comfort of your home, right from your laptop or mobile device. The possibilities are endless.
b) Lucrative Bonuses
When you gamble online, you’re open to plenty of bonus opportunities whether you are a new player or ongoing member of a Kiwi gaming site. They usually come regarding matched deposit cash bonuses that range from 50% to 100% or even 200% and higher as well as no deposit rewards. You could also earn free spins here and there among other bonuses.
Furthermore, playing online puts you at an advantage of earning loyalty points. You earn this over time whether you’re winning or losing. Quite something to smile about! The points you accumulate can be redeemed later on for casino credits or even prizes. The more you gamble at an online casino, the more points you earn.
c) Game Variety
Online casinos have a wide selection of games you can choose from. The games can include table games, video slots, poker and so much more just for you. Some casinos also offer a touch of traditional games or exotic gambling games from different parts of the world to offer even more variety. On land-based betting arenas, there’s always the issue of space which makes it difficult to offer more than a certain number of games.
d) It’s Much Cheaper
Online gambling is way cheaper compared to gambling offline. You don’t need to travel to a physical casino to play or even book a hotel room, thus saving you money and time. You only need to get connected to the internet, and you are good to go. There’s no hustle; you will start having fun in a matter of seconds.
e) More Payment Options
Physical casinos tend to have limited deposit options as compared to online casino gambling. The following are some of the options you can expect while gambling online: Credit and debit cards from VISA and MasterCard and even American Express, e-wallets like PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill as well as deposit vouchers and wire transfers. Your job is to pick what is convenient for you.
f) Flexible Bet Sizes
There are limits with regards to bet sizes you make when it comes to gambling at a land-based casino site. Online casinos, on the other hand, offer a lot more flexibility in bet sizes because there are no overhead costs incurred. Thus, it accommodates different players with different budgets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most common questions asked by Kiwis about online gambling include;
Is online gambling legal in New Zealand?
Yes. Gambling is legal in New Zealand. You have the freedom to play freely, but you have to meet the minimum age requirement which is 18 years.
How do I know the gambling site I am using is safe?
Look for the license information which should be displayed at the footer of the page. It should be from a well-recognized internet gaming body. You can also check for certificates of trust from top auditing firms such as eCogra which check for fairness to guarantee that there’s no unfair house edge.
What should I consider when choosing a gambling site?
As we’ve discussed earlier, you need to consider the following aspects before settling on a gambling site; the site should have a valid license from credible authority, credible software providers, wide range of casino games, favorable bonuses, a variety of fast and convenient payment options plus a responsive support team that’s accessible round the clock.
How do I register to play in online gambling sites?
To register as a new player, you have to create an account with the gaming site. You will need to submit your personal information during the registration process such as date of birth, physical and email address then create a username and password. The house may later require you to submit your legal ID to verify your identity.
How do I claim my welcome bonus?
While you could get some sweet no-deposit deals in New Zealand casinos, most welcome bonus offers only apply after you make an initial deposit and you may also have to use bonus codes during registration. To claim your earnings from the welcome bonus cash you used, you must meet the wagering requirements set by the casino.
Can I use my phone to gamble?
Absolutely. It has become more and more easy to play using your phone or tablet and at the convenience of your home or better still, at the park, while watching your kids play or during a work break. You can also download the mobile gaming apps and save yourself the time you usually spend logging in each time you visit the site
Is there a limit to how much I can bet?
Yes. There are limits as to how much you can wager for a particular game or a particular period. This provision varies from one online casino to another. It is also important as it acts as a control for gambling addiction. Some sites take a step higher and allow you to make self-imposed restrictions to enable you to gamble responsibly.
How long does it take for transactions to be processed in an online gaming site?
For deposits, the transactions are usually credited to your gaming account immediately. Withdrawals, on the other hand, will depend on the casino, and the payment option that you choose. E-Wallets are usually the fastest with same day withdrawals, while wire transfers take about 5 business days to be processed.
What should I do in case I have a problem in an online casino?
If you ever get stuck when gambling in an online casino, you can start by counterchecking your information, then take a look at the FAQs section to see whether it’s something you can solve on your own. For critical issues, you should contact support right away via channels like live support, a phone call or sending them an email.