Gambling in New Zealand

Author:

Chris Evans

Last Updated:

25/08/2022

Gambling in New Zealand, as it is in many countries, has a chequered history. As a society, New Zealand has changed and developed so has the population’s relationship with gambling in its many forms. The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of how gambling has developed over the centuries in an ever-changing country that has been influenced by waves of immigrant philosophy, that has seen recreational gambling viewed in several different lights.

Introduction

Aotearoa, or New Zealand in its anglicised form, is a migrant nation. People from all across the world have been migrating to the fertile shores of this unique island nation for at least the past millennium (Adams, 2004). Unsurprisingly, this is the case, as the country’s fauna and flora allowed, first a Polynesian colony to develop, and then, from the mid-19th century, a European-influenced state to thrive. 

Just as the structure of New Zealand society has altered since the first landings by Polynesian seafarers in the mid-9th century, so has New Zealanders’ relationship with gambling. Maori groups, the first permanent settlers in New Zealand, have no historic relationship with gambling (Dickens & Thomas, 2016; Adams, 2004; Abbott, 2001). So why is gambling, in several forms, so popular in New Zealand today? 

The 18th and 19th centuries were a transformational period for the future of New Zealand. It was during this century that European colonial powers began to consider New Zealand as a potentially viable location from where it could profit from raw materials and extend geopolitical influence throughout the South Pacific region (Adams, 2004). It was also the period when gambling in New Zealand began to have an influence over the fledgling society as a whole. 

Gambling in New Zealand can be traced back to the voyages of exploration that brought thousands of migrants to these shores. On sea voyages that would last for months on end, there was plenty of time to kill and much of that time would be taken up by playing primitive gambling games. Just as there has always been something of a two-tier approach to gambling in New Zealand, the same can be said for the games that were played whilst people travelled to these lands. 

In a modern-day sense, gambling is thought of as being two separate products. Lotteries and bingo have always received more sympathy from authorities, largely because of the social participation that is required when betting on these products, whilst card games, and random ‘slot’ games have received much more disapproval. Onboard the transit ships of the 19th century, the ‘gentlemen’ would engage in lotteries, raffles, and sweepstakes, while the commoners would play cards, dice, and roulette (Barry & Nelson, 2021). 

By the 1860s, those living in New Zealand with European heritage began to surpass the number of Polynesian inhabitants, it was not a surprise then, that societal views on gambling also took on a more European perspective (New Zealand History, n.d)

For Europeans who made their homes in New Zealand, gambling was a much bigger part of their lives (Adams,2004). Pastimes for European settlers involved betting on the outcome of horse races, after all, Horse Racing in the United Kingdom was formalised through the creation of the Jockey Club in 1750, and gambling on recreational card games (The Jockey Club, 2021). The first horse race meets at the Bay of Islands in 1835 were popular occasions amongst the assimilated locals (Phillips, 2005). As well as engaging in these traditional pursuits, new strands of gambling opportunities quickly began to spring up. These included betting chances in the form of lotteries and gambling games (Adams, 2004). Initially, the embryonic New Zealand government could do little to organise the impacts of gambling, however, as civil and religious structures became entrenched, it was felt that oversight of the informal and more organised betting industries was required (Phillips, 2005). To this end, by 1910, on-course bookmakers were banned from standing at horse race meets across New Zealand (Phillips, 2005). 

In essence, after this move was made to clamp down upon the societal threats that gambling was deemed to pose, very little changed within the Gambling Industry in New Zealand until the 1980s. There were a couple of exceptions to this rule. For instance, Art Union Lotteries, a type of lottery that was designed to generate cash for art-based projects, were allowed throughout the first half of the 20th century and then the more generous, government-backed lottery, the Golden Kiwi lottery was permitted from 1961 onwards (New Zealand History, 2021). 

In the 1980s, gambling and its place within Kiwi society were re-evaluated. Deregulation within the gambling industry was deemed to be politically and socially acceptable as the economic rewards for liberalising this sector was deemed to be large (Adams, 2004). It was expected that taxes would flood in from raised business profits and personal taxes that could be raised on individuals who sought to access new gambling opportunities. 

YearTotal Gambling Spend in New Zealand (NZD)Gambling Spend per head (NZD)
19790.1 Billion43
20031.9 Billion500
Increase in Gambling in NZ

As can be seen in the figures provided by the Department for Internal Affairs, gambling spending in New Zealand rose rapidly between the period of betting deregulation in 1979 and the delivery of the Gambling Act in 2003, when gambling in New Zealand was once again restricted in several ways (Department of Internal Affairs, 2003). It is not a surprise, therefore, that the New Zealand government sought to rebuild barriers to accessing gambling content, especially when it is considered that the negative impacts that gambling can create are not spread evenly among the NZ population (Dickens & Thomas, 2016). Much of the concerns over gambling in New Zealand has centred on the level of gambling that is now seen in traditional Maori communities. Research suggests that even though New Zealand Maoris earn around half the wages of the descendants of European migrants, that spend per head on gambling products is higher (Orford, 2011). 

It was posited that much of the rise in spending on gambling in New Zealand was down to increased access to Electronic Gambling Machines (EGM). Following the introduction of EGMs to casino and bar locations throughout New Zealand in 1991, the proportion of total spending on these machines (as a percentage of overall gambling outlay) rose from 0 to 19% (Adams, 2004).

However, since the introduction of the Gambling Act in New Zealand in 2003, spending on gambling by Kiwis has been restrained. Looking at figures provided by the Department of Internal Affairs it is easy to see that the rapid growth in gambling outlay among New Zealanders that rose rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s has not continued at the same pace. 

Before 1994, there were no land-based casinos in New Zealand, so betting on Gaming Machines was only enabled in venues that already held a liquor licence (Orford, 2011). Following the Gambling Act of 2003, the number of physical casinos in New Zealand has been restricted to just six. Outlets in Dunedin, Christchurch, Auckland, Hamilton, Queenstown, and Skycity’s Wharf Casino venue, continue to operate with little prospect of more sites being added soon. 

Figures from 2018 suggest that 4.9% of New Zealanders had placed bets of any type in a casino, including on Slots and Pokies. 2.8% of Kiwis enjoyed the thrill of table games. Included in this figure are bets placed on Roulette, Blackjack, and Baccarat (Ministry of Health, 2021; Rendell et al., 2019). 

What is also evident is that the share of gambling spending that Gaming Machines now attracts has stabilised. Indeed, in the period from 2015/16 to 2019/20, the size of bets placed on Gaming Machines, outside those which are located in brick-and-mortar casinos, has dropped by around 5%. Conversely, it is of note that the amount that New Zealanders spend betting on Horse Racing and Lotteries, the two most regulated forms of gambling, has risen by around 22% in the same period. 

In New Zealand today, lottery products can be purchased from over 1500 separate retailers. In total, over 1.2 million Kiwis also have a MyLotto account (Ministry of Health, 2021). Although the number of New Zealanders that now play on government regulated lotteries has increased in the past two years, this is hardly a surprise. As Kiwis have endured some of the toughest lockdown conditions to quell the threat of Covid-19, lotteries have been one form of entertainment that locals have been able to enjoy. It would not be a surprise, therefore, spending on lottery products fell back over the medium term and is replaced by betting on products that take punters away from the home. As the New Zealand economy unlocks, Kiwis are more likely to seek out experiences rather than just play gambling games that can be accessed remotely.

Betting on sports events in New Zealand happens at one of the government-owned TAB outlets (De Lore, 2020). Figures from 2021 suggest that over 200,000 New Zealanders have an active TAB NZ account (Ministry of Health, 2021; Rendell et al., 2019). Around 4% of all Kiwis have made a bet at the TAB online in the past 12 months. The TAB is one location where gamblers can also access gaming machine content. A growing minority of shops, 44 out of a total of 560, now host gaming machines (Ministry of Health, 2021). In the future, an increasing number of TAB shops will likely open their doors to gaming machines. In part, this trend is likely to occur as a reaction to the growing popularity of online gaming. As the numbers of Kiwis who access casino content through online casinos that are based in other jurisdictions rise, so will the demand for the New Zealand government to regulate this section of the industry more closely. If the government does end up allowing a wider spread of gaming machines in land-based facilities, this can only be viewed as being a bonus for New Zealand consumers. In the meantime, if online play is your preference check out our reviews of the safest casino providers serving the NZ market today. 

These trends suggest that regulation on the gambling sector by the New Zealand government is having the desired effect. Gambling spending is not out of control, and what gambling is taking place is done, largely, in the glare of governmental oversight (Ministry of Health, 2021). 

Gambling Type2015/16 ($m)2016/17 ($m)2017/18 ($m)2018/19 ($m)2019/20 ($m)
Horses342338350332315
Lotteries437555561530631
Gaming Machines (Non-Casino) 843870895924802
Casino 586572578616504
Total 22092334238324022252
Gambling by Product

But, is the New Zealand government right to be so concerned about the levels of gambling that are currently being undertaken by its citizens?

Figures provided by the data company Statista suggest that gambling levels are high in New Zealand, but no more so than in many comparable advanced economies, and not as high as in Australia. However, these figures also suggest that the New Zealand government may have been correct in developing laws that restrict its citizens’ access to gambling products. As Australia is the most comparable country on this list to New Zealand, it is easy to think that gambling losses per head amongst New Zealanders could have risen to similar levels as is observed in Australia, if some form of regulatory intervention had not been entered into.

Country Gambling Losses per head in 2017 (US $)
Australia958
Hong Kong 768
Singapore725
Finland515
New Zealand454
Japan 447
Ireland433
Norway430
United States421
Canada382
Gambling by Country

History of Gambling Law in New Zealand

In New Zealand, today, gambling is big business. 2020 data highlights that more than $2 billion in profits are derived from the actions of punters in NZ. Because of the size of this market and the problems that can often be caused due to excessive gambling, the New Zealand government has always been keen to provide close oversight of the betting industry. Expansion in the use of online casino sites by New Zealand nationals has provided another avenue for legislators to take a view on, with the implications of cross-border gambling activities potentially having substantial consequences for the future of gambling law in mainland NZ. 

It certainly didn’t take politicians long to form a view on the rules that should be put in place to protect New Zealand citizens from the harms of gambling. Indeed, it was the general view that gambling promoted other unsavoury social practices such as alcoholism and prostitution (Eminetra, 2021). Once a connection was made between informal forms of gambling and other activities that would inspire many locals to avoid a hard day’s work, legislation was unavoidable. 

Initial Legislation

So, it was that the Gambling and Lotteries Act of 1881 (GLA) came into force. The GLA clamped down on most forms of gambling, however, the New Zealand government still saw the benefits of ensuring that on-course betting at horse race meets could continue. By doing this, the government thought that it could keep a closer eye on the bets that took place at these venues, as a ban would merely drive gambling underground when important racing fixtures took place. However, by 1910 the stance of the government to the perils that gambling could create saw betting on the countries racecourses banned as well. An amendment that was adopted on the 1881 Gambling and Lotteries Act saw this change come into force.

In 1910 then, the ban on racecourse gambling meant that the only legal betting product in New Zealand was the country’s National Lottery.

Relaxing of the Rules

It was not until 1951 that significant changes to the 1881 GLA were finally enacted. 

At this time, the New Zealand government realised that informal gambling was still taking place on events such as thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing, and that, therefore, they were missing out on a sizable tax receipt. Figures suggested that turnover on bets placed on horse racing totalled $24 million at this time (Barry & Nelson, 2021). To solve this problem the NZ Government formed the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). The TAB would allow pool-based bets on racing events daily at events that took place across New Zealand. Winning bets would be paid out from the pot of money that was invested in each race after the government had taken a contribution of between 15.5 to 25%.

The 1971 Racing Act cemented the role of the TAB within New Zealand’s gambling industry. Rule changes in this legislation mandated that the TAB would become the monopoly provider of betting products for the horse racing and sports betting industries. In exchange for market dominance, the TAB would be required to release all its profits from horse racing to racing clubs across the country.

1990, Casino Control Act, saw gambling in New Zealand de-regulated even further. Provisions in this act allowed the creation of land-based casinos, as the economic argument for making such a move was persuasive. The first brick-and-mortar casino was opened in Christchurch in 1994. 

However, the New Zealand government could not keep pace with technological advances that allowed online casinos to be accessed by its citizens. Because of this societal shift further laws needed to be created and the 2003 Gambling Act was passed. Laws passed at this time saw domestic operators banned from providing online casino content to New Zealanders, however, in a pragmatic move, the New Zealand government would not restrict Kiwis from accessing casino content that was created in foreign jurisdictions. 

It is difficult to assess how offshore gambling is distorting betting patterns in New Zealand. Although, estimates from 2018 suggest that 13% of New Zealanders gambled online in one form or another. The 18-34 cohort are now believed to gamble more online than at physical venues such as the TAB or casino locations (Barry & Nelson, 2021). It is also believed that Kiwi’s are spending around $250 million per year at offshore sites (Barry & Nelson, 2021).

NZ Gambling LegislationYear Key Developments
Gambling and Lotteries Act (GLA)1881Most gambling is banned apart from on-course horse race betting.
Amendment to GLA1910On-course horse race betting banned. Only NZ Lottery permitted.
Creation of TAB NZ1951New Zealand government body formed to take pool-based bets on all racing.
The Racing Act1971TAB NZ was provided with a racing and sports betting monopoly by the New Zealand government.
Casino Control Act1990Land-based casinos are allowed by licence.
The Gambling Act2003The provision of online casino betting by New Zealand based entities was banned. New Zealanders are permitted to access foreign casino output.
NZ Gambling Law Timeline

What next?

Given that gamblers in New Zealand can now effectively bypass New Zealand gambling laws by playing at remote casino sites it is inevitable that laws in New Zealand will have to change again. The New Zealand government are not keen on promoting online casino content that allows players to bet on Live Casino, Table Game, and Slots products at a high frequency. But, given the fact that more Kiwis are betting in this way anyway, it would make sense for the New Zealand government to regulate the provision of online casino content from New Zealand based firms. If the New Zealand government did this they could mould content to their preferences, whilst at the same time picking up additional tax receipts. 

Types of gambling activity in New Zealand

Many forms of gambling in New Zealand are popular at this time, although gambling preferences appear to be changing in recent years. Here’s a look at where much of the gambling spend goes at this time. 

Sports Betting

Out of the $572 per head that every citizen in New Zealand spent on gambling in the financial year 2019-2020, $80 of this was wagered on sports events (Rael, 2021). But what sports do Kiwis like to invest their money on when they take a trip down to their local TAB branch or access their TAB accounts online?

In the financial year 2017-18, thoroughbred racing was the single most popular sport for Kiwis to bet on. It is hardly surprising that this is the case as there are hundreds of horse racing events for punters in New Zealand to place a bet on every day (New Zealand Racing Board, 2018). New Zealand is home to fifty-two different racecourses. Figures over the 2015/16 to 2019/20 period do suggest that betting on horse racing has fallen slightly (Ministry of Health, 2021). However, this may have more to do with the impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic than any loss in interest in the sport for betting purposes. It is difficult to suggest that this downward trend will continue until all pandemic restrictions have been removed for a period and betting patterns re-assessed.

When compared to horse racing in other countries, however, the racing industry in New Zealand is essentially run on a modest scale. Estimates suggest that the total value of the horse racing industry in New Zealand is around $1.4 billion. Compared to Australia though the New Zealand racing scene seems to be sizable. Australia’s horse racing industry is valued at a similar figure to New Zealand’s, suggesting that Kiwis have a much greater attachment to equine sports than their counterparts on the other side of the Tasman Sea. 

The popularity of Greyhound Racing and Harness Racing in New Zealand as a betting product may also have more to do with its accessibility than its popularity per se. Greyhound Racing and Harness Racing saw nearly $700 million gambled on then by Kiwis in the 2017-18 financial year, and both of these sports provide sports bettors with numerous opportunities to part with their cash daily. 

  1. Thoroughbred Racing – $959 million
  2. Greyhound Racing – $374 million
  3. Harness Racing – $321 million
  4. Basketball – $140 million
  5. Football – $97 million 
  6. Tennis – $91 million
  7. Rugby Union – $79 million
  8. Rugby League – $67 million
  9. Cricket – $42 million

The popularity of some sports as a gambling opportunity reflects their esteemed position among Kiwi culture, however, this is not always the case. 

For the country that is home to the all-conquering All Blacks Rugby Union team, it may be a surprise to see annual bets on this sport languishing in seventh on this list. However, it also must be considered that the Rugby Union season is relatively short and that high profile games, such as those involving the New Zealand national team only number in single figures in most years. Comparatively then, annual betting amounts of $79 million on this sport in 2017-18 was quite impressive (New Zealand Racing Board, 2018). 

One sport that is, perhaps, surprisingly popular with New Zealand sports bettors is basketball. After various forms of racing, Basketball is the next most popular sporting event for Kiwis to bet on. But perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise at all. 

The time differences that are observed between New Zealand and the United States, with Wellington being anywhere between 18 to 23 hours ahead of U.S time, means that NBA basketball games are often shown in prime-time slots on New Zealand television networks. When you have top-quality events beamed into your home of any sporting type this is bound to create additional interest and lead to a flurry of extra bets being placed. As well as this though, basketball is also a rapidly growing sport among New Zealand’s 4.4 million population. Indeed, statistics provided by the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council indicate that between 2012 and 2017, participation among secondary pupils in basketball rose by a staggering 27% (Caldwell, 2017).

Football is ever popular as a betting medium no matter where you are in the world. Not only does the TAB allow bets to be placed on all of the world’s leading football leagues, but football in New Zealand is gaining in popularity as the prominence of the A-League continues to emerge. Wellington Phoenix F.C. continues to be a prominent member of the biggest football league in Oceania. Its continued presence continues to attract new followers to the sport from all parts of society across New Zealand. Inevitably, any rise in interest in a sport also translates to higher turnover at the bookies. It is not a surprise, therefore, that turnover on football events with the TAB are tipped to exceed $100 million in the coming years. 

But, what do these trends suggest for traditional New Zealand sports like Cricket and the two codes of Rugby? Looking once again at the New Zealand Secondary School Sports Council figures for 2017, it is clear to see that a shift is occurring in which sports youngsters are attracted to (Caldwell, 2017). If these trends continue to hold participation in Cricket and Rugby may likely be crowded out in future by more niche pastimes. Societal change in this manner is also likely to be observed in sports betting patterns observed at the TAB and at online casinos which offer sports betting products. 

Sport Secondary School Participants in 2016Growth in Participation between 2011-16 
Netball 29257-2%
Rugby Union27261-13%
Football262307%
Basketball2318027%
Volleyball16902NA
Hockey13967NA
Cricket9959NA
Futsal6709318%
Tennis6295NA
Rugby Sevens5461NA
Sports Participation in Secondary Schools in NZ

Casino Games

It is not only sports betting that attracts New Zealand punters to part with their cash. Traditional card-based betting games were among the first betting propositions to be introduced to the country by European settlers in the mid-19th century, and arguably casino based table games are even more popular today as a betting medium (Adams, 2004). 

Blackjack in New Zealand has for large parts been played as an informal game. The first casino in New Zealand was not opened until 1994 when Christchurch Casino opened its doors to a curious population. However, Blackjack also played its part during times of conflict. During both the First and the Second World Wars, ANZAC soldiers would play gambling games, such as Blackjack and Two-Up, to pass the time and to keep their spirits up. Even though, at the time, New Zealand had an illiberal attitude to gambling and betting games were discouraged by army officers, many of the rank and file engaged in such pursuits.

Roulette is also a gambling game that has a short ‘official’ history in New Zealand. However, there are reports that Gold miners in the 1860s used to enjoy playing roulette when travelling fairs arrived in their vicinity with all sorts of betting paraphernalia (Barry & Nelson, 2021). Over $500 million was spent by Kiwis on Casino products in 2020, and much of this money has been invested at the Roulette Wheel (Ministry of Health, 2021). But, like all other casino products, Roulette has only been legal to play in New Zealand from 1994 onwards. The Casino Control Act of 1990 put in place the provision for the New Zealand government to issue a small number of licences for land-based casinos. The outcome of this legislation was the creation of six casinos throughout New Zealand and a moratorium on the issue of further licences. The 2003 Gambling Act reaffirmed this stance, and as of yet, no further casinos have been built in New Zealand other than those that were allowed by the 1990 Act. Therefore, official Roulette history is restricted to the post-1994 era both online and in brick-and-mortar venues.

Since 1998, Baccarat is another card game that New Zealanders have been able to play both online and at land-based casinos that are located in the country’s biggest cities (Klingensmith, 2020). It is simple for New Zealanders to play and to bet their money on. Once again, Baccarat could well have been one of the games that were popular with miners in the 19th century, especially as traditional Chinese games such as Pai Gow have long been mused as being the origin of the modern game. 

3 Card-Poker has always been a staple of the informal betting scene that has grown up in New Zealand from the mid-19th century onwards. Once again Poker is such a simple game that 19th-century labourers would have had no problem inviting like-minded individuals into a lengthy betting event. Today 3 Card-Poker is available to Kiwis as a Live Casino game at physical and online venues. 

Slot machines, commonly referred to as Gaming machines ‘fruit machines’, began popping up in New Zealand in the 1930s. Many of these RNGs found a home in obscure locations to the rear of dairies. Fruit machines were particularly popular with the working classes. During the 1960s, the technology that powered ‘pokies’ become much more sophisticated, allowing new features to be incorporated. One of the most popular models at this time was the ‘one-armed bandit’, this slot machine became popular in several locations. Many bandits were found in pubs, clubs and other places were liquor was sold. During the 70s and 80s the popularity of gaming machines increased further. Because of this there was the feeling that the government needed to regulate their use. By 1986, rule changes meant that slots could only be played in hotels and other leisure venues as long as machines returned 78% of all stakes to players and distributed profits to charity. By 1992, turnover on pokies had risen to more than $100 million.

Slot machines (Pokies) really shot to prominence in New Zealand though, after 1989. Initially, these RNG games were only available in venues with a liquor licence. However, since de-regulations in the gambling industry, pokies can now be played at any one of the six casinos in New Zealand, at selected TAB sites and online via online casinos which are based in foreign jurisdictions.

Keno (or Pakopoo) is almost certainly a game that was brought to New Zealand’s shores by Chinese migrants in the 19th century. As a type of lottery, Keno has often seen more lenient treatment from the authorities in New Zealand than other forms of gambling (Barry & Nelson, 2021). Keno can be played at many online casinos, as well as being one of games that are supported on the New Zealand government MyLotto application.

Video Poker in New Zealand is a relative newcomer. Since 1994, Video Poker machines have been available in land-based casinos and since 1998, Kiwis have been able to play Video Poker through the feed from foreign-based casino sites that serve 

Multiplayer Poker

The Gambling Act of 2003 determines where poker can be played in New Zealand. The legislation details how land-based casino venues must be licenced for their members to play Poker. Therefore, multiplayer poker can be played at casinos that meet this criterion. Alternatively, Kiwis can access multiplayer poker tournaments from online casino sites such as William Hill and Betway.

Bingo

Housey in New Zealand is another game that has always been accepted as an informal gambling pastime. However, rules regarding bingo were formalised by the 2003 Gambling Act. The legislation now states that Bingo sessions can be run without a licence where “the total value of prizes for a session is $5,000 or less, and turnover of the gambling is $25,000 or less” (Department of Internal Affairs, 2021). Bingo fanatics will also be cheered by the news that Bingo products are soon to be added to the government-owned, New Zealand Lotto platform (Johnson, 2021).

Land-Based Casinos

New Zealand plays host to six land-based casinos. These are located in,

  • Dunedin
  • Christchurch
  • Sky City Auckland
  • Sky City Hamilton
  • Sky City Queenstown
  • Sky City Wharf Casino

Dunedin Casino is a 31,000 square feet venue that boasts 180 gaming machines and 12 gaming tables. Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, and Poker games can all be played in Dunedin. The atmosphere is enhanced in the casino with the provision of the Grand Bar and Restaurant that serves high-quality food and drink during opening hours.

Christchurch Casino is a sizable site. At 43,998 square feet, Christchurch Casino can hold 500 slot machines and thirty-four casino tables. Poker is a specialism at this site, as Christchurch hosts the New Zealand Poker Championships annually. With three restaurants and two bars, this casino implores you to live the high life and many members do just that.

Sky City Auckland is a huge venue. With a footprint of 59,202 square feet, this casino goes big. Sky City Auckland supports 1600 gaming machines and 100 Live Casino tables. However, it is easy to believe that casino play is just an afterthought. With several bars, restaurants and a 700 seat theatre, Sky City Auckland is a multifaceted entertainment one-stop-shop.

Sky City Hamilton is a more intimate location that measures16000 square feet. Although a more compact example of a casino, this venue can still hold 331 pokies and 23 tables for Roulette, Blackjack, and Poker. Sky City Hamilton is potentially more relaxed than other locations. Amongst the facilities that this casino boasts is a ten-lane bowling alley and numerous restaurants and bars.

SkyCity Queenstown currently hosts twelve gaming tables and eighty-three slots machines. Free live entertainment is provided at this venue and food can be ordered from the Wild Thyme Bar and Restaurant.

SkyCity Wharf Casino is a micro venue when compared to other locations in New Zealand. Poker, Baccarat and Blackjack can be played at the casino’s six gaming tables, while slots enthusiasts can spin the night away at the site’s seventy individual terminals.

To enter all casinos in New Zealand you must be aged 20 or over. As casinos are high-quality venues that aim to provide an experience for all of their customers, a dress code applies. You should ensure that you are,

  • Not wearing torn or damaged clothing.
  • Not wearing dirty clothes or footwear
  • Not wearing safety clothing (Hi-Vis)
  • Not wearing hats or caps.
  • Not wearing sleeveless tops.
  • Not wearing gang insignia.

One key benefit of playing at a casino is that all wins are paid out on a tax-free basis.

References

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Adams, P. (2004). The history of gambling in New Zealand. Auckland: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Accessed from: https://jgi.camh.net/jgi/index.php/jgi/article/view/3669/3629 

Barry, P. & Nelson, G. (2021). Gambling in New Zealand: A National Wellbeing Analysis. TDB Advisory. Accessed from: https://www.gamblinglaw.co.nz/download/Gambling_in_New_Zealand.pdf 

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