Best Live Casino in NZ

Live Casinos bring the real-life casino experience to wherever you are. But, which live dealer games offer the best value for money and which operators deliver safe, entertaining, and lucrative play? Our expert team has reviewed over 200 of New Zealand’s best live casinos so that you don’t have to. Pinpointing the providers that offer exclusive bonuses and ongoing promotions.

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  • 4.5/5 Rating

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    Jackpot City HIGHLIGHTS
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    • Dedicated to Evolution Live Gaming fans
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Author:

Chris Evans

Last Updated:

02/09/2022

Table of Contents

History of Live Casinos in New Zealand

It is fair to say that gambling has been a bit of a slow-burner in New Zealand. The recent rise in the popularity of online casinos in the country is a result of a slow thawing of opinions on the iGaming industry rather than any sort of societal revolution. But this new landscape has been embraced by thousands of casino-loving Kiwis. 

But, how have live casinos in New Zealand got to this point? 

Gambling has been taking place in New Zealand as far back as the 1830s. Originally, bets primarily revolved around the horse racing festivals that sprang up in the decades that followed the widespread settlement of the islands. However, towards the latter part of the 19th-century gambling started to be viewed much more dimly by legislators and a period of prohibition followed. 

In more modern times, Kiwis have become keener than ever to bet on pokies, table games, and live dealer output. This trend has been turbo-charged in recent decades by, first, the building of six land-based casinos in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, and Queenstown and then the widespread uptake of the internet, which has brought casino action into the living rooms of Kiwis. 

But such rapid change often poses more questions than answers. This is where we come in. We are casino specialists, so we are well placed to understand when an NZ live casino is genuine and when exclusive offers are worth taking up. 

The development of live casinos enables you to play favourites including roulette, blackjack, and baccarat from your desktop or mobile, but what do the top operators provide? 

Roulette at Live Casinos in New Zealand

It is difficult to argue that roulette is not one of the most popular live dealer games among Kiwis. Online casinos that service the New Zealand market have made great strides in bringing innovative wheel games to market, with HD quality visuals adding to the authentic feel.

The choice is no longer between European or American Roulette, but also Lightning Roulette, Immersive Roulette, and Mega Fire Roulette among many others. 

Live dealer roulette is often streamed directly from some of the world’s most glorious casino venues, with Monte Carlo, Macau, or Vegas often providing a scintillating backdrop, although studio-based varieties from the likes of Evolution Gaming still deliver the same buzz, with chat from the most glamorous croupiers adding to the entertainment. 

Evolution Gaming, Progressive Play, Ezugi, and Playtech have developed some great Blackjack variants. These include: 

  • Blackjack Party
  • Common Draw Blackjack
  • Free Bet Blackjack
  • Infinite Blackjack
  • Live Blackjack

Live Blackjack at New Zealand’s Favourite Online Casinos

If you’re taking a break from the roulette lounge the blackjack tables are likely to make an attractive alternative. 

Blackjack is a fantastic casino game for complete novices and grizzled veterans alike. The easy-to-play nature of the game and simple betting options means that you will quickly pick up the basics. 

Live dealer Blackjack is enhanced by interaction with knowledgeable dealers who are quick to keep you updated as hands progress. 

Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Ezugi, and Playtech have developed some great Blackjack variants. These include: 

  • Blackjack Party
  • Common Draw Blackjack
  • Free Bet Blackjack
  • Infinite Blackjack
  • Live Blackjack

Many of these games provide braver players with the chance to bet on a range of side bets. 21+3, Perfect Pairs, and Insurance bets are commonly available to Kiwi live casino fans. 

Baccarat at the Best NZ Online Casinos

At first glance, Baccarat appears to be a complicated card game. Like Blackjack, the aim of the game is to receive a hand that is closest to a pre-defined outcome, in this case, nine. But the route to seeing a winning hand called can look confusing. 

In essence, Baccarat pits the luck of the Player against that of the Dealer, with card values added together and the first digit is dropped. The problems come when neither the dealer nor the banker scores seven or more, as additional cards are dealt when this situation arises. 

But if you can see past this, you are effectively betting on a fifty/fifty outcome (although hands can also end in a tie). 

One thing that you need to bear in mind when you are playing live dealer baccarat is the table limits can be high, but RTP rates mean that you should hold on to your bankroll during lengthy sessions.  

Top live baccarat options include: 

  • Lightning Baccarat
  • Dragon Tiger
  • Sic Bo
  • Baccarat Control Squeeze
  • Speed Baccarat.

Although the make-up of Baccarat means that side bets are limited, you can still boost your winnings by betting on suited pairs or gain insurance on a “tied” outcome.

Live Casinos with Poker at New Zealand’s Favourite Sites

Live Online Poker gives Kiwis a number of benefits over traditional games. 

First, there is no need to maintain a poker face for hours on end, as your rivals can’t see you. Also, the technology involved in the delivery of live dealer online poker means that you are instantly aware of the hands of others and the chance of their hand is a winner. Complex maths that is nigh on impossible to compute in real-world situations. 

Top live online casino poker titles include:

  • Caribbean Stud
  • Casino Hold’em
  • Texas Hold’em 
  • Three Card Poker

All these poker options come with slightly different rules, so as they say, you pay your money and you take your choice!

Live Money Wheel Games at NZ Online Casinos

One area of the iGaming market that has boomed in recent years, is the live money wheel games sector. 

This should not be a surprise, quality NZ casinos are all about delivering entertainment as well as safety, so it is natural that many providers offer a wide range of presenter-led wheel games.

If you’re yet to play one of these titles, live money wheel game shows offer the features of great slot games and the unpredictability of classic roulette.

Popular examples of this modern phenomenon include:

  • Adventures in Wonderland 
  • Crazy Time
  • Dream Catcher
  • Monopoly Live 
  • Spin a Win 

Other Games at Live Casinos in New Zealand

Live Casino fans in New Zealand are not restricted to the usual fayre when they log on to their favourite site. In recent times, many casino operators have expanded the range of content that they support exponentially.

Some games that you really must try, if you haven’t already, include:: 

  • Craps
  • Football Studio
  • Side Bet City

Although these games are a little niche, they are picking up New Zealand fans all the time as they offer a refreshing alternative to more traditional table games and prize shows, with top-paying casinos offering healthy payouts on these products.

Our Picks for Live Casino Games to Play

When we mention live casino games, we think of classic casino games that can be played in land-based casinos.

1. One Blackjack – Pragmatic Play

Launched in 2021, One Blackjack comes with a 2000x your stake jackpot. If Blackjack is your game but you yearn for unpredictability, One Blackjack is an option for you. 

2. Adventures Beyond Wonderland – Playtech

Launched in 2020, Adventures in Wonderland offers a top prize of NZ$500,000. This cross between roulette and feature slots games is a visual delight that offers an RTP of 96.82% 

3. Monopoly Live – Evolution Live Gaming

Launched in 2019, Monopoly Live brings big-brand entertainment to the palm of your hand. A 500x your stake jackpot prize is available to all players whenever the bonus game is triggered. With an RTP of 93.60%, Monopoly Live is the perfect blend of entertainment and big prize potential. 

4. Crazy Time – Evolution Live Gaming

Launched in 2020, Crazy Time is a vibrant wheel-based game that offers bonuses of up to 20000x your stake. The glorious “Crazy Time” reel is a sight to behold and well worth investing in just to see an appearance. 

How do we pick the best NZ Live Casinos?

The New Zealand market is flooded with hundreds of live casinos of varying standards, so how do we sort the good from the not-so-good?

Our team of experts base their NZ live casino ratings on the metrics that matter most to you:

  • Safety
  • Game Content
  • Payout Speed

Analysis of the internet suggests that Kiwis prioritize these three factors above all else, so we do too. 

Our top ratings only ever go to casinos that have been awarded a gambling licence from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), that has content created by the most innovative software providers, including Evolution Gaming and  NetEnt, and where popular slots like MegaWays are supported, and that completes payouts within 24 hours. 

That is not to say that other important features evade us. 

New Zealanders understand the importance of a decent Welcome Bonus, a lucrative VIP scheme, and a flexible banking department, so we give you all the ins and outs of these features every time we review a real money NZ site.

Licenses

You might be forgiven for thinking that if the New Zealand Government hasn’t bothered to regulate the casinos that Kiwis can play at, licences aren’t too important. 

You’d be wrong.

For New Zealand punters it is even more important to play at a licensed venue as licensing bodies are the only guarantors of fair play. 

It is vital then that New Zealanders play at an online casino that is licensed in the United Kingdom, Malta, Alderney, or Gibraltar. 

Banking

Banking is always a consideration whenever you complete a transaction online. 

You need to have convenient and safe banking options or you won’t part with your cash. 

Fortunately, at the safe NZ casinos that we recommend, you will find universally popular banking methods such as PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard and more locally popular types such as Paysafe and POLi

These methods allow fee-free, quick, and safe currency transfers to your casino of choice.

Bonuses

Live casinos regularly advertise a steady stream of bespoke bonuses on roulette, baccarat, or blackjack as well as the carrot of an invitation to a VIP scheme that can provide lucrative ongoing deals and superior levels of service. 

Whether you choose to play at a NZ$1 deposit, NZ$5 deposit, or NZ$10 deposit casino, finding a bonus to suit you is ever important as it helps to fund your live dealer play.

Service & Support

We all hope that nothing goes wrong whenever you are dealing with big business. But, from time to time, problems are to be expected. 

What sets the best live casinos in New Zealand apart from the rest is how player issues are dealt with. 

A responsive email service, a 24/7 live chat capability and a dedicated phone support line all help to get Kiwis the answers that they need. 

Benefits of Live Online Casinos

A slots venue is great fun, and a sports betting site fills a need, but if you want to be entertained while you are battling the house, live online casinos are the place to be, but what is it that sets these venues apart from others?

Unique Experiences: One of the biggest selling points of the best NZ live casinos is that they give you the chance to bet on games that you can get nowhere else. For sure, you can play baccarat, blackjack, poker, and roulette at a land-based venue, but can you play Crazy Time as well? Of course, you can’t! So, settle down on your sofa and immerse yourself in a mix of content that cannot be found anywhere else. 

Dealer Interaction: If you ever get the chance to visit a SkyCity venue in Dunedin, Christchurch, or Auckland, you will most likely be amazed by the skill and professionalism of the dealer and croupier team. These skilled operators are programmed to ensure that you have a great time even if results don’t always go your way. This feeling can now be brought into your own living room by live casino technology that is optimised on desktop and mobile. So, sit back and bask in the ambience that top teams generate.

High Table Limits: If you consider yourself to be a high-roller, live tables might well be ideal. There is very little chance that you will be able to even gain a small edge against the house whenever you play a live game, so table limits can be significantly enhanced. 

Live Chat Function: Banter between punters often turns a losing day into a memorable one. The community feeling that is created by the live chat function that live casinos offer allows casino-goers to commiserate with each other when results take a downturn or celebrate when the betting gods are smiling. Being able to share these experiences is a top feature of any casino visit. 

Drawbacks of Live Online Casinos

Even though live casinos are a great option for Kiwis, there are, of course, some downsides that we must tell you about for the sake of balance.

Requires Broadband: No matter how fantastic a live casino site is, you won’t be able to play unless you have some form of fixed or mobile broadband connectivity. If you are in an internet blackspot then you will be unable to join the party. 

Limited Bonuses: Live Casinos tend to focus on table games like roulette and baccarat that offer the house its lowest profit edge. This means that casino owners tend to be reluctant to offer too many bonuses. However, games such as Lightning Baccarat or Lightning Roulette may be worth considering. Enhanced payouts are awarded whenever certain in-game conditions are met, ensuring that standard bets payout many more times over than you would expect. 

Small Games Catalogue: When compared to the number of pokies that casinos offer, live casino lobbies are not overly well stocked. Even the best live casinos in New Zealand may be limited to offering around 100 games for you to bet on. Not bad, but potentially limiting. 

Live Casino Bonuses in the New Zealand Market

There are very few casinos that have bonuses that are overtly aimed at live casino games. However, at a few venues, you can use your live casino play to clear steep wagering requirements that are often attached to new player welcome bonuses. 

If you scour the market you can find outlets where 15% of your stakes at the Baccarat and Roulette tables count towards your wagering commitments. 

Gambling Regulations for Live Casinos in New Zealand

Gambling in New Zealand is currently guided by the regulations set out in the Gambling Act of 2003. This game-changing piece of legislation set out how Kiwi casino fans could access online casino play from providers as long as they were not based on the New Zealand mainland.

This move meant, for the first time, that New Zealanders could now access the very best casino action from European heavyweights including William Hill, Leo Vegas, Jackpot City, and Playzee.

Unfortunately, though, this means that Kiwi gamblers are afforded no legal protection from the New Zealand Government if they ever enter a dispute with a casino. This is where licensing becomes important. 

Licensing authorities such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) act as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) bodies, which can sanction casinos if they behave poorly.

Live Games with the Highest RTPs in New Zealand

Customers of New Zealand’s live casinos will often come across the acronym RTP, but what does this mean and how should it affect your betting strategies? 

RTP (or the return to player rate) indicates how much customers should expect to see in returns when a casino game is played for an extended period.

A 100% RTP rate would mean that it is expected that every dollar bet on a slot, table game, or live dealer event would be returned in winnings. 

Of course, all casinos need to make a profit, so RTP rates are not normally this high, but they are not far off for several of the best live casino games.

Top paying live games include:

  • Evolution Gaming Blackjack – 99.50%
  • NetEnt Common Draw Blackjack – 99.50%
  • Playtech Blackjack – 99.50%
  • Evolution Gaming Casino Hold’em – 99.18%
  • Evolution Gaming Baccarat – 98.96%

With rates of this size, there is no wonder that live casino action is increasing in popularity, as New Zealanders can maintain their bankroll for long spells while playing some of the best titles that the iGaming industry has to offer.

What Makes A Great Live Casino Dealer

There are a couple of factors that go into making a great live casino, namely the live dealers that deliver the content and the software providers that develop these. 

Finding the right combination is the holy grail and something that we are continually searching for. 

Casinos with the Best Live Dealers

Kiwis are fortunate that whichever live casino they choose to play at, they will find a team of dealers and croupiers that are professional and who enhance the entertainment value of the table games and game shows on offer. 

About the Software Developers

Live casinos do not generally create their own products, this responsibility lies with the world’s top software providers. It is the job of Evolution Gaming, Playtech, NetEnt, and Pragmatic Play to bring concepts to life by developing attractive in-game features and embedding these within HD quality graphics. 

Evolution Gaming

Evolution Gaming is the leading name in the world of live dealer casino content. Founded in 2006, Evolution has received numerous awards in recent years for the products that it has designed.

Evolution’s suite of live dealer games carries a hallmark of crisp graphics, knowledgable croupiers, and informative graphics that makes gameplay fun at all times. Top titles from Evolution include Lightning Roulette, Speed Baccarat, and Craps Live!

Playtech

Playtech is another household name in the live casino sector. Founded in 1999, Playtech have been bringing slots, RNG table games and live dealer content to the masses ever since. Although Playtech may not be as renowned as Evolution for innovation, it does always deliver a solid product that casino fans in New Zealand and beyond have come to love over the past two decades. 

NetEnt

NetEnt has been a major player in the iGaming world since 1996. As a Swedish entity, NetEnt has to take a fresh view of the live casino product and has decided that quality products are in high demand. 

As well as incorporating top graphics and unique side bets, NetEnt’s live dealer games are often underpinned by the appearance of well-groomed croupiers who wouldn’t look out of place in high-end venues in Monte Carlo or Macau. 

Best Mobile Live Casinos for New Zealand Players

You can now play live casino games wherever you are in New Zealand. No longer do you need to dig out a suit and travel to your nearest City to be able to take on the house at the Baccarat, Blackjack, and Roulette tables, you can do this anywhere that you can find an internet connection.

Mobile sites and apps mean that you can play your favourite live dealer content over 4G or 5G coverage on any Android or Apple device. 

Many mobile sites are now so comprehensive that you struggle to differentiate them from desktop configurations. 

Some of the best include:

How Do You Win Playing Live Roulette?

You win by placing chips in the successful place on the board before the spin. For example, if the number lands on 7, you would win if you placed chips on the number 7 or the surrounding borders of number 7, red, odd, 1 to 18, 1st 12 or the bottom row of the board.

Who Owns Evolution Gaming?

Jens von Bahr is the current Chairman of the Board. Evolution Gaming is part of a wider group known as the Evolution Group, which also owns well-known providers such as NetEnt and Red Tiger.

What Is The Max Bet On Evolution Live Blackjack?

The max bet for non-VIP players varies between NZ$2,500 and NZ$5,000. However, Evolution Live Blackjack has Salon Prive tables where the maximum bet is NZ$10,000.

Live Casino Key Facts Table

Live Casinos:Key Facts
😍 Number of Live Casinos200+
❤️ Top-Rated NZ Live CasinoWilliam Hill
👍 Minimum Deposit NZ$1
✨ Maximum Deposit NZ$5000
⚖️ Live Casino LicensesUKGC/MGA
🔥 Live Casino SoftwareEvolution Gaming/NetEnt

Live Casino FAQs

Why play live casino?

Live Casino is a fun and immersive way to play casino games either from the comfort of your home or while you travel without having to go to an actual casino. You can sit and relax and play along with your mobile, tablet or laptop and enjoy the conversation between yourself, the live dealers and fellow players.

What are live casino games?

Live Casino games are online games that you would likely find in a casino. These can include table and card games such as Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat and Poker.

Are live casino games rigged?

Live Casino games aren’t rigged, though they are tipped in the favour of the house otherwise they wouldn’t be the profitable businesses that they are.

Can you count cards in online live blackjack?

You can try, and it might work but the profits you can make will be fairly minimal. Live Casinos tend to shuffle their cards more frequently than normal casinos so the practice of counting cards can be difficult with no real profit margin.

How do you win playing live roulette?

You win by placing chips in the successful place on the board before the spin. For example, if the number lands on 7, you would win if you placed chips on the number 7 or the surrounding borders of number 7, red, odd, 1 to 18, 1st 12 or the bottom row of the board.

Who owns Evolution Gaming?

Jens von Bahr is the current Chairman of the Board. Evolution Gaming is part of a wider group known as the Evolution Group, which also owns well-known providers such as NetEnt and Red Tiger.

What is the max bet on Evolution live blackjack?

The max bet for non-VIP players varies between NZ$2,500 and NZ$5,000. However, Evolution Live Blackjack has Salon Prive tables where the maximum bet is NZ$10,000.