Playing Slots in New Zealand
Playing online slot machines, or online pokies as you might also know them, is a very popular pastime for many people in New Zealand.
Gambling in New Zealand generates a lot of revenue for the country and it is a surprisingly popular pursuit for many Kiwis. Many people gamble offline and enjoy it frequently, but online gambling is not actually legal within New Zealand which can make playing online pokies a little bit challenging.
All is not lost though as it’s perfectly fine for New Zealanders to enjoy online gambling on websites that are situated outside of the Country’s borders.
There is a great deal of choice when it comes to websites which offer online pokies and the sheer volume of sites and games available can be overwhelming. This guide will help you to determine which sites are worth playing and which to avoid and you can rest assured that everything will conform 100% with New Zealand’s gambling laws too.
New Zealand’s Gambling History
It might not be an obvious choice when it comes to naming countries where gambling is incredibly popular, but New Zealand has a long history of a love for gambling. Horse racing was where it all started and was clearly a British influence on the country. This began in 1835 and due to New Zealanders’ affection for making bets, it spread all over the country and today there are almost 50 racetracks, which is quite an achievement for such a small country.
Church intervention led to a very brief period of sports betting being banned in 1910, but it didn’t last long and was restored again the same year.
Gambling was still limited to betting on sporting events through bookmakers and it wasn’t until 1987 that a new form of gambling arrived in the form of a lottery. Kiwis’love of gambling was once again apparent and it has been suggested that over 60% of the population plays the lottery every single week.
The first pokies arrived in 1988 and they were only available to play in hotels and sorts clubs until the country’s first casino opened in 1989.
Is It Legal to Gamble on New Zealand Slot Machine Websites?
As we mentioned at the start of this guide, it is sadly illegal to gamble online at sites within the border of New Zealand. In a country which has absolutely no problem with offline gambling of any kind this seems a little strange, but the law’s the law. There is nothing to indicate that this will change any time soon either.
Gambling is heavily regulated by the New Zealand government and the introduction of the Gambling Act in 2003 to ensure that all forms of offline gambling were safe and fair. It has been amended regularly – most recently in 2015 – and makes online gambling something of a grey area.
Basically, the law in New Zealand makes online gambling illegal for New Zealand-based operators as the state will not grant any companies a license for these activities. However, offshore gambling websites are not covered by the country’s law and can happily offer Kiwis online pokies and other forms of gambling and casino entertainment outside of the jurisdiction of the state, making them technically legal.
The only influence the government has over offshore betting and gambling sites is their ability to ban all forms of advertising form them within their borders.
So where does that leave New Zealanders who want to gamble online? You’re fine if you play offshore sites as this is not illegal. Only casinos and gambling sites who are based within New Zealand are breaking the law. Many offshore websites accept players who live in New Zealand and you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to sites offering online pokies and casino games.
New Zealanders love gambling and and we can offer you plenty of advice about playing online pokies. Any site you visit should be licensed and properly regulated and you should stick to those sites which we recommend and have verified as being reliable and trustworthy.
What Makes a Great New Zealand Slot Machine Website?
You should first and foremost make sure that the website is legal and licensed relevant to where you are playing it. Once that’s ensured then there are a number of other things you need to take into consideration. These include:
The majority of slot machine and gambling websites accept payments from traditional debit and credit cards such as VISA or MasterCard, but that offers a fully traceable transaction and not everyone wishes their bank manager, or indeed the state, to know about their online gambling activity.
There are other options as a great deal of legitimate websites with online pokies offer New Zealanders the chance to pay into and withdraw from their playing accounts using e-wallets. Services such as Neteller offer secure transactions which cannot be traced. They ensure anonymity and many of them will offer you a MasterCard-style card meaning you can withdraw your winnings from an ATM and treat the e-wallet as an additional bank account.
PayPal is another convenient payment method that some online casinos now accept, as well as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Choice of Games
You want to have a good choice of online pokies from which to choose. Any site with an incredibly limited selection might raise a few flags as it could be new and inexperienced and therefore widely untested by many. It’s also good to have the choice because, well, variety is the spice of life really.
Good customer service is important in any industry and of course it’s equally so within gambling. Sometimes something might go wrong, or you might simply have a question which needs answering. You can always send an email, but this has been proven to be the absolute slowest way to get a response from an online casino.
What you need is a casino with live chat or a telephone number you can call – ideally a free one. Because of where you might be in the world you might need to contact a casino at times that are considered unsociable in the country which they are based. That’s not a problem though as many offer a 24/7 customer care service and almost all have representatives who speak English.
Sites to Avoid
You can sometimes find a bad website and it can sometimes be too late when you realise it’s one not to be trusted. That’s why we regularly update our list of blacklisted slot machine websites and online casinos. We want you to enjoy your online pokies experience and if you stick with our recommendations you’ll not go wrong.