Online casinos are big business. Billions of dollars are wagered at websites based out of anywhere from Malta to the Caribbean. It begs the question: what are the best sites for New Zealand online players?

Firstly it’s important to note it’s illegal to run an online casino based in New Zealand, so the casinos we play at are based in overseas territories, which we’ll tell you more about later. But it is 100 per cent legal for Kiwis to bet at online casinos.

Generally the best casinos use one or more of five or six software providers which allow us to play everything from online pokies to live-dealer card games (blackjack, baccarat etc).

Best casinos for NZD players

When it comes down to it, you want to play at an online casino that is fair and has the games you want to play. They are the two main things you should take into consideration.

Each of the casinos we recommend caters specifically for Kiwis and has a strong reputation in the iGaming industry. If they don’t we refuse to review them – which is why you will generally find only positive reviews on this website. However, we will from time to time issue statements regarding certain casinos and warning you off them.

The game selection at the above casinos varies from pure Microgaming casinos to ones that use upwards of 10 software providers. This means there is a huge selection of games – far greater than you would find at a land-based casino in New Zealand.

Games at online casinos

The game selection at online casinos has never been better. There are hundreds of pokies at most casino websites, along with a huge selection of table games. One of the true drawcards to online casinos is the range of titles they have of specific games. For instance, at some online casinos there might be 50 different version of blackjack or 40 different types of roulette.

Most popular games at online casinos:

Casino War
Video poker
Video slots
3D pokies
Red Dog
Pai Gow
Live dealer
Big Wheel

Welcome packages & bonuses

The beauty of online casinos is you usually get a hefty bonus upon sign-up. These vary from casino to casino, but you will often find you can get a 100% matched bonus to your initial deposit, or your first three deposits in some cases. So the general gist is if you deposit $100 you will receive $200 to play with.

Once you have been a member at an online casino for a while they will attempt to keep you as a customer by sending out various promotions to your email address. These include free spins on various pokies and further deposit bonuses. One thing you need to keep in mind when you’re basing your casino selection on bonuses is the wagering requirements. These place restrictions on withdrawing the bonus amount. For instance, a casino may say you have to bet your bonus amount 10 times before withdrawing it.

The casinos we recommend at this website all have enticing bonuses which you can see in the table above or at the casino’s individual review in more detail.

Software at online casinos

I can remember in the mid 1990s playing an early version of online blackjack, with an ugly interface. The gameplay had glitches in it to the point of not actually seeing the game unfold, rather just the result.

Casinos have come a long way since these days with giants such as Microgaming, BetSoft, NetEntertainment, Playtech, Playfors and others all popular with vendors and players.

Microgaming: Funnily enough I think it might have been an early blackjack title from this company that I am talking about above. Take no notice of that now though. They have everything from a huge selection of RNG pokies and table games to some of the best live dealer titles. While there are a lot of casinos using only Microgaming, often you will find the best titles from them at casinos using multiple providers. You can download the casino software, play via instant-play on your computer or play in the fully functional mobile websites.

BetSoft: This company may not have been around as long as some others but they are truly market leaders in 3D pokies. Some of the more popular ones include Mr Vegas, Underneath The Sea and After Night Falls. They also have a good range of RNG-based table games. BetSoft’s ‘Too go’ range are some of the best games available for mobile play.

Playtech: One of the biggest providers of games in the world and they service a lot of online casinos. They have an outstanding live dealer platform that is one of the best on the web.

NetEntertainment: Another outstanding provider of casino software that continually pushes the boundaries. Have many pokies, including themed games, and a full selection of RNG-based table games.

Mobile casino sites

With almost half of all revenue at online casinos coming from mobile players, this area is improving all the time. While there are no casino apps available in the Apple App store or the Google Play store most casinos will have a big range of games on their mobile website.

Usually new players can sign up at mobile casinos via their handset, although it can be more cumbersome than on a PC. If you already have an account at the casino you wish to play at you can simply visit the site and sign in.

Casino mobile websites are generally compatible with Android, iOS & other devices including tablets. The range of games includes pokies and table games, with some casinos even having mobile live dealer available.

Deposit options at online casinos

New Zealanders have a good variety of payment methods to choose from at online casinos. These include Visa (credit & debit), MasterCard, web wallets (Skrill, Neteller etc) and a selection of pre-paid cards.

While each casino has a different layout it is generally a straightforward process to deposit money. Visit the cashier section and select the deposit method you wish to use. It’s important that during the sign-up process for the casino you give your correct details because the casino usually has the right to deny cash-outs if you cannot verify your identity.

All banking transactions at the casinos we have partnerships with employ the same technology which keeps money safe at major banks around the world.

You can read more about deposit and withdrawals and the specific methods here.

Casino licensing jurisdictions

This is where the casino is based and has to abide by the restrictions placed on them by this country. Generally the jurisdiction will have a department set up to handle online gaming licences, with an example being the United Kingdom Gaming Commission.

As we have mentioned previously some of the most popular places for online casinos to be licensed are Malta, UK, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Costa Rica, although as more countries tackle online gambling with legislation there will be other countries allowing online casinos to operate under their licence.

Customer service & safety

The casinos on this website have all ticked this box. Usually you can reach customer service through live chat, email and some even have phone numbers for New Zealand residents to call.

Online casinos want repeat business so the most trusted ones place strict measures on customer safety. For instance, we know of one online casino that monitors outbound emails from their staff in case they are attempting to steal player details.