The New Zealand Government takes a different approach to online pokies from Australia. Although NZ online gambling activities are not regulated nor legal, operators who don’t explicitly advertise their services to players and are licensed by a legitimate online gambling authority can accept players.
This is great for players since they get to pick from 1,000+ online casinos licensed by the best gambling authorities worldwide to find great bonuses, NZD payment methods, and the latest online pokies to play for real money.
The best pokies sites for Kiwis based on 200+ reviews and a careful assessment of their offerings, reputation, and user reviews are Wazamba, BitStarz Casino, King Billy, Golden Crown Casino, and 5Gringos. Hit our links to access over 5,000 pokies, live dealer games, progressive jackpots, and more on any of each, or continue below for an in-depth guide to the NZ gambling landscape.
Online Gambling in New Zealand
New Zealanders don’t shy away from the occasional wager, with the 2022 sports betting and casino figures settled at NZ$435m and NZ$62m, respectively. These figures don’t account for any online wagers, since the Gambling Act of 2023 prohibits local companies from offering online wagering services. On the other hand, land-based casinos have been legal since 1989.
The only two companies assigned by the government to regulate and enable online sports betting, lotto, and horse racing services for Kiwis are the NZ TAB and Lotto New Zealand.
However, thanks to the Government’s lax stance against offshore gambling companies accepting NZ players, Kiwis have access to thousands of operators based overseas. These offer a range of gambling products across several verticals, with services directly catering to the NZ market. NZD payment methods, progressive jackpots paying millions of dollars to lucky NZ punters, licenses that ensure fair play and support, and more.
The only downside of the lack of an authority overseeing and licensing Kiwi online pokies sites is that players cannot know for sure if they can trust an operator. That’s why Pokies.bet came to the rescue, bringing years of experience and a keen eye for good pokies sites to your service.
New Zealand Online Casinos Overview
|Gambling Licenses||NZ Tab, Lotton New Zealand, UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, eCuracao, Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association|
|Number of Online Casinos||1,000+|
|Top brands||Wazamba, 5Gringos, BitStarz, King Billy, Golden Crown|
|Banking Methods||PayPal, Skrill, PayID, BPay, POLi, Bank Transfers, Credit and Debit Cards, Neosurf, and more|
|Bonuses||No deposit bonuses, deposit match offers, free spins, VIP schemes, comp points, reload bonuses, cashback, and more|
|Customer Support||Live chat and phone support in NZ-EN, FAQ pages, social media, email, and more|
|Mobile Access||Casino apps and mobile-optimized casinos|
|Games||Slots, card games, table games, game shows, live casino games, progressives, specialty titles, keno, scratchies, bingo, and more|
|Online Pokies||Bonus buy, Megaways, Classic, Hold & Win, Jackpot, Video Pokies, 3D Games, Tumbling Reels, Infinity Ways, Linked Games, and more|
|Gaming Providers||Microgaming, Playtech, Pragmatic Play, NetEnt, Evolution, Big Time Gaming, and more|
Tourists and locals also choose to gamble at local venues on certain occasions. The ambiance is great, but their offerings are inferior to what you get online. There isn’t a huge variety in terms of NZ gambling hubs (6 in total), with the following being the most popular:
- Grand Casino Dunedin
- SkyCity Auckland
- SkyCity Queenstown
- Christchurch Casino
List of NZ Online Casinos
Countries that set an iGaming authority in place ensure the following:
- The Government gets taxes for all gambling activities conducted in the country
- Operators must pay and apply for a license to operate in the country, while the rest get blacklisted
- Rules can be set in place and all companies must abide by them to ensure players are protected and the competition among brands is conducted on fair terms
There are grey markets with thousands of rogue casinos chased by Governments, mainly trying to steal players off their money before they get blocked. The NZ market might not be regulated on a local level, but the standard is set at a high level.
Since the early 2000s, players had access to some of the best online casinos worldwide. That’s because the most trusted authorities in the iGaming industry don’t stop their licensed brands from accepting NZ players, meaning you get quality services from brands exclusive to otherwise-regulated markets like the UK, US, and Ontario.
Having said that, operators licensed by Curacao are subject to less regulation but offer a wider range of services, including thousands more pokies and tremendous welcome bonuses. We’ve vetted all brands that make it to our top 25 NZ online casinos list.
Below, you can find some of the most popular brands and you can continue for in-depth reviews of our five best pokies sites.
- Jackpot City
- Neon Vegas
- Bizzo Casino
- Zodiac Casino
- Fun Casino
- PlayAmo Casino
- Bet and Play
- Ruby Fortune
- Lucky Dreams
- Royal Vegas
- Mirax Casino
- Energy Casino
- Merkur Casino
How to Find the Best NZD Casino For You
Most ‘expert’ sites simply list the online casinos that hold an official iGaming license as the best for New Zealand players. This is just one factor we take into account, drawing from our vast experience to find the perfect match for each player.
By looking beyond the standard features, we can direct you to online casinos with thousands of pokies, localized support and payment methods, competitive bonuses, and features that ensure a pleasant iGaming journey.
Here are the main criteria that play into our Kiwi casino reviews:
eWallets, cards, prepaid cards, and bank transfers are banking options you will find at pretty much any online casino. What differentiates the best from the average NZ gambling sites are flexible banking limits, NZD currency support, local payment methods like PayID and BPay, crypto transactions, fast processing times, and payment interface.
Some operators rank well across the board and have games with average payouts exceeding 96.5%. Only these make it to this page!
Pokies and Games
Kiwi gamblers love their Microgaming pokies with progressive jackpots nearing NZ$20 million, but we check past that. The pokies lobby must be sourced by a range of tested and regulated companies including Microgaming, Playtech, and NetEnt for their classics; without leaving out newer companies with innovative slot games like Pragmatic Play, BGaming, Nolimit, and Relax.
Despite the quality and range of pokies, virtual table games like poker, roulette, and blackjack must be offered in a variety. This way players can switch their gameplay as they see fit without having to find a new online casino.
Live dealer games, game shows, and potentially a sportsbook ensure a full-fledged online gaming experience under a single roof. From our top brands, Wazamba offers all the above and more!
Legal Status and Reputation
We commit to sourcing NZ players with licensed sites from authorities such as MGA, UKGC, and Curacao. But we don’t rely on the views of a Government agent at the other end of the world as to whether an operator is legit enough to recommend to NZ punters.
User reviews, operating company, track record, and responsible gambling tools are some of the features pointing to whether a brand can be trusted + provides a safe experience.
Bonuses and Terms
Big brands like Casino.com and 22Bet rarely go the extra mile to attract rookies. In some cases they don’t even alter their bonuses for each market, having a singular welcome offer for all their gambling sites. Although we do not want to trash their service, we prefer operators that take into account local preferences and source players with exactly what they want.
NZ online casinos tend to offer hefty match bonuses and free spins exceeding A$1,000 on the first 1 – 5 deposits. Reload promos and free spins are standard weekly, while comp points, VIP programs, cashback, and other deals ensure you get rewarded for staying committed.
Although most rarely review the support features of an online casino, we not only verify that 24/7 live chat is provided by local agents but also test it in real time to ensure it is professional and resolves any issue at hand.
Additional options like phone support, social media links, FAQs, a ticketing system, and email contacts are the aspects that lead to a 10-star rating from our experts.
5 Best Online Pokies Sites for Kiwis in December 2023
Our selection process took us to the following gambling sites. Below you can find our quick overview of the brands we consider the best for any NZ casino player.
Wazamba – Best overall online casino in NZ
Wazamba is the best-rated online casino in New Zealand. I have personally won NZ$6,000 there after playing just three times. And you don’t need to stick to the Gates of Olympus slot as I did! The Wazamba lobby is filled with pokies and games, including a sportsbook. Use the navigation filters to find the best pokie or live casino game for you and take advantage of the weekly promos to boost your winning chances.
Wazamba has partnerships with Playtech, NetEnt, Microgaming, Zillion, Ezugi, Evolution, Pragmatic Play, and 100+ other vendors to always bring the latest games to your palm.
New users who join Wazamba through our links can grab a 100% match bonus of up to NZ$2,100 + 150 free spins. If you download their app, you get NZ$10 without a minimum deposit too. The online casino is licensed by Curacao, supports 20+ payment vendors, and offers around-the-clock support to NZ players.
BitStarz – Best crypto casino in NZ
BitStarz has been around for over a decade and is regarded by many as the best Bitcoin casino in the world. It is powered by Softswiss and hosts games from 50+ companies including Playtech, Nolimit, Relax Gaming, Vivo Gaming, and ELK Studios. The lobby has so many games we were unable to count. Thankfully, they did the legwork – BitStarz has slightly over 5,000 pokies lined up for you.
And it’s not just pokies you find at the NZ online casino. Virtual casino game variants of poker, blackjack, and roulette are offered in abundance. Live tables streamed from land-based casinos are also available under the BitStarz live casino tab.
Aside from an excellent track record, the BitStarz welcome bonus is sure to impress you – deposit using Bitcoin and get 100% match up to 5 BTC!
King Billy – Best welcome bonus in NZ
King Billy is a legal NZ online casino licensed by Curacao, and it ranks as the best low-deposit casino accepting NZ$10 deposits via Neosurf, cards, or eWallets. It supports equally low withdrawals, ensuring players of all types get to test the service without spending more than they would like to.
King Billy doesn’t forget its high-roller player base either. Sign up and deposit for a 100% match up to NZ$2,500 + 250 free spins. Stick around for cashback, weekly bonus spins, reload promos every Friday, and more.
The online casino has partnered with 1Spin4Win, Swintt, Ygdrassil, IGTech, KA Gaming, and other renowned vendors to bring all game types under one roof. There is a demo supported, so do some research and I am sure you will have an equally great time at King Billy as I did.
Golden Crown – Best ratings by NZ players
The Golden Crown welcome bonus is the largest I’ve seen in New Zealand. All players over 18 years old can join, deposit NZ$20+, and get a 100% match up to NZ$10,000 + 100 free spins. Simply use our links and redeem the code GC100 to qualify.
You can use the funds to access all Golden Crown online pokies. Bonus buy games, Megaways, progressive jackpots, and a myriad of other options ensure you always have something worthwhile to wager on. Live casino and tables are also provided in case you like taking on some dealers or playing alongside other players.
Golden Crown is the best online casino for loyal players too. They have a themed VIP scheme where you can jump levels to be crowned the next King for massive cashback deals and exclusive promos. It has a flawless user rating on several public forums, so don’t hold back.
5Gringos – Excellent pokies range
Rabidi N.V. launched 5Gringos in 2020. The online casino is hugely popular in Oz and NZ, featuring an exquisite range of services. For starters, new players who deposit NZ$15+ can grab a 100% match bonus up to NZ$4,000 + 150 free spins to try out 8,000+ pokies.
The 5Gringos lobby is 10x the SkyCity online casino games, including modern games with unique features like walking wilds, progressive multipliers, free spins with stacked wilds, hold and win bonuses, and more. The live dealer section is promoted through weekly free chips and vouchers for getting certain combos, while new games are being added daily. Some of the latest pokies you will find come from Ella Games, Yggdrasil, Pragmatic Play, and Mr Slotty.
5Gringos is licensed by Curacao, supports payments through all-known payment systems, and pays up to NZ$40,000 every month to each account. We are yet to find an area where it should develop further.
How to Play Pokies at NZ Online Casinos
Any user over 20 years old is allowed to legally gamble online from New Zealand. Some sites accept 18+, however, we recommend sticking to the country’s regulations.
- If you meet this criterion, you can select any of the online casinos accepting Kiwis from this page. Then, tap on the registration area and input your personal information.
- Online casinos usually ask for an email, first and last name, password, phone number, address, and ZIP code.
- After you submit the form you can instantly access the cashier and lobby to play pokies.
The above is possible via any device. You can play pokies on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any way you fancy. KYC checks are standard at all legal NZ online casinos. They simply request documents showcasing your address, name, and banking details to check out before your first withdrawal.
Online Pokies in New Zealand
With every online casino we’ve listed featuring 3,000+ pokies, how do you get started? For one, you can stick with games you know or trial any title that grabs your attention for free in demo mode.
Our slots reviews provide in-depth guides and free play versions of online pokies, and all NZ online casinos we feature provide similar functionalities to allow you to test the waters before taking out your wallet. The games support betting limits from as low as NZ$0.01 to NZ$500 per spin, so anyone can get started with a minimum deposit.
Below I cover some details to help guide your search for the best real money pokies in New Zealand:
All big names lease their games to NZ online casinos, meaning you can stick with regulated and tested titles instead of playing games a 13-year-old powered in their garage. All titles from companies like Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt, and Relax Gaming are regulated by several authorities and audited by 3rd parties like eCogra.
Each company tends to feature similar games overall, so the following could help you find the one to search for:
- NetEnt pokies – balanced games, with standard graphics, and 5×3 game settings mostly. Wilds, scatters, free spins, multipliers, and the occasional unconventional feature are employed in their titles. Top titles include Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, and Divine Fortune.
- Microgaming pokies – although the company provided the direction the iGaming industry followed since the 2000s, their latest titles are mediocre, to say the least. However, they are behind some of the biggest NZ online casinos and jackpot wins, thanks to their Mega Moolah and WOWPot titles.
- Playtech pokies – a respected company with over 800 pokies under their belt, yet mostly standard 5×3 video pokies with free spin rounds and progressive jackpots. Good games, but mostly suited for high rollers.
- Pragmatic Play pokies – the most played games for the past five years are products of PP. Most of the company’s pokies carry 96.5%+ RTPs and high volatility gameplay with max wins at 5000x. Gates of Olympus, Sweet Bonanza, Big Bass Bonanza, and Dog House are some of the most wagered games in New Zealand today.
Although most NZ land-based casinos host 5×3 video slots and classic 3-reel games with a handful of paylines, the online gambling industry has moved way past that. At the listed operators you can pick games based on any of the following features and more:
- Reel setting – online pokies come in all sorts of playstyles, from 3×3 reels/rows to 8×8 game grids. The number of reels and rows usually influences the number of lines you can win during each spin, from 1 payline to over 1 million. Megaways pokies have acquired immense popularity by employing 6 reels and up to 7 rows with 100,000+ paylines per round.
- Theme – developers come up with all kinds of themes to spice things up. You can play games following any theme really, including Sci-Fi, Ancient Greece, Mayan Culture, Oriental, Space, Adventure, or even branded pokies inspired by Batman or Superman. The theme usually gives away the symbols and special features.
- Math model – not all games are designed with the same payout model. The long-term returns can be anywhere from 88% to 99%, so we suggest going for pokies with over 96% RTP. The volatility of the games also matters. Low variance suggests frequent but small-sized wins, while high volatility indicates mostly rare big wins.
- Special features – if you like free spins and multipliers then why opt-in for pokies with mini-games where you pick and win prizes? Pretty much all games have special features that provide a sort of mini-game triggered through scatters, so you should choose games that feature bonus rounds that mostly appeal to you. I generally go for pokies with 10+ free spins and unlimited multipliers based on how well I do during the bonus.
- Jackpot/Standard – several pokies feature in-game jackpots or linked progressive prizes that can pay out millions of dollars to one lucky winner. Standard games have a fixed prize depending on your total stake. High rollers who wager thousands of dollars a day should choose the biggest paying pokies in NZ, like Age of the Gods pokies or Lightning Link games.
Top 10 Real Money Pokies
Looking for a few solid picks to start your online gambling journey? Here are my favourite NZ online pokies and their highlights:
- #10 Dead or Alive 2 – high volatility, over 100,000x max payout, and 97% RTP.
- #9 The Dog House – dull base game, but free spins round with stacked multipliers pays out well.
- #8 Twin Spin – best adaptation of classic pokies for an online setting with the twin reel twist.
- #7 Sweet Bonanza – dynamic base and bonus game, with free spins carrying up to 100x random multipliers.
- #6 Big Bass Bonanza – most played pokies series in the last few years, with the best progressive free spins bonus adding multipliers and spins based on fish catches.
- #5 Money Train 4 – best slot game released this year, with a steam-punk theme and fixed jackpot of 150,000x the stake.
- #4 Elvis Frog in Vegas – fan-favourite in New Zealand and the biggest hit from BGaming, featuring free spins with stacked symbols and a hold-and-win bonus round.
- #3 Gates of Olympus – award-winning slot by Pragmatic Play, featuring random multipliers up to 500x that stack for 15 free spins during the bonus.
- #2 Dead or a Wild – best bonus buy game with a variety of interactive special features that can make your blood boil!
- #1 Book of Dead – the most played game ever, powered by Play’n GO and featuring an above-average RTP, 10,000x max win, and a free spins round with up to 9 expanding symbols.
Top NZD Casino Bonus Codes
The first thing you will encounter when visiting an NZ online pokies site will be its welcome bonus. Online casinos try and differentiate their service by establishing promotional campaigns that reward players who sign up and commit funds. Not every online casino goes at the same length to stand out, while the fine print determines the true value provided by each online casino.
Here is a quick overview of the deals you will encounter at NZ online casinos and how they work.
- Welcome bonus: This offer is exclusive to new users signing up on a gambling site. It typically boosts your first deposit by a certain percentage up to a cap, for example, 150% match up to NZ$2,500. Free spins for selected pokies are usually part of the deal.
- No deposit bonus: All new players who register with our links or select promo codes can try out the service without depositing any money. No deposit bonuses come with a set of rules and conditions ensuring you don’t play the free spins or take the free cash on the table and run away.
- Promotions: These are offers for existing players, rewarding committed players regularly through various ways. Reload promos include free spins and match bonuses, VIP programs provide exclusive benefits and personalized features, while cashback offers compensate users who have incurred losses. A variety of these might be provided weekly to casino players.
All casino bonuses are tied by certain terms and conditions that must be met to cash out the winnings or unlock them. For instance, you typically need to deposit NZ$10 and wager the bonus funds 35x before you can withdraw any winnings.
Payment service providers do their best to expand their foothold as much as possible, and gambling transactions make up a solid percentage of their bottom line. Although some grey gambling markets have restrictions in place and payment services restrict gambling transactions there, New Zealand is considered a fruitful market.
As such, you will find all big banking names at the listed casinos, supporting both deposits and withdrawals. Some notable ones include:
- Bank Transfers
Some local payment services include PayID and BPay bank transfers, Neosurf prepaid cards, and POLi payments. Trustly can be a great way to transfer money to an NZ online casino without using your bank account directly. Crypto payments are also supported on most Curacao-licensed sites we’ve listed, ensuring fast and anonymous transactions.
When it comes to banking, look beyond the payment options too. Fees, processing times, minimum and maximum withdrawal limits, and whether progressive jackpots are paid in full are areas that could help you identify the best among NZ online pokies sites.
Blacklisted Casinos in New Zealand
Our team has been working for several years in the Australian market, identifying which online casinos make the cut to direct players there. Although the NZ market is way more open to offshore online casinos, some rogue operators with horrific services do target both AU and NZ players through local ‘pokies’ branding and too-good-to-be-true bonuses.
We want to particularly warrant your attention in relation to some popular pokies sites you should avoid like the plague:
The above brands have failed in one or more areas during our reviews, mainly lacking an official license, refusing to pay out players, and having questionable games. Since the Aussie market is tied to the Kiwi gambling scene, we recommend reading our reviews and verifying all new casinos with our experts before committing any money.
To support your journey, we have provided an in-depth rating system you can utilize when searching for a brand + the best NZ online casinos to play pokies with massive bonuses! Simply tap on the banners on this page to sign up and get started in no time!
- About the Author
- Affiliate Disclosure
Michael has reviewed and verified all information on this page. Having worked in the iGaming industry for over 8 years, he is the most capable person to help you navigate online casinos, pokies, and the Australian gambling landscape.