There are many different reasons as to why you might choose one online casino site over another. For many players, the quality and value of the Welcome Bonus or other signup offers can help clinch the deal. You might also be influenced by whose games you can play, and the RTP or payout percentages. With more and more people playing on hand-held devices, the quality of the gaming at the mobile casino could be a deciding factor, or you might choose a site because of how user-friendly and easy to navigate it is. We would recommend that you read our online casino reviews before you make any decisions, as we give you all the information you need to help you make an informed decision as to which site you choose.
The range and choice when it comes to online casinos is growing all the time, and for players this has meant far greater variety. For instance, more and more casinos now offer the games of several different producers all at the one site, which means you have more choice than ever before, especially as there are more new developers coming onto the scene all the time. The number and quality of live casino and mobile casino games is also rapidly expanding, further increasing choice. You’ll also find sites that are almost exclusively devoted to pokies, those who have more progressive jackpots than others, and other sites where they like to offer a greater range of card, dice and table games. You’ll discover that no two casinos are the same, and so you will always find somewhere to play that appeals specifically to your tastes.
Playing at an online casino that is operated from outside of New Zealand is entirely legal. The restrictions in our laws only refer to the operation of an online casino from within our borders, which is against the law — however, there are no restrictions whatsoever on Kiwis playing at an offshore site.
The odds of winning at some games are far better in an online casino than they are in a land-based casino, while for many others they are the same. For instance, you can expect the average return to player (RTP), or payout percentage of an online pokie to be 95%+ — this is far higher than you’ll find in a traditional bricks-and-mortar casino. The prize pools on progressive jackpot pokies also grow more quickly and are far bigger than in land-based casinos, as the networks are global and therefore far larger. In other casino games, like blackjack and roulette, for instance, the odds and therefore your chances of winning are exactly the same when you play online as you’d find in a casino anywhere in the world.
The answer to this question has changed in the last couple of years. Whereas it was once the case that you got a far bigger choice of games, and a better quality of gaming experience when you played using a downloadable software client, rapid developments in technology, most notably HTML5, mean that you can have the same choice and enjoy the same quality of games, regardless of what sort of platform or device you play on.
All of the sites that we recommend have mobile casinos. Some have bigger ranges of games than others, but all will offer mobile-optimised pokies and other casino games that have been designed to automatically adjust to the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets without any loss of quality. You’ll find that at most sites your casino account is automatically synced so that you can play on any platform and on any device using the same set of log in details.
The downloadable software clients that our casinos offer are suitable for operation on PC operating systems — they aren’t designed for installation on Apple iOS devices. However, as more and more casinos shift to the omni-channel, multi-platform approach, playing on a Mac is no longer the hassle it once was, and web-based games (which the majority of our sites offer) can be played on any type of operating system.
Almost all of our sites allow players to try games for free in practice mode; with web-based games, this is even possible at casinos where you don’t have an account. Simply click on the Instant Play tab or button, or on an individual game and when prompted, choose the Practice Play or Demo Play option.
Online casinos offer a great range of bonuses both for new players who sign up and for regulars. When you register at a site, you can often pick up a no deposit free spins without having to make a deposit, followed by a Welcome Bonus when you first add money to your account. Once you start playing at a site, you often get rewards and incentives like free spin bonuses and extra deposit matches, or you can even pick up a free bonus when a friend you recommend signs up and opens an account.
All of the sites that we recommend here offer new players some form of Welcome Bonus, which is essentially an incentive to persuade you to choose one site over another. In most cases, the signup bonus will usually take the form of match on your first deposit, usually 100% but sometimes as much as 200%, which can double or even triple your bankroll. At some of our sites, you get matches on a series of deposits (as many as four in some cases), and increasingly these deposit matches are accompanied by free spins as well. If you do pick up free spins as part of your Welcome Bonus, the winnings are usually credited to your bonus account and are yours to continue playing with.
The wagering requirement, also known as the playthrough, is the amount you have to wager before you can cash out any bonus amount you receive or any winnings made from that bonus. On average, it is around 40x the amount you deposit e.g., if you deposit $200 and receive a 100% deposit match, you have a bankroll of $400. If the wagering requirement attached to the signup bonus is 40x, this means you have to wager $8,000 ($200 x 40) before you can cash out the bonus or bonus winnings. However, this refers to how much you have to wager, not how much you have to deposit or lose!
Online casino games are not designed, produced or operated by the casinos — they provide the platform, but the ultimate running of the games lies with the developers, who are leading international producers like Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech. This means that an individual casino cannot manipulate a game’s random number generator (RNG) or influence the outcome of any hand or spin. Our online casinos are also inspected monthly by an independent third-party testing agency, such as eCogra, IGL or TST, and they certify that RNGs and games are being operated fairly. They also publish each game’s RTP so you can check for yourself whether a site’s games are fair and paying out at the expected rate.
Any site that we recommend will publish each month the report it receives from its testing agency on the payout percentages (RTP) of its games. This will cover the casino as a whole, as well as the different categories of games (e.g., online pokies, table games, etc.). This information is usually accessible to players by clicking on the logo for the relevant testing agency, which can generally be found in the footer or on the Home Page.
Our casino reviews examine in depth the safety and security a site offers its players, but there are also other sources of information that you can use. For instance, check for documentation on the site that a casino has been licensed by the jurisdiction form which it operates (a link to this will usually be found in the footer or on the Home Page). Check too it’s accreditation from a reputable testing agency (also available on the site), and that it has a range of methods of contacting them as well. You should also check out who the game and software developer is, because if it is a leading international brand, this is a sign that the software is virus free and that games operate fairly.
The casinos that we feature all enable you to use a variety of methods to make deposits into your account in NZD$. Amongst these will be leading e-wallet brands like Neteller and Skrill, electronic transfer systems like PayPal, pre-paid cards like PaySafe Card and EntroPay, as well as Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards. Making a deposit is simple, and works along precisely the same lines as making an internet banking transaction or a purchase online. All of our sites feature comprehensive instructions on their Banking pages.
With almost all deposit methods (with the exception of direct bank transfer), your funds are available in your casino account to play with instantly.
Making a withdrawal from an online casino is very easy to do and you will usually find a tab or button marked Withdraw or something similar on the Banking or Cashier page. You simply select where you want to withdraw your cash to, and the amount, and then follow the instructions. You will need to provide some proof of identity when you make your first withdrawal to satisfy anti money laundering requirements.
At most online casinos there is a pending period before a withdrawal request is finalised, and this can be anywhere between 12-72 hours, depending on the policy of the site. After your request has been processed, the speed with which you receive your method depends on the withdrawal method you choose. With e-wallets and virtual credit cards, your cash is available instantly; with bank-issued credit and debit cards, it can take up to 3 working days; for direct bank transfers, this can extend to up to 10 working days in some cases.