Games go back a long way with the Maori people who enjoy the social and entertaining atmosphere that surrounds playing games. These games have evolved over the centuries, naturally with time, as well as from the influence of the European culture when Europeans landed in New Zealand.
The Maori people are the indigenous Polynesian people that live in New Zealand. They are thought to have come to New Zealand between 1250 and 1300 CE on a number of canoe voyages with settlers from eastern Polynesia. These settlers, being isolated from others, developed their own language, crafts, and culture and they formed tribal groups. The Maori way of life began to change when Europeans began to settle in New Zealand in the 17th century and over time, they began to adopt aspects of Western culture. In the 2013, consensus, around 600,000 New Zealanders identified as Maori.
Gambling games among the Maoris began with board games which quite possibly originated from before their contact with Europeans.
Whether or not they were playing board games before the 17th century, they have developed a number of their own games, such as mengamenga and mū tōrere, and some of their games are still being played today. Card games were brought to New Zealand in the 19th century by British settlers as they were considered a good way to pass the time on board the ship and a social and entertaining pastime to enjoy in the colonies. Gambling on card games was popular among all social classes, including miners, gentlemen and the Maori people.
As we all know, New Zealanders love to have a good time and be social with their mates, and this is true also among the Maori people. This has helped gambling games thrive in the country and with a large number of land-based casinos and sports clubs across the country, there are plenty of opportunities for all people in New Zealand to get together for a game. Now we’ll look at how gambling among the Maori people changed over time.
While many of the gambling opportunities, such as horse racing, lotteries, raffles, games of chance and card games were originally limited to the wealthy and upper class, this changed and these games became more readily available to everyone. In fact, the Maori people capitalised on the popularity of gambling and opened their own gambling establishments, such as venues outside Kororareka in the 1880s, the Otaki Racing Club and Ohinemutu Race Club in Rotorua. Later, Maori organisations encouraged the sale of raffle tickets to fund the New Zealand Maori Council. The marae (the meeting grounds and focal points of Maori communities) likely enjoyed gambling activity with bingo and other games played to raise funds.
There is evidence of Maori women enjoying gambling activities in the later 18th century and well into the 20th century with songs and poems composed about the subject. Following the colonisation of New Zealand, the nature of gambling among the Maori people changed a bit. They began to enjoy gambling at casinos that had been set up in the more urban cities as they moved more and more to those areas. In addition, gambling became a particularly social activity among Maori women who got together in order to spend more time with other women of their culture. By setting up these gambling venues, they were having fun and being social in one setting.
As the Internet has become more available to more people and more people have access to computers, smartphones and tablets, the Maori people have the same increased access to online and mobile casino games.
There are hundreds of online casinos where New Zealand players can enjoy their favourite casino games, from card games and table games to video poker and pokies. Access to casino games has never been easier and the Maori people are enjoying these benefits as much as anyone else. Pokies come in any theme imaginable, to suit any type of player and with so many options available to players, there is something to suit anyone. The Maori people, along with the rest of the New Zealand population can now enjoy gambling either as a social activity at one of the land-based casinos or sports clubs or community centres across the country or they can enjoy games from the comfort of their home online or even on the go from their smartphone or tablet device.