It’s impossible to underestimate the effect that online sports betting has had on the whole gambling landscape in New Zealand. It’s not that long ago that the only place you could have a bet was a racetrack, and although this was followed in time by lotteries and the introduction of land-based casinos in the 1990s, gambling remained an activity that was local and confined to our shores.
Online sports betting has opened up the world to us. We can bet on an NFL match as easily as the 3.30 at Waikato; punters today think no more of betting on an obscure soccer match on the other side of the globe than they do of having a punt on the All Blacks. Essentially, online sports betting has brought us greater choice, greater variety, and increased our engagement with sport from around the world.
What most of us who bet with online sports book get from the experience is a sense of being connected to the world. This is because sports betting sites are able to offer us instant markets on matches being played all over the globe and at all hours of the day and night.
Naturally, major international sports are given extensive coverage by all New Zealand online sports books. Whether it’s Super Rugby or Premiership Rugby in the UK, NRL or NFL, the A League or the Bundesliga, there are a huge range of markets on offer on every match, along with stats, form guides, replays and live streaming to make sure we’re as informed as possible.
You can bet on cricket, everything from the Hadlee-Chappell trophy to the Super Smash, or if tennis is your game, you can bet on the Grand Slams or a satellite tournament somewhere you’ve never heard of. North American sports are also increasingly popular with Kiwi punters, so whether it’s NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB, there will always be a huge range of markets to have a bet on.
The coverage of horse racing and greyhound racing on online betting sites also means that we get access to races from around the world, alongside all local and Australian meetings. Live streaming and race replays mean we can see international horses in action and study form guides for all the major race meetings globally, like the Cheltenham Festival and the Japan Cup.
One of the best innovations that online sports books have delivered has been variety in the types of bets we can now make. No longer limited to simple win/place or outright winner bets, online sports betting now means we can make multi-bets across matches and sports, bet live and in-play, and take advantage of great new innovations like Cash Out and Odds Boosts. We get Best Odds Guaranteed when we bet on the races, and can even get money back when our accumulators fail to come in.
Whatever sport you want to bet on, and however you want to bet on it, you can be sure that there will be a market for you at the best NZ online sports books.
As well as the major mainstream sports, online sports betting also caters extremely well for those of use who follow lesser-known, minority sports.
For instance, the interest in e-sports has boomed, and so you can bet on major competitions from around the world, like Overwatch, DOTA II, League of Legends (LOL) and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Handicap betting is probably the most popular form of e-sports betting, as some competitions can be quite one-sided.
UFC and MMA are also growing betting markets, no doubt fuelled by the worldwide coverage of high profile fighters like Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. Who you bet on UFC or MMA, as well as outright winner bets, you can also have a punt on whether a fight will go the distance, the method of victory, or what round the fight will end.
On the rare occasions when there isn’t a live match or race taking place, a number of New Zealand online sports books offer virtual sports, which are CGI simulated events controlled by random number generators (RNGs), and where you have many of the same betting options as you would in a ‘real’ fixture. You can bet on virtual horse and greyhound races, cycling and motorsports, as well as virtual football and tennis matches.
Even if sports are not your thing, there are still plenty of betting opportunities with New Zealand online sportsbooks. For instance, you can bet on the outcome of TV reality shows, like ‘I’m a Celebrity’, talent shows like ‘The Voice’ and cooking programmes like ‘MasterChef’.
You can even get markets on political events, such as who will win an election, when a particular leader might lose their job, as well as who might take their place.
The 24/7 nature of sports betting and the fact that matches and races are taking place around the world every minute of the day is why mobile sports betting and betting apps have become so popular with New Zealand punters.
Betting on a mobile sports book means that you can place bets and keep an eye on how your wagers are doing at any time — especially important if you want to take full advantage of the cash out feature and get out of a bet that isn’t going as you planned. With a mobile betting app on your smartphone or tablet, you can bet live and in-play wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, and well as watch live matches and replays when you’re on the go.
As well as being able to bet, the mobile sports apps we recommend are packed with other features, like form guides, stats, experts’ tips and more, meaning you have a whole library of essential information stored away in your mobile phone or tablet. Betting apps are also designed for the smaller screens of smartphones and tablet, which means that you can always navigate quickly to important features like your bet slip or a live match.
However, a smaller screen doesn’t mean a smaller range of markets, and no matter what sort of device you’e betting on — iPhone or iPad, Android or Windows phone — you get access to the full range of sports, racing, special offers and promotions that you would if you were betting on your laptop or PC.
There is a large range of Welcome Offers at the New Zealand online sports books we feature, with most of these giving you bonus bets in one form or another. At most sites, when you open a new account and make a first bet, you then get bonus bets on top. The size of the bonus bets you receive will vary — they may be of equivalent value to your deposit, or can be up to 2x or 3x the size. Your first qualifying bet will usually need to be at odds of even money or above to be able to claim your bonus bets.
Alternatively, some sports books will offer you a deposit match bonus, similar to the sort of Welcome Bonuses that you get at online casinos. These match bonuses tend to be 100% and can be worth as much as $200. When you get this sort of sports betting bonus, you will need to playthrough your deposit amount (usually 1x), generally with bets at odds of 1-2 or greater.
With Enhanced Odds (which some sports betting sites call Odds Boost), on selected races or matches (usually big events like the Melbourne Cup or Bledisloe Cup) you can choose to get better odds on your bet. If it comes in, you’ll get paid out instantly at SP, and then get your Odds Boost payout (which will be better than the SP) as a bonus bet.
Live in-play betting is available on the majority of matches offered by our online bookmakers, and this is an especially popular way of punting on mobile betting apps. In-play betting lets you bet on a match after it has started, so the odds you get will reflect the state of the game e.g., a team starts a match at 1.50 but they suddenly find themselves 6 points down after 10 minutes, so you’ll find that the odds have lengthened to reflect the chances of their getting back into the game. Odds can change by the minute, so if you want to bet live in-play, you need to keep your eye on both the match and the fluctuating market.
The best New Zealand online sports books offer a wide range of live streaming, which means you can watch live racing and matches from all around the world. At some sites this is a free service, while at others you need to have a bet on to be able to watch live. Live Streaming is available on all devices, so you can watch live sport on your PC, laptop, mobile or tablet.
Accumulator bets, popularly known as accas, are multiple bets where to get paid out all the legs of your bet need to come in. A number of sports books offer a feature called Acca Insurance, where if only one leg lets you down, you get your stake back in the form of a bonus bet. Your can also get Acca Bonuses, where you get an additional bonus on top as well as the payout from your bet, and the more legs in your bet, the greater the bonus you win. Cash Out is also a useful feature of acca betting, where if your bet looks to be going wrong, you can get out early (at a reduced payout rate). You can either make acca bets in one sport (e.g., all football) or across sports (a combination of racing and cricket bets, for instance).
You generally get offered Enhanced Odds (also called Odds Boost) on selected major races. If you take this option you’ll get a better price than the regular odds, and if your bet wins you get an immediate payout at SP, and then the winnings that come from the boosted odds are credited to you as bonus bets.
The majority of our recommended online sports books offer Best Odds Guaranteed on all horse and greyhound racing (and some offer it on Premier League matches as well). With Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) if the horse or dog you back wins, but the SP is a better price than you got, you’ll get paid out at the higher odds.
Sports betting today is unrecognisable from what it was not that many years ago. The range of markets you can get at New Zealand online bookmakers is enormous, while the number and type of wagers you can make mean there is always a bet on offer to interest you. Special features like Best Odds Guaranteed, Odds Boosts and Acca Insurance also give you additional value, while live in-play betting adds a whole other dimension to the online gaming experience.