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Will Gambling Tourism Have A Future In New Zealand?

Gambling is not as popular in New Zealand as it is in other countries. In Australia, gambling is an important part of the country’s heritage, which explains why more than 80% of adults engage in some form of gambling. This is a profitable industry for the government, which receives approximately 24.94 percent of every dollar spent on gaming. Not surprisingly, Australia has a high number of casino resorts on the goald coast and is seeing continued growth in both retail and online betting.

The gaming industry, particularly the casino industry in New Zealand, differs significantly from that in Australia. Gambling has never been regarded as a part of New Zealand’s culture, and the gaming industry, particularly casino tourism, has not grown at the same rate as in many other countries with only five casinos in the land, New Zealand doesn’t offer much for gambling tourists. While there’s a wish to develop gambling tourism, betting isn’t a big part of the culture and hasn’t been trending for a while. However, the gambling spends in NZ in 2021 set a new high record since 2007, with most adults reported to devote more time to poker during the pandemic.


Gambling Locations in New Zealand

The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for regulating gambling activity in NZ. All operators in the country are expected to return a portion of their profits to the community. Also, the largest share of the gambling industry is reserved for state-owned institutions. Currently, there are five land-based casinos in New Zealand, as shown below:

Dunedin Casino

As one of the oldest gambling locations in the land, Dunedin’s Casino has undergone refurbishment and has a Monte Carlo feel. It is located in Dunedin and offers baccarat games, poker, roulette, blackjack, electronic games, and more. The casino runs from 11 am to 3 am.

Christchurch Casino

The Christchurch Casino offers more than 500 slot machines, 40 table games, baccarat and poker lounges, and an electronic sports arena. The casino is open 24/7 on weekends and from 11 am to 3 am on weekdays. It is located on Victoria Street, Christchurch.

SkyCity Casinos

There are four SkyCity Casinos located in different cities in New Zealand. SkyCity Auckland is situated in the world’s tallest Sky Tower in Auckland and hosts a little more than 150 table games and 2,100+ slot machines. Players can explore blackjacks, baccarat, roulettes, money wheels, Pai Gow, poker, etc.

SkyCity Hamilton is located on a scenic location overlooking the Waikato River in Hamilton and hosts casino roulettes, slots, and gaming machines. It also runs 24/7 and offers a chance to walk away with up to $4,000.

SkyCity Queenstown is located in Queenstown and features 86 slot machines, 12 table games, poker, baccarat, roulettes, and blackjack. Lastly, SkyCity Wharf Casino is a small gambling destination with 74 gaming machines and six table games. It was known as Otago Casinos Ltd. up until SkyCity acquired and rebranded it in 2013.

Does New Zealand Have Gambling Tourism?

New Zealand can barely compete with other destinations in Europe, Asia, and Australia. There are five gambling resorts in the country, which isn’t much but still serves the few traveling punters that come from Australia to gamble. Fortunately, New Zealand has strict regulations, and all casinos provide a safe gambling environment for all players.

Most travelers who visit NZ casinos are drawn by the high-quality standards and range of betting products. The country also has many fun things to do, so casinos always have the potential to get a group of new/first-time gamblers. Nonetheless, New Zealand still has a long way to go and is yet to exploit its potential as a hub for gambling tourism.

The Future of Gambling Tourism in NZ

While many articles on the internet discuss the potential growth of the Australian gambling industry, there is little written about New Zealand. The number of New Zealand players betting on classic and contemporary real money products, such as slots, table games, poker, live dealer rooms, and sportsbooks, is increasing. 

New Zealand is a beautiful country that receives a large number of visitors throughout the year. In addition to its scenic beauty, gambling is legal in the country, so tourists that fancy betting can explore games without breaking any regulations. What’s more, the online casino industry is increasing in NZ. Paired with the prosperous tourism industry, this seems like the perfect combination to spur interest in gambling tourism. Existing land-based casinos are however poised to expand into online gambling, which can increase interest from offshore punters. If these casinos successfully generate interest for their products, they might also increase gambling travelers visiting the country.

Key Takeaways

Gambling is legal in New Zealand and strictly regulated by the state. Punters have access to a handful of local casinos and can play on any online gambling site they choose. However, gambling tourism is yet to pick up in NZ. The local gambling resorts accept tourists and offer some of the highest standards, which is great for the prospects of a flourishing gambling tourism industry. Nevertheless, New Zealand is surrounded by various countries with better propositions and gambling traditions. It will take some progress before the country has a fully-fledged gambling tourism scene, but the potential is massive.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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