1. Online Casinos
  2. History of New Zealand Casino Industry

History of New Zealand Casino Industry

From Europe to local, to the cloud. How The NZ casino industry has developed.

The gambling industry is one of the quickest developing and oldest sectors in the world and dates back as far as 2300 BC. Back in the old days, when our world was not as advanced as it is now, people used to place their bets in the form of lotteries and dice games. But with the constant evolution, we now find ourselves in the digital world, where we can place bets within seconds and interact with other players from across the globe.

Gambling has always been a constant form of entertainment for New Zealanders. It started in the country during the colonial period, thanks to the European settlers. In the late 19th century, betting evolved in New Zealand, although it was considered illegal by the laws till the 1908 Gambling Act. The British Commission influenced the gambling industry in New Zealand, and besides playing a role in making it legal, the European settlers were the main reason Kiwis got introduced to unique new casinos and different types of gambling games. In time, the industry grew to include horse racing, lotteries, NZ casinos, and pokies. Each form of gambling in New Zealand began at distinct times, with various trials and hardships along the way.

How Online Casinos Become Popular in New Zealand

Online casino gambling has been constantly evolving, and gaining popularity over the years, especially since it allows players a source of entertainment and income directly from the comfort of their homes. Many top quality online NZ casinos give Kiwis a chance to win big, whilst ensuring Responsible Gaming and a bundle of fun. In New Zealand, only TAB and Lotto are approved for running gambling platforms, but other online NZ casinos are both reputable and safe that is open for Kiwis to enjoy. This means, while they are not able to operate in the country itself, they are available online and ready to cater to New Zealand and many other countries.

Kiwis spend millions of dollars on pokies annually, so it makes sense that pokies are the most popular amongst online casino games. There is nothing more pleasing than playing online casino games at the comfort of your own home since it is practical and more convenient than traveling a significant distance to the closest casino establishment.

Whether you are visiting your favorite online casino or browsing through a selection of suitable online NZD casinos available, there are always different options that suit different requirements. Most players in New Zealand are more likely to check out the library of pokies at their favorite online casino, in comparison to Keno or Scratch Cards. But games like Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, and Poker are also classic favorites that are increasing in popularity with New Zealanders. People who would have found it tricky to visit a land-based casino can now appreciate the Las Vegas experience from their home, making online gambling a more approachable pastime. 

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Personalized Casino Offers for Kiwi Players

The personalized treatment has been one of the biggest inclinations over the last few years, not just in the online casino world, but in the world of e-commerce as well. Nowadays, Kiwis want something that accurately reflects their requirements. Players can get personalized subscription services, reliable and location-based payment options, tailor-made offers, or personalized VIP treatment, which makes the whole online gameplay much more enjoyable. NZ casinos respond to this demand by offering increasingly niche games, such as themed pokies, high-quality graphics, or soundtrack-based games based on specific movies, books, or TV series.

The online casino industry in New Zealand has increased in popularity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The New Zealand Game Developers Industry Survey shows that the interactive media sector made up to $323.9 million in the year to April, which means it has an increase of $121 million from the previous year. Moreover, the Game Developers Association claims the industry benefited from being able to continue production during the pandemic, more specifically during lockdowns, since an increased number of people around the world stayed home.

The online gambling industry has worldwide revenue of $227 billion, but it is expected to grow significantly over the coming years. The growth has been driven by several key industry trends, whether it’s mobile gambling, Livestream technology, or new gamification features that entice new players.

The Rise of Mobile Gambling in New Zealand

One of the biggest key factors for Kiwi casinos is the mobile-friendly gameplay available. This trend is shaping the industry into a more convenient and comfortable playstyle, allowing players to play directly through the browser of their preferred portable devices.

Previously, Kiwi casinos were limited to desktops and laptops, and many software developers were unable to optimize their games for smartphone screens. But with the evolution of the digital era, the smartphones in the market increased, and the demand grew higher. The variation between screen sizes meant that it was harder to create games that would fit perfectly on every single type of smartphone. However, the current technological developments mean that mobile gaming is a reality for players all over the world and Kiwis can rely on the efficiency and accuracy of Mobile Casinos. According to industry data, mobile gambling is anticipated to grow by an astounding 26.8% in 2021, which only reflects the growing demand for mobile-friendly gameplay at online NZ casinos.

Mobile Casinos are available on most gaming platforms nowadays, but some still rely on the usage of downloadable programs or external applications. The best Kiwi casinos have developed their website with the latest HTML5 technology, which ensures easy access to the selection of games, as well as optimized mobile gameplay. This means that all you need to do to play your favorite game that you would usually enjoy on a laptop or desktop computer is to access the website via the web browser which is linked to your tablet or smartphone. Simply tap on the title you wish to play, and the game will launch instantly, and you can begin your enjoyable adventure. For more information on which Kiwi casinos provide this feature, please read through our descriptive Casino Reviews for a better understanding of how you can benefit from this feature.

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Many people assume that the house always wins, but that is not always the case. In New Zealand, many players have walked away victorious. There are ample testimonials of how a few bucks have pathed the way to massive life-changing jackpots. That is precisely what happened in May 2013. A lucky New Zealander won the very first mobile jackpot winner of the Mega Moolah pokie and went down in history as a legend. The prize amounted up to NZ$943,971, and although it was not the biggest win in history, it sure put a smile on the winner’s face.

But that is not the only player that went down in history as a lucky winner. On the 17th of June 2016, Rawiri Pau, an Auckland KFC Employee, took home a whopping NZ$10,144,395.82 in jackpot wins at an online casino. He had initially won NZ$1,500, and instead of calling it a day, he decided to try and secure the big win with his new bankroll. Fortunately for him, the gamble paid off and changed his life for good. Furthermore, another Kiwi loaded up the Mega Moolah Jackpot again and walked away with just over the NZ$8 million marks. Sometimes a significant risk comes with a great reward, and thankfully for these New Zealanders, the gamble paid off.