New Zealand Land Based Casinos

When you think of New Zealand, you don’t exactly think of the glitz and glam of high-end brick and mortar casinos. No, it isn’t exactly Vegas but this country has a lot more to offer gamblers than you may expect! Let’s take a road trip through this beautiful country from Auckland through the Waikato and then take the ferry to the South Island and make our way through the Southern Alps all the way to Dunedin.

Check out some of the finest land-based casinos in New Zealand:

 A Brief History

NZ Southern Alps Road tripUnlike the U.S.A and Europe, land based casinos in New Zealand are still a relatively new phenomenon, with New Zealand’s first casino opening its doors as late as 1994. Before then, Kiwis were still avid gamblers.  Horse racing and betting on horses had been a popular activity from as far back as 1835 (before it was later banned for a time) and pokies graced the floors of bars and other establishments from 1988. However, there is nothing quite like the sparkling enticement of a casino floor and there was much excitement when Christchurch Casino opened its doors for the first time.

Since 1994, a handful more casinos have opened and these casinos draw in thousands of tourists from Asia and surrounding countries who want to try their luck at slots and table games in one of NZ’s famed casinos. The casinos have created quite the name for themselves and are a popular to-do item on many traveller’s bucket lists. Their associated bars, hotels and restaurants also draw in tourists and locals alike.

Great Selection of Casinos

There are currently only 6 casinos in New Zealand with no new casinos in sight. These 6 casinos include: Christchurch Casino, Skycity Auckland, Skycity Hamilton, Dunedin Casino, Skycity Queenstown and Wharf Casino. You can rest assured that they are all of the topmost quality as they have to abide to the firm regulations and gambling laws that New Zealand has. They are also continuously receiving updates and refurbishing.  No matter which casino you decide to play at you can expect to have a fantastic gaming experience!

The country’s biggest Casino is the Skycity in Auckland and is also the only casino in the capital. This casino is famed for its Sky Tower that boasts stunning 360 degree views of the city and is complete with hotels, bars and restaurants. The rest of New Zealand’s casinos are of the same quality, with Christchurch Casino being home to the New Zealand Poker Tournament every year, is also New Zealand’s very first casino and the Dunedin Casino being known for its lavish and opulent rooms.

Skycity Entertainment Group: Major Players in NZ’s Casino Game

The Skycity Entertainment Group was founded in 1966 and has played a significant role in the development of land based casinos in New Zealand. The company has high stakes in 5 of the 6 casinos in the country, with Christchurch Casino being the only casino separate from the Skycity group. The company has a passion for bringing exciting new games to casino floors and can be held accountable for the success of gambling in New Zealand. Skycity is a highly successful company and they have casinos in Australia too as well as a variety of entertainment establishments, restaurants and night clubs in both Australia and New Zealand.

Most Popular Games

All the usual and favourite casino games are available at New Zealand’s array of top quality casinos. The casino floors are covered in top-quality table games and hundreds of slot machines Because there are just a handful of land-based casinos in New Zealand, each one is of a decent size so it can cater for the city entire city its based in as well as surrounding areas, and for this reason, each casino offers a plethora of games. New Zealand’s most popular games among players are pokies, blackjack, roulette, poker and baccarat.

Although you should be able to find anything you’re looking for in New Zealand’s prestigious casinos, if you are on the hunt for something specific you can always check out the wide variety of online casinos that can be played in New Zealand too!

Last Updated: October 15, 2018