Why NZ Players Adore Pokies: Insightful Facts, Best Bonuses & Top Casinos

Kiwis love pokies
Kiwis Love Pokies – Know the Facts

Kiwis’ Unwavering Passion for Pokies

The fervour for pokies in New Zealand is not merely a casual observation; it’s a fact supported by robust data.

Over the past year, the user base and revenue from pokies have surged, painting a picture of a nation deeply enthralled by the game. The recent spike in spending is a testament to the Kiwis’ unwavering affection for pokies.

According to a comprehensive report by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), New Zealanders collectively spent an astonishing $2.38 billion across major gambling sectors during the 2017-18 period.

This was a marked increase of $49 million compared to the preceding financial year, underscoring the growing allure of gambling, particularly pokies.

“In the Waikato region of New Zealand alone, expenditure on Hamilton pokies leaped by an impressive 93.67%, skyrocketing from $379,876 to a staggering six million dollars.”

This escalating trend is not isolated to Waikato. Nationwide, the second quarter saw a seven per cent growth in pokie spending compared to the first. At the same time, this might seem like a modest rise percentage-wise, but the absolute monetary value represents a significant boost.

To offer a clearer picture, here’s a breakdown of the $2.38 billion expenditure across various gambling sectors during 2017/18:

  • TAB racing and sports betting: $350m (Increase of 3.6%)
  • NZ lotteries: $561m (Growth of 1.1%)
  • Pokies machines: $895m (A jump of 2.9%)
  • Casino gaming: $578m (Rising by 1.1%)

These figures undeniably showcase the undeniable fact: Kiwis truly adore their pokies.

See also: Why Endorphina Discontinued Its ‘Maori’ Online Pokies Game

Why Kiwis Prefer Online Pokies?

SKYCITY Casino, Aucklandjpg
SKYCITY Casino, Auckland
  • Versatility & Popularity: Although sports betting, particularly on Rugby, football, and cricket, captures the Kiwi spirit, there’s no denying the allure of pokies online. These casino games stand shoulder to shoulder with traditional betting.
  • Variety of Games: From classic table games like roulette and blackjack to diverse online pokies, video poker, bingo, and keno – the choice is vast.
  • Engaging Themes: Pokies are more than just a game. They weave intricate tales and recall popular movies and TV shows, ensuring a thrilling gaming experience.

Suggested read: Why Kiwis Are Shifting from Land Pokies to Online Casinos

What Makes Online Pokies Special?

  • Top Developers: Access games from renowned developers like Play’nGo, NetEnt, and Microgaming, either from your desktop or mobile.
  • Diverse Formats: Whether you’re nostalgic for classic 3-reel pokies or prefer the advanced 5-reel versions, there’s something for everyone.
  • Rewarding Bonuses: Jackpots, multipliers, free spins – these bonus features can amplify your winnings when playing with real money.
  • Cultural Themes: Many pokies celebrate the Maori culture, offering a blend of authentic designs and seamless gameplay that resonates with New Zealanders.

A Tip for Players: Always check the online casino’s bonuses in local currency. Familiarize yourself with the bonus terms and the casino’s conditions to be aware of any playthrough or wagering requirements.

Best Online Pokies for Kiwis

Mega moolah- Jackpot Wheel
Best online pokies for Kiwis

While many pokies are available for gamers, some titles captivate Kiwi players more than others. To name a few, here are some of the most popular online pokies in New Zealand.

1. Where’s the Gold

Where’s the Gold? It is an interesting pokie from Aristocrat that takes you on a treasure hunt and offers free spins, multipliers, a jackpot prize, and Wild & Scatter symbols to intensify gameplay.

2. Mega Moolah

This is a safari-themed pokie that runs on the Microgaming software platform. It is one of the pokies that has produced the most millionaires.

3. Queen of the Nile

A genius production from Aristocrat, the game takes players back to the Era of Ancient Egypt. It features loads of bonus features that make playing worthwhile.

4. Shanghai Beauty

A pokie from Microgaming appeals to many players thanks to its jackpot prize and other exciting features that keep players glued to the screen.

5. Break da Bank Again

The pokie from Microgaming will take you on an adventure like no other.

6. Avalon

Another top pokie from Microgaming, with an Arthurian legend theme, has great features that will keep you spinning for hours.

7. Immortal Romance

This is another example of a Microgaming pokie with a thrilling vampire theme. With 243 winning ways, you will be amazed at the story of unforbidden love that the game portrays.

8. Ariana

Powered by Microgaming, Ariana is an underwater-themed pokie with numerous additional features to help you win big.

Insightful Facts about Pokies
Popular VariationsAmong New Zealand players, certain pokie variations stand out as favorites. These include classic three-reel pokies, video pokies with engaging themes and bonus features, and progressive jackpot pokies that offer the allure of life-changing wins.
Odds and StrategiesUnderstanding the odds of winning in pokies is essential. On average, pokies have a return to player (RTP) percentage of around 95% to 97%. While pokies are primarily luck-based, players can employ strategies like bankroll management, choosing games with higher RTP, and setting win/loss limits to enhance their gaming experience.
Progressive JackpotsProgressive jackpot pokies hold a special place in the hearts of New Zealand players due to their potential for massive wins. These jackpots grow with each bet until someone hits the jackpot. Games like Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune have awarded multi-million-dollar prizes, adding to the excitement of playing pokies.

See also: Three Big Wins in the Casino History of New Zealand.

Banking Methods are NZ-friendly to play pokies

Gaming Club NZ online casino- Banking
Banking Methods are NZ-friendly to play pokies

Why Kiwis Prefer NZ-Friendly Banking Options:

  • Currency Compatibility: Kiwi pokie enthusiasts greatly appreciate online casinos that support the New Zealand dollar. This makes the deposit and withdrawal processes seamless, eliminating the need to calculate exchange rates constantly.
  • No Hefty Conversion Fees: Using NZ dollars directly means you won’t lose a significant amount to conversion fees, ensuring that more of your money goes into the game.
  • Trustworthy Casinos: New Zealand-friendly casinos understand the importance of providing reliable banking options and guaranteeing a safe gaming environment.

Key Takeaways for Players:

  • Choose Wisely: Banking options can make or break your casino experience. It’s crucial to select a casino that prioritizes the safety and convenience of its players.
  • Trustworthy Payment Methods: Always opt for casinos offering established and well-known online payment brands for peace of mind. Some popular choices among Kiwis include Wire Transfers, Credit & Debit cards, Paysafecard, Poli, Skrill, and others.
Payment MethodKey Features
Credit/Debit CardsWidely accepted, quick and familiar for users.
E-Wallets (e.g., PayPal, Skrill, Neteller)Speedy deposits and withdrawals, added security, often eligible for bonuses.
POLi PaymentsEase of use, charges added to the mobile bill, simple for mobile users.
Bank TransfersDirect and secure transfers, ideal for larger transactions.
Prepaid Cards (e.g., Paysafecard)Anonymity, no need for a bank account, great for budget control.
Mobile Payment (e.g., Boku, Zimpler)Convenient, charges added to mobile bill, ideal for mobile gaming.
Cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum)Anonymity, security, fast transactions, and gaining popularity.
Pay-by-Phone (e.g., SMS payments)Widely accepted, quick and familiar to users.

Convenient Ways Make Things Easier to Play Pokies

Convenient ways make things easier to play pokies

Ease of Access:

  • Diverse Gaming Devices: Using a mobile, PC, or tablet, accessing and playing pokies online is a breeze—type in the casino’s URL, and you’re all set to immerse in the gaming experience.
  • No Strings Attached: A robust internet connection is all you need to delve into real money pokies. Notably, several free pokies are accessible offline, offering flexibility to players.

Playing Modes & Offers:

  • Choose Your Play: Once registered with the casino, you decide your gaming mode – free play or real money. Opting for real money typically requires a nominal deposit, often starting from just $5.
  • Bonuses Galore: The allure of online pokies is further enhanced by various bonus offers available at different sites. From no deposit bonuses to enticing welcome offers, these freebies amplify the thrill and possibilities of striking gold!

Land-based casinos are thriving better than ever before

Historical Roots and Modern Impact: The Christchurch Casino, New Zealand’s pioneering land-based establishment, marked its presence in 1994. Since then, five more casinos have emerged, catering to the Kiwi audience.

Despite operating within the bounds of stringent regulations and facing immense competition from international entities, these institutions have thrived.

International Attraction: Their success isn’t solely attributed to domestic patrons. Land-based casinos in New Zealand have adeptly positioned themselves as attractive destinations for gamblers from Asian nations, where gambling laws are notably rigid.

This Asian clientele is significant, not just for their sheer numbers but also for their substantial spending power when they visit.

Online vs. Offline: The Ongoing Tug-of-War: While the allure and convenience of online casinos are undeniable, offering many pokie machines accessible anytime and anywhere, land-based casinos have unique charm and attractions.

The question remains: with the undeniable advantages of online platforms, how are these traditional brick-and-mortar establishments maintaining their appeal and staying competitive in New Zealand’s dynamic gambling landscape?

Read more: Should I Play Pokies Online or at a Brick and Mortar Casino?

Online Casinos Challenging the Offline Competitors

Seeking Fresh Frontiers: With Europe’s online casino market approaching saturation, businesses find it increasingly challenging to outshine their competitors.

This saturated environment has spurred them to explore untapped markets, promising lucrative opportunities. And in this quest, apart from India, New Zealand has emerged as a hotspot for the online casino industry.

Read also: SkyCity Launches Online Gambling Site for Kiwi Punters

The Triple Attraction Strategy for Kiwis:

  1. Irresistible Offers: The primary weapon in the arsenal of online casinos targeting the Kiwi audience is their irresistible offers. With significantly fewer restrictions binding them, overseas-based online casinos can freely roll out many promotions. From enticing free spins to lucrative deposit bonuses, most offers are tailored towards pokie machines, acting as bait to reel in curious players.
  2. All-Inclusive Gaming Platforms: Comprehensive websites, such as online pokies NZ, serve as excellent guides, offering glimpses into what various casinos have in their kitty. But what truly sets many online casinos apart is their ‘all-under-one-roof’ approach. They provide a medley of offerings, from sports betting (including horse racing) and pokies to classic table games. Some even venture into lottery services, providing a holistic gambling experience.
  3. Technical Excellence & Localized Solutions: Diving deeper into the operational aspects, many online platforms prioritize user experience, providing seamless payment solutions. Catering to local preferences enables Kiwis to transact with NZD, reinforcing trust and fostering a sense of familiarity.


It’s undeniable: despite the voices of dissent against pokies, the numbers don’t lie. A steadily increasing number of Kiwis gravitate towards these vibrant and varied games.

Given the expansive array of titles and diverse gameplay styles available, it’s hardly surprising that New Zealanders find pokies a source of entertainment and thrill.

In essence, the allure of pokies remains unshaken in the heart of New Zealand’s gaming culture.


Are Online Pokies in New Zealand Regulated?

Yes, the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand regulates online gambling, including pokies. Players should ensure they are playing at licensed and reputable online casinos.

How Do I Ensure an Online Pokies Site Is Trustworthy?

Look for licensed online casinos with positive user reviews and secure payment methods. Websites like ours can provide overviews of reputable casinos.

Read more on Do online pokies payout? How do I choose a reliable online casino in NZ [Guide]

What Is the Difference Between Land-Based and Online Pokies?

While the core gameplay remains similar, online pokies often offer more varied themes, bonuses, and convenience as they can be played from home or on mobile devices.

Land-based pokies are physical machines found in casinos and gaming venues.

Why Is There a Rise in the Popularity of Online Pokies in New Zealand?

The convenience of playing from home, varied game choices, attractive bonuses, and the ability to play in NZD are among the factors contributing to the rising popularity of online pokies in New Zealand.

Are the Outcomes of Pokies Truly Random?

Yes, land-based and online pokies use Random Number Generators (RNGs) to ensure each spin’s outcome is random and fair.

Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.