New Zealand’s Top Sports Betting Events

NZ Sports Betting
NZ Sports Betting

Sports and betting in New Zealand are not just about the famous All Blacks rugby team. While New Zealand is known for its beautiful landscapes, delicious wine, and laid-back people, it also has a strong love for various sports.

This captivating country, celebrated for its stunning landscapes, world-class wines, and amiable Kiwi ethos, possesses a fiery passion for sports that extends far beyond the shadow cast by its antipodean neighbours.

However, it’s a mistake to pigeonhole this picturesque nation solely as the home of the All Blacks. In exploring NZ sports betting, we delve into the diverse major sporting events hosted by New Zealand.

Suggested read History and Legacy of Rugby and the All Blacks in New Zealand.

What is Sports Betting in NZ?

In New Zealand, sports betting is becoming popular online. People are starting to bet on financial markets and current events. Kiwis enthusiastically embrace the trend of financial betting in various markets and engage in current event betting.

This means you can bet on whether interest rates will go up, who will win a TV show, or who will be the next president. And if you get it right, you can win a lot of money!

But not just anyone can do this. Only a few places in New Zealand have special licenses for betting. TAB NZ, Lotto NZ, Instant Kiwi, and SkyCity Casinos. They make sure that betting is fair and safe for everyone.

Suggested Read – 7 Online Sports Betting Casinos for New Zealand Players

History of Sports Betting Events in New Zealand

  • 1877: The inaugural “Art Union” by the Otago Art Society, originally a lottery, aimed to raise funds.
  • 1920: The prohibition of bookmaking in NZ led to betting on racing being confined to tracks or through unauthorized private bookies.
  • 1933: The emergence of national lotteries, known as “Art Unions,” offering modest prizes, including alluvial gold.
  • 1950s: Due to modest returns from “Art Unions,” numerous New Zealanders resorted to illicitly acquiring tickets in Australian lotteries, prompting a government review of lotteries.
  • 1961: The introduction of the Totalizator Agency Board (TAB) and the national Golden Kiwi lottery.
  • 1987: The New Zealand Lotteries Commission was established, and Lotto tickets and slot machines (pokies) were made available.
  • 1989: Replacement of the Golden Kiwi lottery with Instant Kiwi scratchies.
  • 1993: The launch of Lotto Strike.
  • 1994: Christchurch Casino debuted as New Zealand’s first casino, introduced Keno tickets, and privatized the TAB.
  • 2001: Introduction of Powerball.
  • 2003: The NZ Gambling Act was enacted, the New Zealand TAB transitioned to the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB), and the betting arm retained TAB branding.
  • 2005: Introduction of Big Wednesday (concluded in 2015).
  • 2014: Commencement of Play 3 (ceased in 2019).
  • 2017: Introduction of Instant Play.
  • 2019: Transformation of the New Zealand Racing Board into the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA).
  • 2020: Assumption of control of RITA by TAB NZ following the enactment of the Racing Act 2020.

Top NZ Sports Betting Events For Kiwis

If you live in New Zealand and want to bet on sports or are from another country and curious about New Zealand sports, here are some sports events to watch.

1. Rugby Betting

Rugby is significant in New Zealand and is often considered the national sport. It transcends being just a game and is deeply ingrained in the country’s culture. The All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team, are revered worldwide, making rugby a matter of pride and identity for Kiwis.

Super Rugby Aotearoa is a premier rugby union competition featuring New Zealand’s top professional franchises. It was introduced to elevate the level of rugby within the country.

The tournament brings together five teams: the Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, and Hurricanes. It’s known for its high-paced and skilful rugby, captivating local and international audiences.

Fierce Rivalries and Passionate Fan Base

  • Super Rugby Aotearoa features intense rivalries among its teams, creating highly-anticipated matches.
  • The Crusaders and Blues rivalry is particularly notable, igniting passionate competition.
  • New Zealanders are known for their fervent rugby passion, packing stadiums with enthusiastic supporters.
  • The atmosphere during these matches is electrifying, adding to the excitement.
  • Super Rugby Aotearoa presents diverse betting opportunities for enthusiasts.
  • Bets can be placed on various aspects of the game, including predicting match outcomes.
  • Betting on try scorers and even in-play bets is popular among fans.
  • Using licensed bookmakers is crucial to ensure a safe and regulated betting environment.

2. Cricket Betting – Ford Trophy and Plunket Shield

Cricket is the most popular sport in New Zealand, and the country has a long and successful history. The New Zealand cricket team is one of the top teams in the world, and the government has hosted several major international cricket tournaments, including the Cricket World Cup in 2015.

Cricket is important to New Zealand culture and plays a significant role in national identity. As the New Zealand cricket team is known, the Black Caps are a source of pride for New Zealanders, and the country celebrates their successes.

The Ford Trophy and the Plunket Shield

The Ford Trophy and the Plunket Shield are the two major domestic cricket competitions in New Zealand. The Ford Trophy is a one-day cricket competition, while the Plunket Shield is a first-class one.

The Ford Trophy is played between six teams: Auckland, Canterbury, Central Districts, Northern Districts, Otago, and Wellington. The teams play each other twice, and the top four teams qualify for the semi-finals. The final is played between the winners of the semi-finals.

The Plunket Shield is played between the same six teams as the Ford Trophy. The teams play each other four times, and the team with the most points at the end of the season wins the Plunket Shield.

The Ford Trophy and the Plunket Shield are important New Zealand cricket competitions. They provide New Zealand’s top cricketers an opportunity to compete against each other and serve as a pathway for young players to progress to the national team.

Here are some key factors to consider when betting on cricket matches:

  1. Team Form: The recent form of the two teams is crucial. Teams in good form are likelier to win, while those in poor form may struggle.
  2. Pitch Conditions: The pitch can significantly impact the game. Dry and dusty pitches favour spinners, while green and damp pitches favour fast bowlers.
  3. Weather Conditions: Weather can disrupt matches. Rain delays or cancellations are common, and strong winds can affect batting conditions.
  4. Head-to-Head Record: Analyzing the historical performance of the teams against each other can provide insights into their strengths and weaknesses.

3. Horse Racing – The New Zealand Derby

Horse racing is one of the most popular NZ sports betting events. It is a long-standing tradition in the country, with the first race meeting being held in 1835. Today, there are over 50 racecourses in New Zealand, and races are held throughout the year.

Horse racing is very popular in New Zealand for several reasons. One reason is that it is a sport. Races are short and fast-paced, and there is always the chance of an upset.

Another reason is that horse racing is a relatively easy sport to understand and bet on. Some different types of bets can be placed, and even beginners can get involved.

Horse racing betting is also popular in New Zealand because it is readily available. Races are televised and streamed live, and bets can be placed online, over the phone, or at TAB outlets. This makes it easy for people to bet on horse racing, regardless of where they are in the country.

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) is the governing body for horse racing in New Zealand. The NZRB is responsible for regulating the sport and promoting responsible gambling. The NZRB also operates the TAB, which is the only legal bookmaker in New Zealand.

The most popular horse races in New Zealand include the New Zealand Derby, the Cox Plate, and the Melbourne Cup. These races attract large crowds and generate a significant amount of betting turnover.

4. Football – A-League Matches with Wellington Phoenix

Football, known as soccer in some parts of the world, has been gaining popularity in New Zealand. While rugby traditionally held a dominant position in the country’s sports culture, football has emerged as a strong contender. Several factors contribute to its growth:

  1. Youth Participation: Football is among the most accessible sports for young Kiwis. Its simplicity and minimal equipment requirements make it a popular choice for children and teenagers, leading to a substantial youth player base.
  2. Diverse Communities: New Zealand’s multicultural landscape has brought together people from diverse football-loving nations. This diversity has contributed to a rich football culture and increased interest in the sport.
  3. Global Success: The success of the New Zealand national football team, the All Whites, in international competitions like the FIFA World Cup, has garnered attention and pride among fans, inspiring a new generation of players.
  4. Professional Leagues: The presence of professional football leagues, such as the A-League, has provided a platform for local talent to showcase their skills and attract a dedicated following.

Wellington Phoenix in the A-League

The Wellington Phoenix is New Zealand’s only team in the Australian A-League, a top-tier football competition. The team’s inclusion in the A-League has several key reasons:

  1. Trans-Tasman Collaboration: The A-League sought to expand its footprint and include a New Zealand-based team, fostering closer ties between the two countries in football. Wellington Phoenix filled this role.
  2. Development Opportunities: The A-League offers valuable development opportunities for Kiwi players, allowing them to compete at a high level and potentially transition to international football.
  3. Fan Base: Wellington Phoenix boasts a dedicated fan base, which enhances the league’s appeal and attracts viewers from New Zealand and Australia.

5. Basketball Betting – New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL)

Basketball is a rising sport in New Zealand, with participation rates increasing at all levels. The sport is particularly popular among young people and is becoming increasingly popular among adults.

The New Zealand Basketball Federation (NZBF) is the governing body for basketball in New Zealand, and it is responsible for promoting and developing the sport at all levels.

The NZBF has initiatives to promote and develop basketball in New Zealand, including the Basketball in Schools and New Zealand Development Programme.

NZNBL – Premier Basketball Competition

The New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) is the premier basketball competition in New Zealand. The league was founded in 1981, and it currently features eight teams from across the country.

The NZNBL season runs from April to August, and each team plays 28 games. The top four teams at the end of the regular season qualify for the playoffs, a best-of-three series. The winner of the playoffs is crowned the NZNBL champion.

The NZNBL is the highest level of basketball in New Zealand. It features some of the best players in the country and several international players, making it a competitive competition.

Betting Opportunities in NZNBL games

Several betting opportunities are available for NZNBL games. The most popular bet is the moneyline bet, which bets on which team will win the game. Other popular bets include the spread bet, the total bet, and the proposition bet.

The spread bet is a bet on how many points one team will win or lose by. The total bet is a bet on the total number of points that will be scored in the game. The proposition bet is a bet on a specific event that may or may not happen in the game, such as the first player to score 10 points or the number of three-pointers that will be made.

When betting on NZNBL games, it is essential to do your research. This includes looking at the teams’ form, the head-to-head record, and the team news. It is also important to understand the different types of bets available and choose the bets that best suit your preferences.

Interesting Read: Pokies Near Me


New Zealand is a sports-loving nation, and there is no shortage of top-quality sporting events to bet on. From the excitement of rugby union and cricket to horse racing and football, there is something for everyone.

If you are new to sports betting, we encourage you to start small and learn the ropes. Many resources are available online and in libraries to help you get started.

Once you have a basic understanding of sports betting, you can explore the options available. There are many different types of bets, and you can bet on various sporting events.

It is important to remember that sports betting is risky, and there is always the chance of losing money. However, if you bet responsibly and do your research, you can increase your chances of winning.

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What are the most popular sports betting events in New Zealand?

The most popular sports betting events in New Zealand are rugby union, cricket, horse racing, football, and basketball.

What is the legal age for betting on sports in New Zealand?

The legal age to bet on sports in New Zealand is 18.

What are the different types of sports betting markets available in New Zealand?

There are many different types of sports betting markets available in New Zealand, including:
Moneyline bets: A moneyline bet is a bet on which team will win the game.

Spread bets: A spread bet is a bet on how many points one team will win or lose by.
Over/under bets: An over/under bet is a bet on the total number of points that will be scored in the game.

Prop bets: Prop bets are bets on specific events that may or may not happen in the game, such as the first player to score a touchdown or the number of three-pointers that will be made.

What are some of the most popular sports betting apps in New Zealand?

Some of the most popular sports betting apps in New Zealand include:


What are some of the best sports betting strategies?

There are many different sports betting strategies that you can use. Some of the most popular strategies include:
Value betting is a strategy in which you bet on teams or players you believe are undervalued by the bookmakers.

Arbitrage betting is a strategy in which you place two bets on the same event with different bookmakers to guarantee a profit.

Matched betting is a strategy in which you take advantage of bookmaker sign-up offers to make guaranteed profits.

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.