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

play pokies online or at casino
Play Pokies Online or at a Traditional Casino?

For many New Zealanders, choosing where to play pokie machines often hinges on one pivotal question: the allure of online platforms or the ambience of pubs and brick-and-mortar casinos?

The meteoric rise of online gambling has empowered players with the luxury of playing pokies without leaving their abode. Yet, the tangible experience of a traditional casino remains enticing to many. Here, you will find whether to play Pokies online or at a casino.

Suggested read Gemtopia Pokies Online

What are Pokies in NZ?

pokies in nz
Pokies in NZ

Pokies, also known as slot machines or fruit machines, are a type of electronic gambling game popular in New Zealand. These games feature various themes and gameplay styles involving spinning reels with symbols.

The aim is to land matching symbols on a payline to win a payout. You can find pokies in casinos, pubs, and clubs all across New Zealand, and players of all ages and backgrounds play them.

Want to know why pokies are popular in New Zealand? Stay with me and get to learn about its popularity in NZ.

Because they provide a simple way to gamble and possibly win, online pokies are trendy in New Zealand. Unlike more complex games like poker or blackjack, pokies don’t require special knowledge or tactics, making them available to players of all skill and experience levels.

During the 1980s, New Zealand was introduced to gambling, which led to the legalisation of electronic gaming machines called pokies in 1988. The popularity of pokies increased rapidly, and Aristocrat Gaming dominated the market then. Pokies could be found in places such as licensed casinos, hotels, game clubs, and Returned Services Associations.

Read also: Most Popular Aristocrat Pokies in New Zealand.

The New Zealand parliament approved the legalisation of gaming clubs in 1989, leading to the availability of gambling machines in prominent land-based casinos by 2003.

New Zealand Kiwis started to play pokies online and gained traction, and Microgaming introduced online pokies to New Zealand in 1994.

Several new software providers emerged as the market evolved, leading to over 20,000 pokies in land-based and online casinos in New Zealand by 2009.

If you are interested in Pokies, you may be asking yourself: Should you play Pokies online or at a gaming lounge or casino? Let’s explore and find out.

Suggested read: Are Land-based Casinos Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Play Pokies Online

play pokies online
Play Pokies Online

Online pokies play has grown in popularity over the past few years. Thanks to the internet’s convenience and accessibility, players can readily access a broad choice of pokies from the comfort of their homes.

Unlike conventional land-based casinos, online casinos offer more significant payout percentages, bonuses, cheaper minimum bets, and higher betting limits.

However, there are risks associated with playing online, including the potential for addiction and overspending, technical difficulties, and difficulty withdrawing winnings.

How to play pokies online?

Playing pokies online is a convenient way to place a punt. To play online, you must follow specific criteria and steps that may lead to successful and engaging gameplay.

  • Choose an online casino and ensure it is licensed and regulated by a trusted authority.
  • Register for an account and make a deposit.
  • Browse the selection of pokies and choose one. You can typically filter by game type, theme, and software provider.
  • Familiarise yourself with the game rules, payables, and unique features. Most pokies have a help section that explains everything you need to know.
  • Set your bet size and spin the reels. You can typically adjust the coin value, number of paylines, and bet level.
  • Watch for winning combinations and special symbols, such as wilds and scatters. These can trigger bonus features and increase your payouts.
  • Play responsibly and within your budget. Keep track of your winnings and losses, and take breaks if needed.
  • You can cash out your winnings by following the online casino’s withdrawal process. You may need to provide identification documents the first time.

If you are looking for the best online casino in NZ, you can choose Jackpot City Casino, which attracts multiple users.

Pros of Playing Pokies Online

Online pokies are a favourite pastime for Kiwis in New Zealand, who consider it the most excellent option. Numerous benefits encourage and attract players to play poker online in New Zealand. Below are just a few of the many benefits.

  1. Convenience and accessibility – You can play online anywhere and anytime with a reliable internet connection and compatible devices.
  2. Various games – Online casinos offer machines with different themes, features, and pay lines.
  3. Higher payout percentages and bonuses – Online pokies generally have higher payout percentages and more significant bonuses than land-based casinos.
  4. Lower minimum bets and higher betting limits – You can play pokies online for as little as a few cents per spin or as much as hundreds of dollars.
  5. Potential for anonymity – Playing pokies online allows for a certain level of anonymity as you can use a screen name or alias, protecting your privacy.
  6. Free play options – Many online casinos offer free play options, allowing players to try out games without risking real money.
  7. Loyalty programs and rewards – Online casinos offer loyalty programs and rewards, incentivising players to keep playing and earn additional benefits.
  8. No need to travel – Playing pokies online eliminates the need to travel to a pub or casino.
  9. Pokies Online – Playing online allows you to access games anytime.

Cons of Playing Pokies Online

Apart from the multiple benefits of playing online pokies, there are disadvantages and cons. Let’s be aware of them.

  1. Technical issues and glitches—Playing online can sometimes cause technical problems, such as slow loading times, freezes, or crashes, which can be frustrating and impact your overall gaming experience.
  2. Reliable internet connection and compatible devices—To play pokies online, you need a reliable internet connection and compatible devices, such as a desktop or mobile. Poor internet connectivity or an outdated device can impact your gaming experience.
  3. Difficulty cashing out winnings—Depending on the online casino or pokies provider, there may be limitations or restrictions on cashing out your winnings, which can be a hassle and cause frustration.
  4. Potential for scam websites and unsafe online casinos—As with any online activity, playing pokies online can result in scam websites or unsafe online casinos. Researching and choosing a reputable and secure online casino or pokies app is essential.

Playing at a gaming lounge or casino

play at a casino
Play at a Casino

Despite the popularity of online casinos in recent years, land-based casinos continue to provide a distinctive experience. Nothing compares to the energy of a bustling casino floor, where pokie machines ring and table games are played.

Here are some explanations why visiting a physical casino might be wise for gamers.

Suggested Read – Are Pokies Open Today?

See also: How to Dress for the Casino?

Playing at SkyCity Hamilton will give you a real gambling experience.

Pros of playing pokies in pubs and traditional casinos

  1. Social Experience—Playing pokies at a pub or casino is a social experience. You can interact with other players, like the ambience, and complimentary drinks and snacks.
  2. Authenticity—Pubs and casinos offer an authentic gambling experience that can’t be replicated online. The sound of the pokies, the flashing lights, and the game are all part of the experience.
  3. Immediate Payouts—When you win at a gaming lounge, you can collect your winnings immediately. You don’t have to wait for them to be transferred to your bank account or e-wallet.
  4. Personalised Assistance—If you’re new to playing pokies, pubs and gaming lounges offer personalised assistance from experienced staff. They can help you understand the game’s rules, offer tips and strategies, and answer any questions.
  5. More Control—When playing pokies in a casino, you have more control over your gambling experience. You can limit how much you want to spend, take breaks whenever necessary, and stop playing at any time.

Cons of playing pokies in pubs and casinos

  1. Limited access—Depending on where you live, there may not be any casinos nearby. This can make it difficult or expensive to play pokies.
  2. Limited selection of games—While casinos may offer a variety of pokies, the selection may not be as extensive as what you could find online.
  3. Limited payout percentages—Pubs and casinos may have lower payout percentages than online casinos, which means you could win less money.
  4. Potential for distractions—Casinos can be noisy and busy, with many distractions that could distract you from your focus on the game.
  5. Need for cash—Casinos typically require players to use money, which could be inconvenient or pose a security risk.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Online and Offline Casino Pokies

Our comparison table highlights the key factors to consider when choosing between online and offline casino pokies in New Zealand, including convenience, selection, atmosphere, bonuses, payment options, security, customer support, and skill level.

This information can help you make an informed decision about which option is best for your needs.

Factors to ConsiderPlay Pokies OnlineAt A Casino
ConvenienceAccessible from anywhere with an internet connectionRequires physical visit to a casino
good selection of pokies available
May have limited games
AtmosphereA limited number of pokies, but may offer unique and exclusive gamesSocial atmosphere of an offline casino
Bonuses and PromotionsOften offer generous bonuses and promotionsMay not have as many incentives
Betting LimitsOnline casinos use encryption and other security measures to protect player information.May have higher minimum bets
Payment OptionsOffers a variety of payment options including credit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrenciesOnline pokies may be better suited for beginners, as they often offer free play or low minimum bets.
SecurityOnline pokies may be better suited for beginners, as they often offer free play or low minimum bets.Offline casinos may have security personnel and surveillance cameras
Customer SupportCustomer support via live chat or emailOffers a variety of payment options, including credit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies
Skill LevelOnline pokies may be better suited for beginners, as they often offer free play or low minimum betsOnline casinos use encryption and other security measures to protect player information.
Online vs. Offline Casinos

Which Option is Better for NZ Players?

Offline or traditional casinos offer a unique experience that online casinos may be unable to replicate. They often have a lively atmosphere, with music, drinks, and various games. Additionally, offline casinos can provide an opportunity to socialise and meet new people who share a common interest in gambling.

On the other hand, online casinos offer several advantages, such as the convenience of playing from the comfort of your own home or on the go with a mobile. They also tend to offer more games and promotions than offline casinos, and you can easily switch between games or casinos without travelling physically.

Another consideration for New Zealand players is that online casinos may offer a broader range of payment methods that are more convenient and accessible than those available at offline casinos.

Online casinos can be accessed 24/7, whereas offline casinos may have limited hours of operation.

Ultimately, the choice between offline and online casinos comes from personal preference. If you like the social atmosphere of a physical casino, offline casinos may be the way to go.

However, if you value convenience, variety, and accessibility, then online casinos may be the better option.

It’s worth noting that regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to gamble responsibly and within your means. Set a budget, stick to it, and never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. Good luck, and have fun!

Our Verdict

Choosing between online and offline casinos when playing pokies can be tough. Both have pros and cons and weighing them before deciding is important. Offline casinos provide a fun and social atmosphere, while online casinos offer convenience and accessibility.

As someone from New Zealand, consider payment options, hours of operation, and responsible gambling practices when choosing between the two. It’s all about finding the option that works best for you.

So, if you want to play poker online or offline, this article may help you choose between offline or online casinos. We hope you got your answer: Should you play poker online or at a casino?

Just remember always to gamble responsibly and have a good time!


1. Which option offers a large selection of pokies?

Online casinos typically boast many pokies, encompassing classic and modern titles from various providers. While still offering a decent selection, brick-and-mortar casinos may be limited by physical space constraints.

2. Which option offers better bonuses and promotions for poker players?

Online casinos often compete for players by offering enticing bonuses and promotions, such as welcome bonuses, deposit match bonuses, and free spins. Brick-and-mortar casinos may also offer promotions, but they may not be as frequent or generous as their online counterparts.

3. Which option provides a more social atmosphere for playing pokies?

Brick-and-mortar casinos offer the unique ambience and social experience of a traditional casino setting, allowing you to interact with other players and dealers. While lacking this physical interaction, online casinos may provide chat features or online forums for socialising with fellow players.

4. Which option offers faster and more convenient payout methods for pokies winnings?

Online casinos generally provide a variety of secure and efficient payout methods, including e-wallets, credit cards, and bank transfers. Brick-and-mortar casinos may offer cash payouts, subject to processing times and withdrawal limits.

5. Which option is considered safer and more secure for playing pokies?

Both online and brick-and-mortar casinos are regulated by gambling authorities to ensure fair play and player protection.

Online casinos, however, have an additional layer of security measures, such as encryption and firewalls, to protect player data and financial transactions.

6. Which option offers better loyalty programs for poker players?

Online casinos often implement tiered loyalty programs that reward frequent players with exclusive benefits, such as cashback, bonuses, and VIP perks.

Brick-and-mortar casinos may also offer loyalty programs, but they may not be as comprehensive or rewarding as their online counterparts.

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.