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

play pokies online or at casino
Play Pokies Online or At Casino?

For many New Zealand gaming aficionados, choosing where to play their cherished pokies games often hinges on one pivotal question: the allure of online platforms or the ambience of brick and mortar casinos? The meteoric rise of online gambling has empowered players with the luxury of enjoying pokies without leaving their abode. Yet, the tangible experience of a traditional casino remains enticing to many. Here you will find should you Play Pokies Online or at a Casino.

This guide delves deep into the merits and drawbacks of both realms, aiding you in determining whether to immerse yourself in digital spins or relish the buzz of a real casino. Fellow pokies enthusiasts, your quest for the optimal gaming spot begins here!

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 that is hugely popular in New Zealand. These games feature a variety of different themes and gameplay styles, but they all involve spinning reels with symbols on them. The aim is to land matching symbols on a payline to win a payout. Pokies can be found in casinos, pubs, and clubs all across New Zealand, and they are widely enjoyed by players of all ages and backgrounds.

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

Because they provide a simple and enjoyable way to gamble and possibly win big, pokies are incredibly popular in New Zealand. Pokies don’t require any special knowledge or tactics to play, in contrast to more complex games like poker or blackjack, making them available to players of all skill levels and experience levels.

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

The legalization of gaming clubs was approved by the New Zealand parliament in 1989, leading to the availability of six major gambling machines in prominent land-based casinos by 2003. New Zealand Kiwis started to play pokies online and also started gaining traction, and Microgaming introduced online pokies to New Zealand in 1994. As the market evolved, several new software providers emerged, leading to over 20,000 pokies in land-based and online casinos in New Zealand by 2009.

If you are taking an interest in Pokies then a question might be bothering you, Should You Play Pokies Online or At A Casino? Let’s explore and get the answer to your concern.

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

Play Pokies Online

play pokies online
Play Pokies Online

Online pokies play has grown in popularity over the past few years. Players can readily access a broad choice of pokies games from the comfort of their homes thanks to the convenience and accessibility of the internet. Compared to conventional land-based casinos, online casinos offer larger payout percentages, bonuses, cheaper minimum bets, and higher betting limits. However, there are risks associated with playing pokies online, including the potential for addiction and overspending, technical difficulties, and difficulty withdrawing winnings.

How to play pokies online?

Playing pokies online is an exciting and entertaining way to enjoy your favourite games and potentially win big. To play pokies online, you need to follow certain criteria and steps which may lead you to have successful and exciting gameplay.

  • Choose a reputable online casino that offers to play pokies online games. Make sure it is licensed and regulated by a trusted authority.
  • Register for an account and make a deposit. Most online casinos offer various payment methods, such as credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers.
  • Browse the selection of pokies games and choose one that interests you. You can typically filter by game type, theme, and software provider.
  • Familiarize yourself with the game rules, paytable, and special 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.
  • Cash out your winnings by following the online casino’s withdrawal process. You may need to provide identification documents and choose a payment method.

If you are looking for the best online casino in NZ then you can choose Jackpot City Casino which is drawing multiple users towards itself.

Pros of Playing Pokies Online

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

  1. Convenience and accessibility – You can play pokies online from anywhere and at any time as long as you have a reliable internet connection and compatible devices.
  2. Wider variety of games – Online casinos offer a vast array of pokies games to choose from, 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, giving players incentives to keep playing and earn additional benefits.
  8. No need to travel – Playing pokies online eliminates the need to travel to a physical casino, saving time and money.
  9. Play Pokies Online Anytime – Playing Pokies online allows players to access their favourite games 24/7, with no waiting in line for machines.
  10. Play Pokies Online from Anywhere – With mobile devices, players can enjoy playing pokies from anywhere, whether at home, on the go, or while travelling.

Cons of Playing Pokies Online

Apart from the multiple benefits of playing online pokies, it has some disadvantages and cons also. Let’s make ourselves aware of them.

  1. Technical issues and glitches – Playing pokies online can sometimes come with technical issues, such as slow loading times, freezes or crashes, which can be frustrating and impact your overall gaming experience.
  2. Need for reliable internet connection and compatible devices – To enjoy playing pokies online, you need a reliable internet connection and compatible devices, such as a laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone. Poor internet connectivity or an outdated device can impact your gaming experience.
  3. Difficulty in 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, there is a risk of encountering scam websites or unsafe online casinos when playing pokies online. It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable and secure online casino or pokies provider.

Playing At A Land-Based Casino

play at a casino
Play at a Casino

Despite the rise in popularity of online casinos in recent years, land-based casinos continue to provide a distinctive and thrilling experience. Nothing compares to the excitement and energy of a bustling casino floor, where pokies machines are ringing and table games are being played. Here are some explanations as to why visiting a physical casino might be a wise decision for gamers.

See also: How to Dress for the Casino?

How to play pokies in land-based casinos?

In many nations, including New Zealand, playing pokies at a physical casino is a well-liked pastime. The fundamental procedures to follow when playing pokies in a real casino are listed below:

  1. Find the right casino – First, you’ll need to find a land-based casino that offers pokies. There are many casinos throughout New Zealand, so choose one that’s convenient and reputable.
  2. Choose your pokie – Once you’ve arrived at the casino, take a look around the gaming floor and choose the pokie machine you want to play. There are often many different machines to choose from, so take your time and find one that suits your preferences.
  3. Insert money – Most pokie machines in land-based casinos accept coins, bills, or a combination of both. Insert your money into the machine and choose your bet size.
  4. Play the game – Once you’ve selected your bet size, you’re ready to play. Press the “spin” button to start the game. The reels will spin, and if you’re lucky, you’ll hit a winning combination.
  5. Collect your winnings – If you win, the machine will automatically pay out your winnings. You can collect your winnings in the form of coins or a ticket that can be redeemed at the casino cashier.

Enjoy playing At SkyCity Hamilton to enjoy an actual land-based gambling experience.

Suggested Read – Are Pokies Open Today?

Pros of playing pokies in land-based casinos

  1. Social Experience – Playing pokies at a land-based casino is a social experience. You can interact with other players, enjoy the ambience, and enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks.
  2. Authenticity – Land-based casinos offer an authentic gambling experience that can’t be replicated online. The sound of the pokies, the flashing lights, and the thrill of the game are all part of the experience.
  3. Immediate Payouts – When you win at a land-based casino, 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. Personalized Assistance – If you’re new to playing pokies, land-based casinos offer personalized assistance from experienced staff. They can help you understand the rules of the game, offer tips and strategies, and answer any questions you may have.
  5. More Control – When playing pokies in a land-based casino, you have more control over your gambling experience. You can set limits on how much you want to spend, take breaks whenever you need to, and stop playing at any time.

Cons of playing pokies in land-based casinos

  1. Limited access – Depending on where you live, there may not be any land-based casinos nearby. This can make it difficult or expensive to access pokies games.
  2. Limited selection of games – While land-based casinos may offer a variety of pokies machines, the selection may not be as extensive as what you could find online.
  3. Limited payout percentages – Land-based casinos may have lower payout percentages compared to online casinos, which means you could potentially win less money.
  4. Potential for distractions – Land-based casinos can be noisy and busy places, with many distractions that could take away from your focus and enjoyment of the game.
  5. Need for cash – Land-based casinos typically require players to use cash or chips to play pokies, 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
SelectionWide selection of pokies availableMay have limited games
AtmosphereA limited number of pokies, but may offer unique and exclusive gamesLively and social atmosphere of an offline casino
Bonuses and PromotionsOften offer generous bonuses and promotionsMay not have as many incentives
Betting LimitsWide range of betting limits available to suit different budgetsMay have higher minimum bets
Payment OptionsOffers a variety of payment options including credit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrenciesMay have limited payment options
SecurityOnline casinos use encryption and other security measures to protect player informationOffline casinos may have security personnel and surveillance cameras
Customer SupportOffers 24/7 customer support via live chat, phone, or emailCustomer support may be limited to specific hours of operation
Skill LevelOnline pokies may be better suited for beginners, as they often offer free play or low minimum betsOffline casinos may be better suited for experienced players who prefer higher stakes and more complex games.
Online vs. Offline Casinos

Which Option is Better for NZ Players?

Offline casinos, also known as land-based casinos, can offer a unique and exciting experience that online casinos may not be able to replicate. They often have a lively atmosphere, with music, drinks, and a wide range of games to choose from. Additionally, offline casinos can provide an opportunity to socialize 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 being able to play from the comfort of your own home or on the go with a mobile device. They also tend to offer a wider variety of games and promotions than offline casinos, and you can easily switch between different games or casinos without having to physically travel.

Another consideration for New Zealand players is that online casinos may offer a wider range of payment methods that are more convenient and accessible than those available at offline casinos. Additionally, 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 down to personal preference. If you enjoy the social atmosphere and the excitement of being in 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 that you can’t afford to lose. Good luck and have fun!


Choosing between online and offline casinos when it comes to playing pokies can be tough. Both have their pros and cons, and it’s important to weigh them before making a decision. Offline casinos provide a fun and social atmosphere, while online casinos offer convenience and accessibility. As a New Zealand player, make sure to consider payment options, hours of operation, and responsible gambling practices when choosing between the two. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the option that works best for you.

So, if you to play pokies online or offline casinos then this article may help you choose between offline or online casinos. We hope that you got your answer of Should you play pokies online or at a casino.

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


1. Which option is more convenient for playing pokies?

Online pokies offer unmatched convenience, allowing you to play from the comfort of your own home or anywhere with an internet connection. Brick-and-mortar casinos, on the other hand, require you to travel to a physical location.

2. Which option offers a wider selection of pokies?

Online casinos typically boast a vast array of pokies, encompassing both classic and modern titles from various providers. Brick-and-mortar casinos, while still offering a decent selection, may be limited by physical space constraints.

3. Which option offers better bonuses and promotions for pokies 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 online counterparts.

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

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

5. 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, but these may be subject to processing times and withdrawal limits.

6. 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.

7. Which option offers better loyalty programs for pokies 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 online counterparts.

Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika is a vivacious young writer from Auckland, with a fresh perspective on today's digital landscape. Combining her passion for storytelling with her love for cutting-edge technology, she delivers compelling content that captivates and informs readers.