Gambling business in New Zealand

New Zealand lotto lottery

The history of the gambling business in New Zealand

The gambling business has existed in New Zealand since then, how settlers from Great Britain began to develop the territory. Gambling was a common activity during the colonization period.

Gambling Act 1908 banned the gambling business - only horse racing remained legal. They remained the only legal form until 1951 of the year, when TAB appeared - the state bookmaker.

After which the laws began to soften, and new forms of gambling became available to New Zealanders. Lotteries consistently appeared, slot machines, casino and online casino.

Horse racing

It is the oldest form of gambling in New Zealand. The first races were held in 1835 year. However, horse betting was prohibited in 1920 year. Again they were allowed only in 1961, and that, with great restrictions.


The first lotteries appeared in 1933 year. They were relatively small.. Major Golden Kiwi Lottery appeared in 1961 year. Then her in 1987 replaced Lotto.

Slot machines

Slot machines first appeared in New Zealand in 1991 year. Slang name - poker machines or pokey, as in Australia. The government allowed the organization of clubs with slot machines in 1989 year.

In the 90s, operators preferred to install slot machines in and around Wellington, since this is a metropolitan area. Then in 2001 year the government announced, that is going to free the capital from the gambling business. Were closed 7 city ​​casinos, because the authorities were afraid of too strong the development of dependence among the population.


The first casino was opened in Christchurch in 1994 year. Then casinos were built in cities:

  • Dunedin;
  • Hamilton;
  • Queenstown;
  • Auckland.

Gambling establishments in these cities still function.

Online slot machines

New Zealanders, as a very reckless nation, naturally, could not miss the online casino. Gambling websites and platforms started in 1994 year. Microgaming becomes the first online slots provider in New Zealand

Fruit Fiesta and Cash Splash are some of the first slot machines, which became available to New Zealanders. In the late nineties, New Zealanders got acquainted with slots from Playtech and Cryptologic.

At first, online slots only possessed 1 a winning line and three reels. Then, with the development of computers, developers began to introduce more paylines, wild symbols, scatter, bonuses and bonus games.

Modern gambling business in New Zealand

According to statistics for 2016 year, working in New Zealand 6 casino and more 1400 gambling sites. Number of slot machines - more 16 thousand.

Horse racing

Now working in the country 52 hippodrome, where more than 3000 races. The prize pool is over USD 50 million. A monopoly on horse racing 1951 holds the Totalisator Agency Board for a year (TAB) или New Zealand Racing Board.

A certain percentage of each bet is withheld and then returned to the development of the industry. New Zealand Racing Board in fiscal 2015 year made USD 140 million for the development of clubs and infrastructure.


Now lotteries are quite popular in New Zealand. The largest is the state lottery Lotto. Players can choose from different forms of games, such, как Powerball и Big Wednesday.

Lottery Grants Board directs around USD 200 million from funds, spent by players, on the development of sports, culture, health care.

Slot machines

Charitable associations run slot machines outside the casino. They are usually located in pubs., hotels and clubs.

The largest number of slot machines in New Zealand was observed in June 2003 of the year - 25 221 machines. From this moment on, the number of slots gradually decreases. Now the country has 16 814 slot machines for more than 1300 playgrounds. You should know, that this figure does not include slot machines in casinos, which are a separate accounting item.

Slot machines belong to 4 class of gambling. Administrative districts are quite dependent on the revenue of slot machines and on the gambling business in general.

That's why, by the way, most New Zealanders consider gambling, as a positive phenomenon - the opportunity to collect more money for your area or the entire state. (Cm. New Zealand Gambling Demographics Section).

Features of slot machines in New Zealand

All slot machines with 2009 years are necessarily supplied with an information button, which shows, how much money and time the player spent on this machine. It motivates people to play responsibly and take breaks after long sessions..

Also, all slot machines are equipped with EMS – Electronic Monitoring System, electronic monitoring system. It tracks the data of all slot machines in the country. Information is sent to the central monitoring server, where statistics are summed up: how much money was spent on a particular slot machine, how much he gave to the player, what is the income from it, etc..

The percentage of return to the player from the machine, outside the casino, should be 78-92%. Government regulators deal with issues of this kind of limits..

Territories with the highest density of slot machines per capita:

  • Kaikoura;
  • Thames-Coromandel;
  • Mackenzie District;
  • Waitomo;
  • Gray District;
  • South Huerarapa;
  • Baller.


Now in New Zealand there is 6 licensed casinos, which are controlled by the government. They are located in cities:

  • Christchurch;
  • Dunedin;
  • Hamilton;
  • Queenstown;
  • Auckland.

The largest casino group - Skycity. Four large casinos belong to her: two - in Queenstown, one in Auckland and one in Hamilton. Two casinos in Dunedin and Christchurch are privately operated. The actions of all gambling establishments are strictly regulated and limited by law.

for example, in May 2013 Auckland Casino Receives Expansion Permit (230 additional slots and 40 gaming tables) only after, how USD invested in the construction of the city convention center 402 million.

Gambling business in New ZealandPhoto source: News of Gambling


NZ Powerball: The basics

New Zealand Powerball was born in February 2001 of the year. As in the original game, players need to guess 6 main numbers and additional - Powerball, to win the jackpot. With a minimum guaranteed jackpot in 4 million New Zealand dollars the lottery quickly became a commercial success.

The original Powerball number range was 1 to 8. Today, players can choose their lucky number from a set 1-10. Before the change, the minimum guaranteed jackpot was only 1 million dollars. Although getting to the jackpot has gotten a bit tricky with the addition of two extra Powerball numbers, 3 million dollars, added to the minimum guaranteed jackpot, justify the efforts.

Classes of gambling

New Zealand defines 4 the class of gambling depending on the size of bets and payments.

First grade:

  • the organizers of the game do not pay any deductions or compensation;
  • gambling activities comply with the rules of the game;
  • no gaming machines are used in the process;
  • prizes or potential income of the casino for one session does not exceed USD 500;
  • if the game is organized by citizens individually, then all profits go to prizes;
  • if the game is organized by the community, then all profits are directed to the needs of society;
  • the game does not require licensing.

Second class:

  • prizes for one session do not exceed USD 5000;
  • potential revenue per session does not exceed USD 25 000;
  • the game of this class can only be organized by society;
  • profit should be directed to the needs of society;
  • consumer information must be clearly spelled out in the game: society name, goals, number of tickets, closing date, prizes, etc.;
  • the game does not require licensing.

Third class:

  • Prizes offered or received per game or per session exceed USD 5 000;
  • common forms of play - large-scale lotteries, bingo, instant games and other forms (eg, "Casino evenings");
  • can only be organized by a society or a corporate society;
  • no gambling machine is used in the process;
  • Department of the Interior officials must be sure, that the activity is financially beneficial, costs are minimized, and the benefit is returned to society as much as possible;
  • the goal must be authoritative;
  • the game is subject to licensing.

Fourth grade:

  • any game, involving the use of a gambling machine outside the casino;
  • can only be organized by a corporate society;
  • the game is organized for reputable purposes only.

Private gambling:

  • It's a game, which is played in a private residence;
  • all bets are returned as prizes to the winners;
  • primarily a social event or entertainment;
  • organizers are not paid any commissions and rewards;
  • people, not living in the residence, cannot participate in the game;
  • all participants have an equal chance of winning, and only they can win.

Popular games

41% New Zealanders play more often, than once a week. Only 10% older players 18 years playing every week. Among them, men are more represented, players by age 55-64 years and maori. On average, a player spends USD per month 41. Men spend more, than women. Only 10% adults are at risk.

The lottery is played 30% players. Favorite lottery - Lotto, it is in her that most residents play with such frequency.

Also popular:

  • horse or dog racing bets;
  • Instant Kiwi game;
  • game

Half of the respondents are satisfied with the number of locations, where can you gamble. About 41% considers, that there are too many gambling sites. Remarkably, that those persons are unhappy with the surplus, who have gambling addiction.

The most undesirable form of gambling business is considered electronic slot machines and online gambling in foreign casinos..

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