The Thriving Casino Industry in New Zealand

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New Zealand is famous for many things, such as a rich culture, friendly locals, great-tasting wine and coffee, rugby, and, of course, The Lord of the Rings. Yet, you might not know that the beautiful nation has a thriving gambling sector, which provides locals and tourists with many hours of entertainment.

The industry plays a huge role in the country’s economy, culture, and charitable projects, as 80% of New Zealanders reportedly enjoy some form of gambling, which might be on or offline. Also, various laws are in place for casinos to support various charitable projects. Read on to learn more about the thriving casino industry in New Zealand.

Glamorous Casinos and Poker Machines

New Zealand might have only six land-based casinos across the country, but gambling has become a fun pastime for many citizens. In fact, a reported 4 out of 5 New Zealanders are keen gamblers. Therefore, it might come as no surprise that much investment has gone into the activity in recent years, as there are an incredible 17,799 poker machines and counting dotted across the country. Playfully known as pokies, the machines are commonly found in pubs, clubs, and casinos across New Zealand, and they generated an estimated $528 million in 2022 alone. However, Kiwis can enjoy other forms of gambling in their spare time, such as the lottery, scratch cards, sports betting, racing, and other casino games.

The Growth of Online Casinos

As mobile devices have advanced, so has the online casino industry, which plays a huge role in New Zealand’s gambling culture. The nation’s love of betting is responsible for adding 380 million NZD to the global sector’s value of $63.3 billion. You can even check out the top 10 casinos in New Zealand for yourself, which was compiled by Bonnie Gjurovska from Most are popular for their fast cash outs, sign-up offers, or fun gaming experiences, to name a few benefits.

Despite 80% of citizens gambling online, domestic online gambling sites are currently illegal in the country, as only two authorized providers are legally allowed to operate: the TAB and Lotto NZ. Yet, Kiwis can visit offshore casino websites to play slots and various table games, such as poker and blackjack. As New Zealand currently doesn’t have regulated online casinos, it is losing millions of dollars in revenue from the popular sector. However, it makes financial sense that more domestic online casinos will emerge in the future, as the country could boost its annual revenue by an incredible $140 million annually. Also, the rise of regulated, domestic online casinos could lead to increased employment, which will help to further support New Zealand’s economy.

The Casino’s Social Responsibilities

As stated, land-based and online casinos can generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for New Zealand’s economy. Also, physical and virtual casinos can provide an increase in jobs to offer more employment opportunities for citizens. However, you might not realize that many casinos are committed to giving back to the communities they serve, as it is common for them to host local charity evenings to raise vital funds for local associations.

Also, new casinos are legally required to donate a percentage of their annual revenue to charity. A reported 7% of operators’ earnings are donated to various initiatives across New Zealand. Therefore, the mandatory donations provide the nation with additional funds to improve communities of all sizes and with varying needs. The money is often used to support various societal projects, such as education, health, arts, and sports. Also, gambling operators do not control where the money is donated, as community groups and other organizations must apply for a grant. Common uses for the charitable funds include grounds maintenance services, education schemes, training programs, new building renovations or projects, and community sports equipment.

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