Gambling in New Zealand takes various forms. There is on course horse race betting for example, which are popular among the wealthier. There are also lotteries that are governed by the New Zealand Lotteries Comission (est. 1987) that exist in the form of physical scratch and lottery tickets as well as online lottery tickets. There are also the very common and popular “Pokies” which are essentially slot machines that are operated and owned by charities and non profit organizations. These pokies have regulated jackpots and can be found largely in big hotels or large restaurants/bars. A easy way to find fun and good pokies is to browse the guide at PokieReview.nz, they update with new guides. These Pokies are a safer way to gamble as they encourage and promote moderation by displaying information in terms of how long a player has been playing and how much they have spent.
There are several physical casinos in New Zealand, each of which offers a unique and fun gambling experience for players of all ages and experience levels. SkyCity is the largest and best known casino with locations in Hamilton, Queenstown, Wharf and Auckland. The SkyCity Auckland recently added to its fleet of games and offerings to include an additional 230 slots, over 40 new tables and other games. The other two, non SkyCity casinos include the Dunedin Casino and Christchurch casino, which are smaller, lesser known casinos.
Gambling is viewed as an enjoyable pastime in New Zealand, especially throughout colder, wetter months or days. The amount of money spent on gambling by players annually is approxamitely 2 billion NZ dollars, which works out to be about 480 NZ dollars per person. These figures are low compared to other, more western countries. Gambling is, however, increasing in popularity, hence the large increase in the size of Auckland’s SkyCity casino back in 2013. Tourists and locals alike enjoy the unique pokies and games that can be found in New Zealand and there is something for everyone.