Online casinos – Beginners’ Guide

If you are a new player who has no previous experience, you probably have a lot of questions. In this case, our comprehensive guide about online casinos will certainly meet your needs. Legal matters, legislation, safety and trustworthiness are the most important things a new player could think of and care about. In this online casino guide, you can find most answers to your questions.

The history of online casinos

roulette and casino chipsAs a new player from New Zealand, you might be interested in a short background on online casinos. Well, they have been around since 1994, and there are thousands of them. A few large casino software developers rule the industry, but their competition is not destructive: quite the opposite, because they are trying over shine each other by providing better looking, better paying casino games, and implement the best safety measures possible. Today, online casinos are rocking hard, and with mobile gambling taking over, you can play your favourite casino games on your smartphone or tablet.

Legal state of online gambling

In New Zealand, the Gambling Act of 2003 defines the online casinos’ state. We are not lawyers, so we can’t give you real advice, but fortunately, the law is clear: online casinos are legit if they are licensed anywhere overseas. As you will see when you start to explore our casino reviews, all of the recommended NZ friendly online gambling establishments are based in Malta or Gibraltar, or the United Kingdom.

This ensures that you can play at them for real money, without having to worry about breaking the law. Those three jurisdictions are the world’s most trusted gambling jurisdictions, so if a casino has a license from any of them, it must be a good one.

There are several governing and inspecting bodies (e.g. eCogra) which grant some extra info on the games, their fairness, and pay-outs. Regarding the taxes: If you are not a full-time gambler, your winnings are tax-free, no matter how big they are.

The online casino software, and their compatibility

New and seasoned players both try to get the best out of their devices. The casino software providers are all licensed and regulated by the different gambling commissions.

These huge companies are constantly working on giving you better games, which you could play at literally every device you have. When you start to explore the online gambling’s world, you will see that many casinos are running on Microgaming software. Don’t worry, though, this provider alone has over 1,000 games, and many casinos have a partnership with other providers like NetEnt or Playtech.

There are three common ways to play at an online casino (download on PC, in the browser, or on mobile) which ensure a great flexibility, and that you can play at any time and any place (where you can connect to the Internet).

  1. On PC: for desktop computers, especially for Windows machines, the online casinos usually offer two ways to access the games:
    • Downloadable casino suite: with this, you can easily access your account without opening the browser. In almost every case, the casino download software has the widest range of games, and this software fully supports the live dealer games. Banking, support, and security are all included with the suite. The casino software is free, secure and easy to install. However, it’s usually developed for Windows only, Mac computers are not supported.
    • In-browser Flash casino: though this casino version offers a slightly lower number of games, it’s widely used. One of the main reason for the Flash casino’s popularity is the fact that it works on Mac too! Also, Linux and Windows PCs can handle it, though in a few cases, the live games may not work. The no download casinos are looking good, the games are a bit simplified, but nonetheless, every feature works properly.
  2. On smartphones and tablet: This kind of gambling is getting more and more popular, so the online casinos and the game providers had to adopt. They are quite successful in it, and almost every newly released game (e.g. Microgaming releases a new pokies game every month) is mobile friendly. Depending on your device, you can access the casino games in two forms:
    • Casino app download: it’s quite rare, but there are casinos (well, we have to mention Microgaming again) which offer a downloadable app. This application is usually compatible with Android (from Google Play) and with iOS (from the App Store). The most recent versions of these mobile operating systems are supported fully, on tablets and smartphones too.
    • Casino mobile lobby: if your device’s browser can handle HTML5 or Flash, you can enjoy different casino games, up to a few hundreds. The mobile browser casinos are compatible with nearly every device, and the games are all designed for touch screen. The mobile lobby has all features for you, including banking, support, and the rest.

Games in online casinos

Since we are talking about casinos here, it’s natural, that you can access only casino games. These games range from Blackjack to Casino Hold’em poker. You can play all three versions of roulette, different blackjack variations, craps, baccarat.

More than 70% of the games are pokies (slots), so if those are your favourite casino games, you will be quite happy to see their awesome variety. You can find classic pokies with three reels, just as five and seven reel pokies, including the magical and hard-to-win progressive pokies. Almost every online casino we can recommend to New Zealand players offers a number of poker games: video pokers and live dealer pokers. There are places where you can even play bingo too, and big casinos like Betway offer not just bingo, but also sports betting.

Nowadays, live dealer games are quite popular, and as you will find out, a dealer can handle players by the dozens. The video quality is always great; aside from playing, you could even chat with the dealers.

Online casino bonuses

There are many bonuses you can benefit from if you become a member of a casino. Here are the most common types:

  • Welcome bonuses: the welcome packs are either deposit-bonuses (match bonuses) or no deposit bonuses. The first version is the most common, while no deposit bonuses are rare like a white raven. New Zealand casinos always welcome new players, and they can use the local NZD$ to pay and get their bonuses. In every case, the welcome bonus and the winnings from no deposit bonus are subject to a play-through requirement.
  • No deposit bonuses: you can receive mostly free spins as no deposit bonuses. The casinos usually give these to new players, however, there is a catch: you have to make a deposit (the casino declares how much) in order to get the winnings. The no deposit bonuses are rare, but you should take advantage of them if you got some.
  • Regular deposit bonuses: as a member of an online casino, you can claim something extra with almost every deposit you make. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive bonus codes, check the promotions menu for upcoming promotions and make the most out of your money. For example, the Casinoland has spotlight pokies on every Tuesdays, and if you made a deposit on that day, you get free spins on the highlighted pokies. The most regular deposit bonuses are match bonuses (you get an extra percentage of your deposit added to your bonus balance).
  • Loyalty rewards: each casino we recommend to our readers have a loyalty rewards program. You become a part of it as soon as you register and start playing. We suggest to check the details and the promotions because sometimes playing at a game could yield you a large amount points. As a loyal player, you can easily go higher on the ladder and gain better benefits, such as extra bonuses, faster point accumulation, faster withdrawals, and so on.
  • Bonus games: though these are not exactly bonuses, but the hottest pokies always have free-spin sessions. These offer you a good chance of winning, and you can get extra money from them. To trigger a free spin or a bonus round, play with the highest possible number of pay-lines (but not necessarily with the highest coin per line amount).


At an online casino, you can deposit by simply using your credit or debit card. If you don’t feel like giving out this kind of information, you can use third-party payment processors like POLi, Neteller. For anonymous payment, the Paysafecard is the best solution.

You only have to keep one thing in mind: you have to find a payment solution which is available withdrawal too. We guess you don’t want to wait weeks for the courier checks! By the way, the banking solutions at the online casinos are secure, and you can always reach out to them if you think you have done something wrong.


We have reviewed several online casinos already, and we are basically satisfied with their customer service. The telephone agents are helpful and fast, while they are also quite eager to resolve your issues. You will probably notice that not every casino offers a toll-free line for New Zealand gamblers.

In case you don’t want to pay high phone bills, you should try the Live Chat on the casino site or in the client – it’s also 24/7, though you may have to wait a few minutes to get to an agent. You should be punctual with your problems, so the agent can understand it, and help or inform you as fast he/she can.

And then, if you are not in a hurry, you can contact the casinos via email – usually, it takes them max. 72 hours to answer. In the event, you can’t come to an agreement with the casino, there are several authorities to turn to: the casinos have them listed on their home page (e.g. MGA).

Closing words

This guide may be a bit long, but if you’ve read it through, you are ready to get into the online casino world. You now know what you could expect from a casino, and while you are a member, what benefits you could get. If you feel like you are ready, we suggest that you check our reviews to find the best New Zealand online casinos!

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