Land based Casinos in New Zealand

New Zealand has a population that loves gambling – both at online casinos and land-based venues. New Zealanders have an excellent choice when it comes to online casinos, but this small island country has a top selection of land-based venues too – predominantly owned by the SkyCity company. Citizens can visit these different bricks and mortar casinos, but also play slot machines that are commonly found in hotels and bars.

The Department of Internal Affairs controls all forms of gambling in New Zealand and is responsible for lotteries and overseeing the actions of the 6 land-based casinos too. In addition to this, the New Zealand Gambling Commission is a third-party organization that issues licenses and regulates gambling activity in the country. The New Zealand Gambling Commission, for example, has issued licenses to SkyCity Hamilton and Dunedin Casino.

Due to the small size of the country, there are only 6 local based casinos in New Zealand, these are:

  1. Christchurch Casino
  2. Dunedin Casino
  3. SkyCity Queenstown
  4. SkyCity Wharf
  5. SkyCity Hamilton
  6. SkyCity Auckland

The split of these casinos demographically is four on the South Island, and two on the North Island. SkyCity Hamilton and SkyCity Auckland are located on the North Island, whereas Casino Christchurch NZ, Dunedin Casino, SkyCity Queenstown, and SkyCity Wharf are located on the South Island.

These local casinos offer a great selection of traditional games including slot machines, and table games like roulette, blackjack, and poker. In addition to this, the NZ casinos generally have excellent facilities including bars and restaurants. It is clear the owners of each land-based casino considered the location carefully – the offline casinos are within vibrant areas that have plenty of tourists or are popular places for locals to frequent on night’s out.

In this article, we provide a short review of each offline casino and show what it has to offer. We also look at general land-based casino etiquette, and how gambling works in New Zealand:

 

Christchurch Casino

christchurch casino

  • Opened in: 1994
  • Owner: SkyCity
  • Age Limit: 20
  • Games Offered: Poker, Roulette, Blackjack, Slot Machines
  • Website: christchurchcasino.co.nz

Christchurch Casino is the oldest in New Zealand and was originally privately owned. It is now part of the SkyCity Company. The architecture of this establishment is amazing – it looks like the grand European casinos with an impressive main entrance. Furthermore, it offers 44,000 square feet of floor space and a myriad of restaurants, bars, and game areas.

This large venue has over 500 slot machines and an impressive 45 table games. Popular games like roulette and blackjack have different table variants available.

For those who also want to enjoy food and drink, Christchurch Casino is the best casino near me due to its 4 restaurants. This includes the Monza sports bar, the Chi Kitchen Cantonese restaurant, The Grand Café, and the Valley Bar.

 

Dunedin Casino

dunedin casino

  • Opened in: 1999
  • Owner: Lani Hagaman
  • Age Limit: 20
  • Games Offered: Poker, Roulette, Blackjack, Slots plus more
  • Website: dunedincasino.co.nz

Dunedin Casino is possibly the best-known and most popular in New Zealand. It is a privately-owned establishment and the only casino not owned by the SkyCity company. This means that it has an extremely different feel and style to the other New Zealand establishments.

It is a stylish venue that has extravagant decorations and a well-furnished set of casino rooms. Guests must dress smart and due to its central location on the high street, it is a popular location for tourists too. Aside from the ample gambling amenities, Dunedin Casino also has The Grand Bar & Café, and Room 118 Lounge. Room 118 is an elegant tapas bar that serves high-quality food and drinks. The casino also has live entertainment and has a dazzling array of popular musicians and comedians.

In terms of gambling, Dunedin Casino offers Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Caribbean Stud Poker, Live Poker, Slot machines and more. There are over 180 different slot machines and a host of different rooms for Blackjack and Roulette. The service is fantastic, the facilities are amazing, and the gambling experience is top-notch.

 

SkyCity Queenstown

skycity queenstown

  • Opened in: 2000
  • Owner: SkyCity
  • Age Limit: 20
  • Games Offered: Caribbean Stud Poker, Blackjack, Slot Machines, Roulette
  • Website: skycityqueenstown.co.nz

This land-based casino is the most popular in Queenstown. It benefits from a great location in the heart of the city. Both locals and tourists visit this casino and enjoy its stylish décor and a great array of games. Customers can enjoy one of the many tables and play games like Ultimate Texas Hold’em Caribbean Stud Poker, and Roulette. Friendly and helpful staff are always present to help if needed – they will even assist those who are unsure of some of the game rules.

Entrance into the casino is permitted for anyone providing that ID is presented and that the customer is 20 years of age or older. Furthermore, there is a minimal dress code – you essentially must look smart and not wear any damaged or inappropriate clothes.

This casino has a fantastic atmosphere and is in a great location.

 

SkyCity Wharf

skycity wharf

  • Opened in: 2000
  • Owner: SkyCity
  • Age Limit: 20
  • Games Offered: Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, Baccarat, Slot Machines

As one of the newest casinos in New Zealand, SkyCity Wharf is the second establishment to be built in the city of Queenstown. This is a popular location for tourists, and thus the two casinos here both receive plenty of custom. SkyCity Wharf is in the popular wharf area that offers fantastic amenities for a night out. This whole area has plenty of bars and restaurants and has a lively atmosphere. The casino is just a short walk from the main promenade Steamer Wharf.

Due to its smaller size, SkyCity Wharf is considered a boutique establishment – it does not have the same grand feel as SkyCity Auckland, for example. Nonetheless, this smaller feel gives it a personal and intimate atmosphere that many prefer.

Customers can enjoy the 6 different tables and over 60 different slot machines. Furthermore, due to the wharf location, formal attire is not required, so you can visit for an hour or two without feeling the need to get dressed up. Wild Thyme is the restaurant/bar within SkyCity Wharf and offers excellent quality food and drink.

If you want a more laid-back, less intense casino experience, SkyCity Wharf is an excellent venue in an ideal location.

 

SkyCity Hamilton

skycity hamilton

  • Opened in: 2000
  • Owner: SkyCity
  • Age Limit: 20
  • Games Offered: Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, Baccarat, Slots
  • Website: skycityhamilton.co.nz

SkyCity Hamilton is in the center of the city on the banks of the River Waikato. It is easily accessible and in a great location for tourists and locals. Surrounding the casino is the gorgeous Waikato River walk, and a host of shops, restaurants, bars, and amenities.

Although not as large as SkyCity Auckland, the Hamilton establishment still offers 300+ slot machines, plus 23 different table games. You can play different varieties of poker, blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. The staff at this venue are extremely friendly and accommodating – this makes it an ideal location for beginners who have yet to sample the offline casino experience.

Aside from the tables, SkyCity Hamilton has an excellent array of amenities. You can enjoy mini-golf and bowling, for example. Furthermore, it has a range of bars and restaurants including the stylish Number 8 Bar, and the elegant Marble Room. The Zone Sports bar is also a popular venue that serves a variety of food and drink and plays live sports games too.

Due to its wide variety of amenities, SkyCity Hamilton is a popular venue for all the family. Whilst children aren’t allowed in the casino, they can still enjoy the mini golf and bowling!

 

SkyCity Auckland

skycity auckland

  • Opened in: 1996
  • Owner: SkyCity
  • Age Limit: 20
  • Games Offered: Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, Slot Machines
  • Website: skycityauckland.co.nz

The Auckland establishment of Sky City Casino NZ is the largest in the country. This is expected due to the large population of Auckland (1.6 million inhabitants). The venue is in a popular area of Auckland near the Queen’s Wharf and Victoria Park. Aside from the casino, the venue also has a hotel and a myriad of surrounding bars, restaurants and entertainment establishments. This is the perfect location for a casino and the main reason why it is so popular.

Within the huge establishment, you will find an array of beautifully decorated rooms and areas. The style is both glamorous and luxurious. Within these areas, you can find over 2000 slot games and 150 different table games. Table games offered include roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker, and more. In addition to this, there is a dedicated VIP room with higher value tables.

Not only does SkyCity Auckland have amazing gambling facilities, but it also allows customers to enjoy an immersive night-out. It has four restaurants including the MASU Japanese restaurant and Orbit 360 which is located at the top of the Sky Tower and provides 360-degree views of the city. This combination of amazing amenities and a fantastic location make SkyCity Auckland an attractive venue.

Another advantage of the New Zealand SkyCity casino chain is the availability of the imax cinemas in hotel complexes, which calls Sky City Cinemas (skycitycinemas.co.nz). In such cinemas gamblers can relax between poker tournaments or after playing slot machines.

Offline Casino Advantages

Although online platforms are hugely popular, their land-based counterparts are still just as exciting. The two settings are extremely different – both have their pros and cons. Online platforms, for example, provide ease of use and convenience. The following are some of the main benefits offline casinos provide:

  • Offers an immersive experience
  • Provides a complete night-out
  • Allows you to also enjoy fine food and drink
  • Allows you to share an evening with friends and have fun

The main benefit of offline venues is the experience they provide. Usually, you venture out with a group of friends and enjoy a whole evening of fun, laughter, drinks, gambling, and food. It is a full occasion – not just sat at home on your smartphone.

The social aspect is fantastic, and you can play some games of roulette or slots with your mates and generally have a good time. This social aspect simply isn’t possible with online platforms. Additionally, the casinos in New Zealand has great facilities. You can have some fun at the venue, but also enjoy a sit-down meal in a stylish restaurant. Furthermore, you can enjoy some drinks at the bar and unwind.

There is no substitute for the true offline experience – if you aren’t just concerned with winning money, but want to have a fun time, you can’t beat an evening at a New Zealand casino.

Local Casinos dress code

When entering bricks and mortar venues, a dress code is usually required. This is done to maintain a certain atmosphere and try to add a little class into the establishment. As you would expect, New Zealand casinos also have dress codes.

SkyCity venues require the following dress codes – no torn, damaged, or dirty clothes. No safety clothing. No sleeveless tops on men, no flip flops, no hats or cans, no sunglasses. Essentially, customers can wear what they want within reason but must look presentable and smart. Exceptions for sunglasses are made within poker areas, and hats and caps can only be worn for valid religious or medical reasons.
The land-based casinos in NZ also require behavioral standards to be adhered to including no abusive or threatening behavior to staff or other players.

Land-based casino membership

To play at bricks and mortar venue, you must have a membership. Registration can be completed on arrival at the establishment. Alternatively, it can be completed using the SkyCity app or websites. In contrast, Dunedin casino is not operated by SkyCity but also has a similar process – guests simply enter the venue and providing they have identification, can enjoy the facilities immediately.

Both SkyCity and Dunedin establishments offer VIP programs that offer additional benefits. For example, Dunedin Casino has the Club Casino, and SkyCity has the premier rewards program.

Land-based casino tournaments

Gambling tournaments are hugely popular at land-based venues. The most common type of land-based tournament in New Zealand is poker. Poker tournaments offer high excitement, plenty of fun, and the chance to win big cash prizes.

SkyCity hosts regular poker games with a variety of table limits – beginners can try their luck with low-value games. Professionals can also enjoy high roller tournaments with big jackpot prizes. SkyCity Auckland, for example, hosts regular poker tournaments usually at weekends. Furthermore, this casino hosts blackjack tournaments too which prove popular.

Dunedin casino hosts weekly poker games on Fridays and Saturdays – usually at 19:30. These are low limit games at either a $1/$2 buy-in or a slightly higher table of $40-200 buy-in.

Local casinos age limits in New Zealand

Finally, let’s look at the minimum age limits for gambling and usage of NZD in the largest land-based casino establishments in the country. The legal age to enter a venue is 20 years. This is standard across the country and applies to online gambling. Identification will be requested upon entry or when registering a membership at an offline casino. This differs slightly to sportsbooks and lotteries as the minimum age to participate in these is 18.

We hope you have found this article useful. You should now have a clear idea of the different land-based casinos in New Zealand and what they have to offer!