New Zealand is a small island nation that has a great love for online gambling. Did you know that an estimated 80% of the population of this country participates in some form of gambling? Of an approximate population of 4.8 million (as of 1st Quarter 2020), that’s just over 3.84 million people who gamble!
Popular gambling industries in NZD include:
- Online casinos for real money
- Land-based casinos
- Sports betting
Online casinos are booming in popularity and this is what we look at in this guide. We analyze different cities and regions of New Zealand and look at the online gambling habits of citizens within these areas. We, of course, look at the largest cities like Auckland, Canterbury, and Wellington. But we also delve deeper and look at smaller cities and towns like Porirua, Lower Hutt, and Hawke’s Bay.
First, let’s take a brief look at general real money online gambling statistics for New Zealand. It is estimated that the average expenditure for gambling in New Zealand per person is NZD 550 per year. Furthermore, it is estimated that slot machines or pokies generate over NZD 650 million per year. Online slots are by far the most popular type of game – both New Zealanders and Australians seem to prefer online pokies as opposed to table games and video poker.
Players in this country have access to a fantastic range of online casinos. This complements the 6 land-based establishments present in New Zealand and gives players a great choice. Some of the most reputable online platforms for NZ players include Royal Vegas, Dunder, Ruby Fortune, Maneki Casino, and PlayZee. As you will see below, different regions have different preferences and some online casino platforms perform better on the North or South Island.
- Online casinos in Wellington City
- Online casinos in Lower Hutt
- Online casinos in Porirua
- Online casinos in Upper Hutt
Online Casinos in Wellington Region
Wellington is both a city and region on the North Island of New Zealand. It has an overall population of 522,000 and the main city is Wellington, with a population of 418,000. Other major cities and towns include Lower Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt, Paraparaumu, and Masterton. The region of Wellington is the wealthiest in New Zealand.
Casino games popularity among Wellington residents (by percentage):
- Online slots – 30%
- Roulette – 25%
- Blackjack – 25%
- Live casino games – 10%
- Poker – 10%
Online Casinos in Wellington City
As the largest city in the greater metropolitan area of Wellington, it is an important place in the region. The population of the city itself is 418,000. Wellington City is named after the legendary British commander Arthur Wellesley. It has an economy based predominantly on services, particularly finance, and the government of New Zealand.
As the capital of New Zealand, it is where the government is located, as are the parliament buildings. Wellington residents prefer online slots and a combination of table games like European roulette and Blackjack. FunCasino and Alf Casino are highly popular, but the most popular online casino in Wellington is 22bet.
Online Casinos in Lower Hutt
Lower Hutt is the second-largest city within the greater metropolitan area of Wellington (Porirua and Upper Hutt are smaller). It has a current population of 105,000 and is divided into many suburbs. Geographically it is in the Hutt Valley and on the shores of Wellington Harbour.
Technology, research, and scientific development are economic powerhouses within Lower Hutt. Aside from this, many residents commute to nearby Wellington for work. Inhabitants enjoy playing virtual slot games like Twin Spin, but also enjoy European roulette, and classic Blackjack. The current most popular casino is Loki Casino, followed by BetZest.
Online Casinos in Porirua
Porirua is a major city in the greater Wellington Metropolitan area. It has a current population of 59,000 which includes several outlying towns and villages. Geographically, Porirua is located on the west coast and sits on the natural Porirua harbor. It also has a major railway running through the city center which has contributed to its development.
CasinoRoom is the most popular online platform in this city, followed by JellyBean Casino. Residents enjoy online slot games but also play traditional table games like live Blackjack and live Roulette.
Online Casinos in Upper Hutt
Upper Hutt is part of the greater Wellington Metropolitan area and has a population of 46,000. This town is located 26km from Wellington and lies near the neighboring town of Lower Hutt. Despite being part of the Wellington Metropolitan area, Upper Hutt has its city council and representation in parliament. Residents enjoy Blackjack and roulette – these are the two most popular table games. Online slots are slightly more popular, however. The current most popular casino played online in Upper Hutt is Hyper Casino, closely followed by Yako.
Online Casinos in Auckland Region
The Auckland region is by far the largest in New Zealand. It encompasses the city of Auckland, plus surrounding areas and islands located within the Hauraki Gulf. The total population is over 1.6 million – most of which is in the city of Auckland itself. The Auckland region is the main economic center of New Zealand.
Casino games popularity among Auckland residents (by percentage):
- Online slots – 40%
- Blackjack – 10%
- Baccarat – 10%
- Video Poker – 20%
- Roulette – 20%
Online Casinos in Auckland City
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and the center of the economy for the country. It has a large population of 1.6 million people and is the largest metropolitan area in the country too. As both the major financial and economic center of New Zealand, Auckland has a myriad of important companies and different centers for commerce. Residents generally enjoy online pokies but also play table games like Blackjack, Baccarat, and roulette. Auckland gamblers prefer Royal Vegas online casino.
Online Casinos in Hibiscus Coast
Hibiscus coast is defined as part of the greater Auckland Metropolitan area – within this region, there are several small towns like Red Beach, Stanmore Bay, and Manly. This is a popular area for tourists and locals due to its beautiful beaches and proximity to Auckland. Residents love online slot games like Megah Moolah and Rainbow Riches, but they also enjoy European Roulette and Video Poker variants like Joker Poker.
Online Casinos in Bay of Plenty
The Bay of Plenty is a well-known region in the northern area of the North Island. Its name is derived from the large Bay of Plenty stretching for over 260km. Tauranga is the largest city in the region, with a population of 135,000. Rotorua and Whakatane are also urban areas with a population of over 10,000. The Port of Tauranga is the largest in the country based on cargo volume.
Casino games popularity among Bay of Plenty residents (by percentage):
- Online slots – 34%
- Blackjack – 16%
- Baccarat – 15%
- Video Poker – 14%
- Roulette – 21%
Online Casinos in Tauranga
As the largest city in the Bay of Plenty region, Tauranga has experienced population growth in recent years and is not the most populous city in the region. It is currently the 5th largest city by population in New Zealand, too, at 188,000 inhabitants. The city is mainly located around a large natural harbor – other notable geographical features include the extinct Mauao volcano and the nearby Mount Maunganui.
Blackjack, Baccarat, and other table games are immensely popular in this city. However, as with most of the county, pokies are the most-played game variant. Tauranga residents prefer CasinoMate, which is the most popular online platform.
Online Casinos in Rotorua
Rotorua takes its name from Lake Rotorua and it sits directly on the shore of this body of water. The Rotorua district has a total population of 75,000 and encompasses smaller towns. The population of the city itself is 54,000. Rotorua lake is a popular attraction, as are the surrounding thermal springs, geysers, and mud pools. Tourism is indeed a major source of economy for the region.
In terms of online casino games, players generally prefer online slots by a small margin. Roulette and Blackjack also appear popular with other table games having less playtime. NightRush is currently the most popular online platform for Rotorua residents.
Online Casinos in Hawke’s Bay
Hawke’s Bay is a relatively small region on the east coast of the North Island. The name is derived from Hawke’s bay itself, which stretches for over 100km. The total population of the region is 173,000, and the largest cities/towns are Napier and Hastings. Napier has a population of 62,000, and Hastings has a population of 45,000 – the next largest town is Havelock North.
Casino games popularity among Hawke’s Bay residents (by percentage):
- Free slots – 3%
- Real money pokies – 30%
- Roulette – 27%
- Video Poker – 25%
- Blackjack – 15%
Online Casinos in Napier
Napier is a coastal town that is also the largest city in the Hawke’s Bay region. It has an estimated population of 65,000 and is considered the main center of the region. This is due to its proximity to the Napier Seaport, and the main airport in Hawke’s Bay. The architecture of this city makes it an appealing tourist location – it features a variety of interesting Art Deco buildings.
Pokies or online slots are usually the most popular game played by Napier residents. Video poker and roulette are also popular, with Blackjack trailing slightly behind. The most popular online casino currently played in Napier is Zodiac Casino.
Online Casinos in Hastings
Located in Hawke’s Bay, Hastings is a popular city on the North Island of New Zealand. As a coastal city, it is a popular tourist destination for domestic travelers and offers a myriad of wellness and lifestyle pursuits. The current population is 45,000, and the wider district population is 85,000. It is the second-largest city in the region behind Napier.
In terms of economy, it has links with the neighboring Napier Port but also produces apples and pears in large quantities. Residents typically enjoy real money slots like Megah Moolah, but also really enjoy European Roulette, and video poker. Jonny Jackpot is the current most popular online casino platform in Hastings.
Online Casinos in Manawatu-Wanganui
Manawatū-Whanganui is located on the North Island in the southern region. Its main city is Palmerston North, which has a population of 87,000. The total population of the region is 246,000. Other major cities and towns include Wanganui, Levin, and Feilding. Manufacturing and farming are prominent industries, but the region is also used for military training exercises.
Casino games popularity among Manawatu-Whanganui residents (by percentage):
- Real money slots – 40%
- Online poker – 20%
- Table games – 25%
- Mobile pokies – 15%
Online Casinos in Palmerston North
Palmerston North is the largest city in the region of Manawatu-Whanganui. It is located on the Manawatu Plains, and near the Manawatu River. The city limits include several smaller towns like Ashurst and Longburn. The total current population is 87,000. Due to its thriving economy, Palmerston North is a popular city for commuters – it has a larger population of working citizens than it does actual residents.
Online pokies are the most popular game and residents enjoy Microgaming titles. Video poker and Blackjack closely follow and are also popular. The most popular online casino in Palmerston North is CasinoLand.
Online Casinos in Whanganui
Whanganui is situated on the west coast of the North Island. It is the second-largest city in Manawatu-Wanganui behind Palmerston North with a population of 39,000. The Whanganui River runs through the city which is one of the longest in the country – four bridges also pass over the river including the Dublin Street Bridge.
Its main industries relate to technology and niche markets, furthermore, agriculture is highly important. Slots for real money are one of the most popular casino game types, followed by online poker, and mobile pokies. Residents of Whanganui prefer to use Wild Blaster online casino which is the most popular in the city.
Online Casinos in Canterbury
Canterbury is a major region on the South Island. It has a population of 628,000 and contains the second-largest urban area on the Island – Christchurch. Christchurch is the main city with a population of 377,000 and is the main tourist destination too. Major industries in the region include fishing, forestry, tourism, and agriculture.
Casino games popularity among Canterbury residents (by percentage):
- Online slots – 55%
- Blackjack – 10%
- Roulette – 10%
- Baccarat – 5%
- Video Poker – 20%
Online Casinos in Christchurch
Christchurch is a thriving city and the largest on the South Island. The city and wider urban area have a population of over 377,000 – this makes it the second-most populous city in the country behind Auckland. Christchurch is dissected by the Avon River and it is a city whose construction was carefully planned.
It’s main economies including farming and industry. Farming is highly important and the mainstay of the cities economy. In terms of industry, steel production and technology are important. Residents enjoy online slots, video poker, and traditional table games like Blackjack. The most popular casino is currently Platinum Play, followed by 21.com.
Online Casinos in Nelson Region and City
Nelson is both a region and city on the South Island of New Zealand. Nelson City is the oldest in the country and is named after the legendary British naval commander. The city of Nelson has a population of 52,000 which encompasses some smaller surrounding towns. Christ Church Cathedral is a central landmark in the city that can be seen from afar due to its tall tower.
The areas surrounding Nelson are quite beautiful and have several national parks including the Nelson Lakes National Park. Online slots are by far the most popular casino game type in Nelson, followed by video poker and Blackjack. BetChain is a popular online platform here, but Wazamba is the most popular online casino.
Online Casinos in Northland
Northland is the top region on the North Island of New Zealand. It has an overall population of 180,000, and the main city is Whangarei which has a population of 58,000. Northland has a relatively mild climate and favorable weather throughout the year. The main industries in the region include agriculture, sheep farming, and paper manufacturing.
Casino games popularity among Northland residents (by percentage):
- Live Blackjack – 10%
- Mobile Slots – 40%
- Sic Bo – 5%
- Roulette – 20%
- Real Money Poker – 25%
Online Casinos in Whangarei
Whangarei is in the far north of the North Island in New Zealand. It is the largest city in the Northland region and has a current population of 58,000. Notable geographical features include Mt Parihaka (a volcano), The Hatea River, and Limestone Island.
As the most unurbanized area of the Northland region, Whangarei is an important economic center and has recently had investment poured into the city such as the Hundertwasser Art Center. Residents primarily enjoy mobile slots on smartphones like Thunderstruck II. Moreover, they also enjoy European roulette and poker. The most popular online casino in Whangarei is currently BondiBet, closely followed by SlottyVegas.
Online Casinos in Otago
Otago is a popular region on the South Island – it is located in the southern part of the Island and has an approximate population of 236,000. Dunedin is the main city with a population of 122,000 – Queenstown, Mosgiel, and Oamaru follow are the only other cities in the region with populations over 10,000. Otago is well-known for its production of high-quality wines.
Casino games popularity among Otago residents (by percentage):
- Video Poker – 30%
- Live Roulette – 20%
- Online Craps – 5%
- Video Slots – 30%
- Blackjack – 15%
Online Casinos in Dunedin
Dunedin is the second-largest city by population on the South Island after Christchurch – it is also the main city of the Otago region. The city lies on the remains of an extinct volcano, and it has a large harbor. The city itself has a population of 122,000, and the wider metropolitan area has a population of 130,000. It is the main center for education in the region and contains two universities – the University of Otago, and Otago Polytechnic.
The economy of Dunedin is diverse, and it accommodates manufacturing, research, and tourism – it has also been dedicated as a UNESCO city of literature in 2014. Residents love video poker and online slots. Roulette is also widely played and some play live Baccarat too. The most popular online casino in Dunedin is currently LeoVegas, followed by 21.com and Mummy’s Gold.
Online Casinos in Southland
Southland as you would expect lies at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand. It has a relatively small population compared to other regions of just 101,000. The largest city in Southland is Invercargill with nearly 50% of the region’s population. Southland has some gorgeous national parks and generally has a cooler and wetter climate than other areas of the country.
Casino games popularity among Southland residents (by percentage):
- Slots – 40%
- Blackjack – 30%
- Roulette – 20%
- Video Poker – 10%
Online Casinos in Invercargill
Invercargill is a beautiful city located in the South Island – it Is considered one of the southernmost cities in the world and is the southernmost city in New Zealand. Many of the street names are named after rivers in England and Scotland. Invercargill has a current population of 56,000 and contains some of the most fertile farmlands in the whole country.
The main source of economy for this city is the dairy industry – this industry saw great expansion during the early 2000s. Inhabitants of Invercargill enjoy online pokies accounting for 40% of usage. Moreover, they enjoy both video poker, and table games like roulette online. The current most popular platform in Invercargill is Emu Casino.
Online Casinos in Taranaki
Taranaki is a major region in the western part of the North Island of New Zealand. The region has a total population of 122,000 and it’s the largest city is New Plymouth with a population of 55,000. Other smaller towns include Hawera, Waitara, Stratford, and Inglewood. Taranaki is a beautiful region that is dominated by the impressive peak of Mount Taranaki.
Casino games popularity among Taranaki residents (by percentage):
- Pokies – 65%
- Blackjack – 10%
- Online Pai Gow – 5%
- Video Poker – 20%
Online Casinos in New Plymouth
New Plymouth is a major city in the North Island and the largest in terms of population in the Taranaki region. It has a total population of 84,000 and is named after the original coastal port of Plymouth in England. Surrounding the city, there is also the district of New Plymouth which contains several small towns like Waitara, and Inglewood.
New Plymouth is mainly a service center for the wider region. It has a small airport and a host of renowned sites like the Len Lye Centre and Art Gallery. Citizens prefer to play online roulette and Blackjack, but also enjoy video slots like Avalon II. The current most popular online casino platform in New Plymouth is the GamingClub.
Online Casinos in Waikato
Waikato is a region located in the upper North Island of New Zealand. In total, the region has a population of over 470,000 inhabitants and the largest city is Hamilton City. It is the 4th largest region in the country in terms of GDP and economic growth. The main source of economy is agriculture due to the favorable geographical conditions. The following is a list of popular casino games played by the inhabitants of Waikato:
Casino games popularity among Waikato residents (by percentage):
- Online slots – 55%
- Blackjack – 15%
- Baccarat – 15%
- Video Poker – 15%
Online Casinos in New Hamilton
Hamilton is the largest city in the Waikato region and has a population of 169,000. It is located on the bank of the Waikato River and has a wider metropolitan area that encompasses several smaller towns too. In terms of size, it is the 4th largest city in New Zealand. Education is an important aspect of the city and it has two major facilities.
In terms of gambling preferences, residents enjoy online pokies, Blackjack, and video poker. Other games like Baccarat do not prove as popular. The most popular casino for Hamilton residents is currently the Lucky Nugget Casino. Players enjoy the bonuses and wide game selection available on this platform.
As you can see, the various regions and cities in New Zealand have different online gambling habits. Pokies are of course some of the most popular games available – New Zealanders appear to have an affinity for slot machines and online slot games. Titles like Mega Moolah (with its huge progressive jackpot), Twin Spin, and Monty Python’s Spamalot Slot all rank highly and remain firm favorites. In New Zealand, it is estimated that NZD 10 billion is spent on pokies annually.
Table games are popular too, with a high percentage of customers playing traditional games like online roulette, online Blackjack, and online Baccarat. There is a higher concentration of online gambling on platforms like Spin Palace, PlayAmo, and House of Jack in the larger cities of New Zealand – like Auckland, and Wellington, for example.
Regardless, many smaller regions and cities also have high gambling activity. Generally, New Zealand is a country in which a large percentage of the population undertake some form of gambling – whether it be lottery, online slot machines, or table games.