Pokies have always been the casino game of choice for many players all over the globe. Online pokies are quickly replacing pokies in land-based casinos all over the globe and New Zealand is no exception. With just six physical casinos in New Zealand, Kiwis are turning even more to online pokies because they are easily and instantly accessible. Out of every casino game available, online pokies remain at the top of the list of the most played games by Kiwis.
Playing online pokies is a rapidly-growing trend in the country, with record-breaking figures recorded in 2020. The average spend per adult in the previous year was around $204, which adds up to a quarterly spend of $252 million, the highest record since 2007. The gambling figures recorded in 2020 shows that Kiwis are spending more money than ever on pokies.
Online Pokies vs Real Pokies – Which is Better?
The majority of Kiwis prefer playing online pokies for several reasons, although when it comes to which one is better, it’s also a matter of personal preference. There is no denying that online pokies offer several advantages and the most obvious is perhaps that they are so easily accessible.
Online Casinos Are Much More Convenient
Online casinos give Kiwis instant access to thousands of pokies and casino games which can be played 24/7. Convenience is another major factor; gamblers can play their favourite pokies from the comfort of their own home, without having to spend money and time travelling to a casino. With very few gambling venues around New Zealand, it’s no surprise that many Kiwis choose to play online pokies instead.
Better Bonuses and Rewards
Something you won’t find at any land-based casino is a welcome bonus that rewards you for joining a casino. On the other hand, when you sign up at an online casino, you’re always rewarded with a welcome bonus which usually boosts your deposit and gives you a number of free spins to play with as well. For example, a common welcome offer might be a bonus of up to $500 and 200 free spins when you make the minimum deposit. There are always terms and conditions which you should be well aware of before claiming a bonus, but welcome bonuses are undoubtedly a great feature of online casinos because they give you a chance to win real money prizes using bonus money.
Any of the top NZ online casinos offer not only a welcome bonus, but regular promotions and bonuses along the way as a way of rewarding their players. These can be deposit bonuses and free spins, cashbacks, and prize draws, none of which are available at land casinos.
Huge Selection of Pokies
Online casinos are available to offer a much larger variety of pokies that not even the biggest casino in the world can match. Land casinos are limited in the amount and variety of pokies they can offer whereas online casinos can offer thousands of pokies, table games, live casino games, scratch cards, jackpot games, and more. Not only that, but playing online pokies guarantees that games are fair and cannot be rigged in any way because they all use a random number generator. The odds and the RTP rate of an online pokie might also be better than a land-based pokie because the costs of maintaining an online casino are much less than those of running a physical venue.
Play on Any Device
From one device, Kiwis can also access pokies whenever and wherever they are, with the option of playing on desktop and mobile.
New Zealand Gambling Laws
Online casino regulation in New Zealand is subject to the Gambling Act of 2003, which applies to every region in the country. Gambling in New Zealand is licensed and regulated by this single framework which makes it clear for both players and operators alike what is legal and what is prohibited. Unlike many other European countries with confusing gambling laws, the Gambling Act of 2003 clearly prohibits online gambling within the country but allows Kiwis to gamble online with foreign operators.
However, there have been instances where pokie machine operators breaking the law were apparently allowed to do so because the government created rules which contradicted the gambling law. Gambling regulations set forth by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) stated that all net proceeds from pokie machines have to be paid out as community grants. However, doing so would also be a breach of both the Companies Act and the requirements stated in the Gambling Act. For this reason, gambling organisations were allowed to hold on to extra funds.
Online casinos and offline casinos offer a totally different playing experience and it’s clear that there are several advantages to playing online pokies. Land-based casinos offer a great experience too, especially in terms of the social aspect and atmosphere, but online casinos definitely offer something that offline ones can’t.