Top 6 Most Popular New Zealand Casinos

Most Popular New Zealand Casinos
Most Popular New Zealand Physical Casinos

The fast growth of gambling in the last few years of the last century actually led to the opening of the first casinos in the country.

The maiden casino happens to be Christchurch Casino in New Zealand which first started operating in 1994.

It enabled local people and visitors to legally bet while having delicious nourishment, local liquor, and other refreshments.

This expanded to NZ horse races pokies and other table games.

Currently, the six most popular casinos in New Zealand are described as under!

History of New Zealand Casinos

Land-based casinos are popular attractions found in various locations like hotels, restaurants, and cruise ships. They’ve been around for centuries, with gambling becoming part of New Zealand’s scene in the 18th century, though it was initially banned.

The first legal gambling activity was horse racing betting in 1908. Then, in 1994, Christchurch Casino became the country’s first official land-based casino. Since then, more casinos have opened, offering a variety of experiences for both locals and tourists.

CasinoLocationKey Features
SkyCity AucklandAuckland-Entertainment and Recreation
– Economic Impact
-Tourism and Hospitality
– Extensive Gaming Options
SkyCity HamiltonHamilton– Convenient Location
– Diverse Gaming Options
– Entertainment and Live Performances
– Boutique Casino Experience
Christchurch CasinoChristchurch– Exciting Gaming Options
– Entertainment and Live Events
– Historic Setting in a Restored Heritage Building
Dunedin CasinoDunedin– Unique Historic Setting
– Variety of Gaming Options
– High Tea Experience
SkyCity QueenstownQueenstown– Breathtaking Scenic Location
– Wide Range of Gaming Options
– Spectacular Mountain Views
Wharf CasinoQueenstown– Unique Waterfront Location
– Intimate and Cozy Atmosphere
– Access to Other Attractions and Dining Options
SkyCity Auckland
SkyCity Auckland

SkyCity Auckland is considered to be the largest and most amazing casino in New Zealand.

It consists of two high-end hotels, one of which earned five stars.

Located in the bustling capital of New Zealand it attracts not only the locals but also several tourists coming to New Zealand every year.

This is one of the most popular New Zealand casinos.


  1. Entertainment and Recreation
  2. Economic Impact
  3. Tourism and Hospitality
  4. Revenue Generation


  1. Gambling Addiction and Social Issues
  2. Financial Risks for Individuals
  3. Potential Negative Impact on Local Businesses
  4. Ethical Concerns and Moral Opposition


  1. Extensive Gaming Options
  2. High-Quality Facilities
  3. VIP Gaming Rooms
  4. Live Entertainment
  5. Fine Dining Options
  6. Bars and Nightclubs
  7. Sky Tower Observation Deck
  8. Accommodation

What makes this casino Special

  1. Iconic Sky Tower
  2. Comprehensive Entertainment Complex
  3. Award-Winning Dining Experiences
  4. Luxurious Accommodation Options
  5. Exciting Events and Promotions
  6. Exceptional Customer Service
  7. Responsible Gambling Initiatives
  8. Convenient Central Location

This casino not only entertains the guests with its casinos but also offers the convenience of a hotel in which the casino is located.

It boasts high-quality rooms, with 1600 slot machines and 700 table games.

It is packed with 12 bars and restaurants that can satisfy the whims of any person.

It also has two other casinos in Queenstown and Hamilton.

Both casinos have excellent hotels with Wi-Fi and an Internet facility, so guests can play slot machines and other favourite games on their mobile from the comfort of their rooms.

2. Skycity Hamilton – Best Land-Based Casinos


For the most scenic of all the best casinos in New Zealand, Hamilton SkyCity is the best bet.

It faces the gorgeous Waikato River, this is another fantastic offering from the SkyCity group and has all the usual perks like responsible etiquette and education. 


  1. Convenient Location
  2. Diverse Gaming Options
  3. Entertainment and Live Performances
  4. Dining and Bar Experiences


  1. Limited Size and Capacity
  2. Potential Gambling Addiction Risks
  3. Noise and Crowds
  4. Limited Non-Gaming Amenities


  1. Casino Gaming
  2. Entertainment Venue
  3. Restaurants and Bars
  4. Function and Event Spaces

What Makes SkyCity Hamilton Unique

  1. Boutique Casino Experience
  2. Localized Charm and Atmosphere
  3. Focus on Community Engagement
  4. Support for Local Businesses and Suppliers

There are 330 gaming machines and 23 table games for the players with a members-only VIP area called Salon 8.

You can satiate your palate here at 5 different restaurants – Local Taphouse, Eat Burger, Marble Room Cocktail and Whiskey Bar, exciting Vue or Number 8 Bars, and Zone Sports Bar.

Here you will find constant events throughout the year from Halloween themes to burlesque shows, UFC matches to pub quizzes.

And if you’re still bored, you can play a 9-hole at the world-class golf simulator and relax with your bored kids at the bowling alley that includes VIP lanes!

3. Christchurch Casino

SkyCity Auckland
SkyCity Auckland

Christchurch casino is yet another popular gaming hub, although this casino has been older and has been visited longer by the locals enjoying the entertainment it has in store to offer.

Although this casino and hotel do not boast such chic and splendor as SkyCity Auckland, still a well-equipped gaming floor, where visitors are offered great fun, entertainment, and exciting activities is a regular affair.


  1. Exciting Gaming Options
  2. Entertainment and Live Events
  3. Central Location
  4. Unique Heritage Building


  1. Potential Gambling Addiction Risks
  2. Limited Non-Gaming Amenities
  3. Noise and Crowds
  4. Potential Impact on Local Businesses


  1. Casino Gaming
  2. Restaurants and Bars
  3. Function and Event Spaces
  4. VIP Gaming Room

What is so Unique about this Casino

  1. Historic Setting in a Restored Heritage Building
  2. Beautifully Landscaped Gardens
  3. Strong Local Community Presence
  4. Support for Local Charitable Initiatives

Recently Christchurch Casino has reeled under some problems, but now it is again on its track serving the players with fervour.  

It was closed for a couple of months due to the 6.3 earthquake magnitude, which occurred in the city in 2011.

With the help of the local community and the casino managers, this casino was restored in May 2011.  Since then it hasn’t looked back.

Apart from this, Christchurch Casino also has its casino website where players can visit the casino and play games like classic cards and practice popular pokies for real money or for free.

4. Dunedin Casino

Dunedin Casino
Dunedin Casino

Dunedin casino is a great place of interest for the gambler from across the world. This is one of the most popular New Zealand casinos.

This casino is located close to the local attractions of the city Dunedin Otago Museum, the University of Otago, Botanical Garden Dunedin, and Olveston Historic House.

This casino runs a casino as well as a sports arena Carisbrook.


  1. Unique Historic Setting
  2. Variety of Gaming Options
  3. Entertainment and Live Performances
  4. Central Location


  1. Potential Gambling Addiction Risks
  2. Limited Non-Gaming Amenities
  3. Noise and Crowds
  4. Limited Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Unique Features

  1. Casino Gaming
  2. Restaurants and Bars
  3. Function and Event Spaces
  4. High Tea Experience

What Makes Dunedin Casino Unique

  1. Located in a Beautifully Restored Victorian Building
  2. Elegantly Themed Interiors
  3. Strong Ties to Dunedin’s History and Culture
  4. Architectural Beauty and Heritage Value

Several shops, cafes, galleries, and bars are located nearby, most of which are within walking distance of the hotel.

The Dunedin International Airport is 24 km away which makes the place more comfortable for the visitors.

This hotel has 50 rooms that combine all types of rooms, including the corporate suite, studio, twin room, and family suite, in addition to the casino hall.

5. Skycity Queenstown Casino

Queenstown SkyCity Casino
Queenstown SkyCity Casino

The next is the Skycity Queenstown casino which started in 2000 and was the fourth gambling location in New Zealand.

It offers eight tables, VIP tables in individual rooms, and 86 video casino games.

You can also play other titles on offers, such as blackjack, roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Midi-Baccarat, and others.


  1. Breathtaking Scenic Location
  2. Wide Range of Gaming Options
  3. Entertainment and Live Performances
  4. Upscale Dining and Bar Experiences


  1. Potential Gambling Addiction Risks
  2. Limited Non-Gaming Amenities
  3. Seasonal Crowds and Tourist Rush
  4. Limited Space and Capacity


  1. Casino Gaming
  2. Live Entertainment
  3. Premium Dining and Bars
  4. Spectacular Mountain Views

What Makes SkyCity Queenstown Casino Unique:

  1. Stunning Alpine Setting with Remarkable Views
  2. Outdoor Terrace for Gaming with a Scenic Backdrop
  3. Focus on Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Activities
  4. Integration with Queenstown’s Thriving Tourism Industry

As a new player, you get a welcome team, which helps to familiarize you with casino events and games, so you’ll never be left on one with a diversity of features.

You can also find Learn-to-play brochures, which contain information on the rules, requirements, dress code, and even a few important tips.

Don’t miss sponsored events, entertainment evenings, and tournaments.

6. Wharf Casino

SKYCITY Wharf Casino
SKYCITY Wharf Casino

Located on the same street as the Skycity Queenstown casino, this establishment offers 75 slot machines and table games such as American rouletteblackjack, and mini-baccarat.

Wharf Casino also boasts a spectacular lakeside view and is located in the Steamer Wharf complex.

This is one of the best casinos in New Zealand where whale watching is also a popular attraction.


  1. Unique Waterfront Location
  2. Intimate and Cozy Atmosphere
  3. Personalized Service
  4. Convenient Central Location


  1. Limited Gaming Options
  2. Smaller Size and Capacity
  3. Potential Noise and Crowds
  4. Limited Non-Gaming Amenities

Features of Wharf Casino

  1. Casino Gaming
  2. Waterfront Views
  3. Restaurant and Bar
  4. Private Gaming Rooms

What Makes Wharf Casino Unique

  1. Prime Location on the Waterfront
  2. Charming and Intimate Setting
  3. Focus on Personalized and Attentive Service
  4. Access to Other Attractions and Dining Options in the Vicinity

It is owned by Skycity bringing its total number of casinos to five.

Wherever you go in the country a land-based casino is never far.

Just remember that you must play responsibly and be over the age of 21.

Internet Gambling

Internet Gambling
Internet Gambling

Online casinos have already spread the access of mobile gaming and the ubiquity of betting in New Zealand due to their easy access and entry and the way that most casinos allow multiple games to be accessed.

These online casinos have existed since the introduction of land-based gambling in the 1990s and have transformed into a $20 billion industry worldwide today.

Nowadays, the player can play an assortment of classic casino games like baccarat, pokies, blackjack, poker, and roulette from their mobile setting up their locations all over the globe.  

The player can play pokies, wager on games, and bet on anything legitimate in New Zealand’s land-based casinos.

Startling Facts and Figures

Startling Facts and Figures
Startling Facts and Figures

As per estimation, New Zealanders spend more than 2 billion US dollars on gambling online casinos every year.

It shows the people’s passion, which has now become an important part of this country’s local culture.

Nowadays, most people are aware of how to install poker machines on their systems and play on their mobile.

The average New Zealander spends nearly 41 USD on gambling every week.

No wonder, New Zealand has a widely ramified network of bookmakers with hundreds of offices, taking bets on all sorts of events that include rugby and other sports also.

Earlier for some time, the development of gambling with poker machines in New Zealand was not regulated.

But in 2003, the Law on the gaming industry was finally embraced, and it limited the number of casinos to be opened and other types of institutions, taking bets.

But now it has become a part and parcel of the people of this country.

Our Verdict

In conclusion, the top six most popular casinos in New Zealand, including SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Hamilton, Christchurch Casino, Dunedin Casino, SkyCity Queenstown, and Wharf Casino, offer a variety of gaming options, entertainment, and unique features.

These casinos contribute to the country’s tourism industry and provide visitors with exciting experiences in different locations across New Zealand.


How expensive it is to visit a land-based casino?

This depends on what you decide to spend inside. There’s no entrance charge on any of our recommendations but you’ll need some money to buy chips if you want to play.

There are often on-site dining deals for gamblers, but otherwise, it’s a similar cost to the local area. We suggest setting yourself a limit to avoid landing yourself in any financial issue

How old should I be to play in a land-based casino and should I have ID?

New Zealand gambling laws state that you must be a minimum of 20 years old with a valid ID to enter and play in a land-based casino.

Will anybody be able to assist me with gaming queries?

The staff working at the casino and in the customer service team are there to answer any of your queries.

You can also seek help on games and they can guide you well if you need advice for any type of game.

Are there free games I can play?

You can’t play any games for free in a land-based casino, but of course, you can find and play free games at an online casino.

If you’re planning to try out a new game, hone your skills, or just have a play around without spending money, our top-rated sites offer the opportunity to do just that.

Will I need to adhere to a dress code?

Most casinos have a smart-casual dress code, so you don’t have to panic about going in a black tie.

You’ll not be allowed if you appear in ripped or dirty clothing or flip-flops, and usually, you’re not allowed in with hats. You can wear sunglasses only for the poker room.

What are the opening hours during Covid-19?

All casinos will update the most important info during Covid-19.

Click on the review and you can see opening hours during Covid-19 together with everything else important for you to know.

What form of identification is accepted at local casinos?

Most land-based casinos in New Zealand accept ID in the form of a passport, a driver’s license, a Hospitality Association (HANZ) card, or a government ID document, provided that these documents are updated.

How do I join a players club at a land-based casino?

This depends on the land-based casino itself. However, most casinos have a simple method requiring you to show a valid form of ID and then fill out an application form.

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About the author

Mamta Sharma

Mamta Sharma

Mamta Sharma is an influential figure in the realm of online gaming in New Zealand. With over eight years of expertise, she holds a prominent position as a content strategist at PokiesMobile NZ.

Mamta's journey, starting from the bustling streets of Mumbai to the serene landscapes of New Zealand, has given her a unique perspective on the world of online casinos.

Outside the virtual casino environment, Mamta is a also yoga practitioner and an advocate for holistic wellness.