Pokies Gambling History in New Zealand

history of pokies-Pokies History in New Zealand
history of pokies in New Zealand

Today, many players might be curious about knowing the origins of the most ubiquitous games in New Zealand, considering the complexities of gambling on the Green Continent.

Pokies are, in fact, slot machines for the rest of the world, which is known as pokies in New Zealand. This game is quite popular online in New Zealand nowadays.

Let’s look closer at how it originated and developed into the most popular and engaging game in the pokies history in New Zealand.

When were pokies introduced in NZ?

First Electronic Gaming Machines
First Electronic Gaming Machines

It all started in 1991 when it wasn’t called pokies. After gambling became popular all over New Zealand and the electronic gaming machines were called ‘pokie machines’, these machines were considered lawful for clubs, sanctioned casinos, hotels, and Returned Services Associations in 1988.

At this time, pokies could not gain as much traction as today’s.

It was only in 1989 that the parliament legalized gambling clubs throughout the nation. By 2003, the primary gambling machines had been officially featured in the largest NZ land-based casinos at Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, and Hamilton, including two in Queenstown local casinos.

It made these games straightforward to play for everyone! In the 1990s, the gambling operators wanted to install the machines in Wellington, the capital city, but in 2001, the government declared that it could not gamble in the main city of New Zealand.

All seven functional major casinos were closed due to the fear of gambling addiction among people.

Modern casino poker machines

Modern Casino Pokies

The introduction of Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) in the late 20th century marked a significant turning point in the New Zealand pokies landscape.

EGMs, also known as video slots, brought a new level of convenience and accessibility to the gaming experience.

As the law governs the land-based casino industry, all poker machines are controlled or sponsored by state bodies like charity funds and are usually installed in hotels and New Zealand pubs.

People liked all these games due to their large payouts and exciting plays. The large jackpot payout was regulated and taxed similarly to the national lotteries.

A new Gambling Act adopted last September will govern more than 22 thousand slot machines and more than two thousand people.

In this regard, all data will be sent to a central monitor, reporting on how much money has been put into a particular machine, how many wins it offered, what percentage of income was generated from it, etc.

The unique structure of the pokies industry in New Zealand

In New Zealand, the pokies industry operates under a distinctive structure, with corporate societies owning and managing the machines.

These societies lease their machines to pubs and clubs and then host them on their premises. A percentage of the profits the pokies generate is returned to the community through charitable organizations and sponsorships.

This system ensures that the gambling industry contributes to local communities and supports various causes, such as education, sports, and healthcare initiatives.

The Department of Internal Affairs closely regulates this arrangement to guarantee transparency and fairness in the distribution of funds, promoting a more responsible and community-oriented approach to gambling in New Zealand.

The emergence of online pokies

Online pokies in New Zealand

The growth of online pokies can be attributed to increased internet accessibility, convenience, and a wider variety of games. Online pokies attract players with engaging themes, graphics, and unique features that enhance the gaming experience.

Online pokies have been around longer than you can even imagine. The people of New Zealand are very adventurous and are fond of online pokies.

Microgaming delivered the first slot in NZ for online pokies gaming, which started delivering pokies online in 1994. This is the pokies history in New Zealand.

You can discover the first pokies, i.e. Fruit Fiesta and Cash Splash, which were delivered at that time, even now online.

Since then, several new pokies have arrived and have gained popularity towards the end of the 90s. People knew the pokies delivered by Playtech and Cryptologic software providers.

The most popular type of online poker machine has one winning, payline and only three reels. Gradually, with time, the product companies started creating energizing pokies that included winning paylines and reels with exceptional images, like Wilds, Scatters, Bonus Symbols, etc.

It all transformed into Expanding Wilds, Sticky Wilds, Locked Wilds, and Shifting Wilds, apart from a few different varieties. These are part of Pokies’ History in New Zealand.

Microgaming and Playtech Rule the Roost

Microgaming and Playtech Rule the Roost

An act adopted in 2003 prohibits national online gambling or gambling on websites operated by home developers.

his has terminated some percentage of the online pokies produced years before. As they could not stand the test of time and you cannot find them online anywhere, the two organizations, Microgaming and Playtech, have developed almost 400 pokies alone, which you can see in most of the latest, distinctive, and wholly authorized online casinos.

How Legal is Gambling in New Zealand?

So far as online casinos are concerned, they should be authorized by the Gambling Act 2003. The best way to play in New Zealand officially is the national lottery website, which has no competitors but cannot offer other online gambling.

You can play only legal games and the online equivalent of the top land-based casinos. This is the pokies history in New Zealand.

Today’s Internet era has introduced online gambling in New Zealand for the players of Kiwi land, and it is authorized and controlled by the Department of the Interior Affairs.

Every game that includes playing for money is monitored in the country, and the winning amount is returned to the community fund treasury.

Still, players can play on those legal gambling websites that are operated from abroad and are out of the NZ gambling laws restrictions and legal jurisdiction of the state. So, be a real pokies punter and find out the casino of your choice to give it a shot.

Several factors, including technological advancements, legislative changes, and an increased focus on responsible gambling, will likely shape the future of poker machines in New Zealand.

Innovations such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence may revolutionize the gaming experience, while blockchain technology could enhance security and anonymity in transactions.

Potential regulatory adjustments could limit pokies availability or redistribute profits to benefit communities.

Furthermore, the growing emphasis on responsible gambling and harm minimization measures may lead to the development of more support services and resources to help individuals struggling with gambling-related issues.

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.