Sports Betting in New Zealand: Popular Sports and Major Events

sports betting in new zealand
Sports Betting in New Zealand

Sports Betting in New Zealand operates within a regulated framework, signifying its legality while being subject to specific rules and licensing requirements.

This structured approach ensures a fair and accountable environment for participants.

The range of sports available for betting is extensive, encompassing major global tournaments such as the Cricket World Cup and the Rugby World Cup, as well as domestic leagues for popular sports like rugby, cricket, and football.

Racing events, both horse and harness racing, also form a significant part of the sports betting landscape.

What is Sports Betting in New Zealand?

A wide range of sports, including major international events like the Cricket World Cup or the Rugby World Cup, as well as domestic leagues for rugby, cricket, football, and more.

Racing events, both horse and harness racing. Some international events in other sports like basketball, tennis, and American football.

Two main types of operators:

  • TAB NZ: The state-owned operator, with physical shops and an online platform. They offer a broad range of betting options on various sports.
  • Licensed offshore operators: Several international online sportsbooks hold licenses to operate in New Zealand. These platforms often offer more betting options and competitive odds compared to TAB NZ.

Yes, sports betting is legal in New Zealand. It is a regulated activity, and there are specific rules and licenses in place to govern it.

The country offers a legal and structured environment for sports betting, allowing individuals to engage in betting activities on a wide range of sports, both domestic and international.

The primary operators in New Zealand are TAB NZ, a state-owned entity with physical shops and an online platform, and licensed offshore operators that provide additional options for sports betting enthusiasts.

  • The minimum age to bet is 20 years old.
  • Photo ID verification is required to register with any betting operator.
  • Self-exclusion options are available for individuals who want to take a break from gambling.
  • There are rules around advertising and marketing of sports betting.

In recent years, sports betting has become an integral part of New Zealand’s entertainment landscape, contributing significantly to the country’s economy.

With billions of dollars involved, it’s evident that sports betting is embraced by a large portion of the population.

Here, we delve into the statistical details of the most popular sports for betting in New Zealand.

1. Soccer:

  • Annual Betting Expenditure: Billions of dollars.
  • Leading Leagues: English Premier League, Italian Serie A, UEFA Champions League.
  • Betting Options: Goal predictions, halftime leaders, and match winners.

2. Tennis:

  • Weekly Betting Opportunities: Due to an extended season, almost every week features tennis matches.
  • Betting Advantage: No draws, straightforward bets.
  • Strategy: In-depth player analysis based on previous performances.

3. Horse Racing:

  • Rising Popularity: Especially in online betting.
  • Factors Influencing Bets: Weather conditions, track footing, and handler’s mood.
  • Research Emphasis: Previous horse race analyses for informed betting.

4. Basketball:

  • Worldwide Popularity: One of the fastest-growing sports globally.
  • Focused Leagues: Collegiate leagues in the US, and European basketball leagues.
  • Betting Approach: Predicting winning margins through careful research.

5. Rugby:

  • Massive Fan Base: Attracts thousands of fans in New Zealand.
  • Betting Tip: Draws are rare, making it crucial to rely on team progress.
  • Pre-Bet Research: Follow the team’s performance closely before placing bets.

6. Boxing:

  • Emerging Betting Sport: Gaining popularity steadily.
  • Winning Chances: High with research and consistency.
  • Caution: Tables can turn quickly; preparedness is key.

7. Cricket:

  • Fast Spread: Increasing popularity in sports betting.
  • Beginner-Friendly: Rules are straightforward for enhanced winning chances.
  • Research Advantage: Easy to study, boosting confidence in bets.

8. American Football:

  • Wide Participation: Thousands engage in American Football betting.
  • Premium Leagues: Generate millions in the country.
  • Diverse Betting Options: Multiple opportunities for strategic betting.

9. Golf:

  • Rising Star: A top-rising betting sport in recent years.
  • Player Base: Over seventy-eight players participate at any given time.
  • Event Duration: Significant golf events typically span three to four days.

Major Sporting Events in NZ

New Zealanders bleed black (and sometimes white!), and their passion for sports extends far beyond just watching.

The country hosts a packed calendar of major sporting events throughout the year, drawing in both local and international crowds.

Here’s a glimpse into some of the biggest showstoppers:


Rugby World Cup

Every four years, the nation erupts in a frenzy of haka-infused fervor as the Rugby World Cup rolls into town.

The 2011 edition, hosted by New Zealand, remains the country’s biggest sporting event ever, with electrifying matches and the All Blacks clinching their second championship title.

Super Rugby Aotearoa

This domestic powerhouse pits five New Zealand teams against each other in a grueling season of fierce competition.

With provincial rivalries and bragging rights on the line, every match is a nail-biter, drawing in passionate fans and bettors alike.


ICC Cricket World Cup

Another global spectacle, the Cricket World Cup sees the Black Caps battling it out against the best cricketing nations.

The 2015 edition, also hosted in New Zealand, saw the team reach the finals for the first time, solidifying cricket’s place in the hearts of Kiwis.

Plunket Shield and Ford Trophy

These domestic first-class and one-day cricket tournaments showcase the rising stars of New Zealand cricket, offering die-hard fans a chance to witness future Black Caps legends in the making.

Other Major Events

ANZ Championship (Netball)

This trans-Tasman netball competition features the best players from New Zealand and Australia, with fast-paced action, skillful plays, and plenty of on-court drama.

The Silver Ferns, New Zealand’s netball team, are a national treasure, consistently vying for the championship title.

New Zealand Golf Open

This prestigious tournament attracts international golfing superstars to compete on some of New Zealand’s most stunning courses.

With breathtaking scenery and world-class competition, it’s a must-watch for golf enthusiasts.

Coast to Coast

This legendary multisport race is a grueling test of endurance, spanning 243 kilometers from Kumara on the West Coast to Sumner on the East Coast.

Athletes compete in running, cycling, kayaking, and mountain biking, pushing their limits through diverse and challenging terrain.

2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Keep an eye out for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia!

This will be the first time the Women’s World Cup is held in Oceania, promising an exciting tournament with global attention.

Remember, this is just a taste of the major sporting events that New Zealand has to offer. With its diverse landscape and passionate sporting culture, the country is a haven for athletes and spectators alike.

So, grab your jandals, pack your enthusiasm, and get ready to experience the electrifying world of New Zealand sports!

Top Sports Betting Sites in NZ

Winstonbet Casino

Games and software - Winston Bet Sports Betting
Games and software – Winston Bet Sports Betting

Established: 2018

Description: Emerging as a dynamic player, Winstonbet impresses with innovation, competitive odds, and a mobile-first approach, making it a promising choice for online sports betting.

Read Review – Winstonbet New Zealand



Established: 2000

Overview: With an ocean of sporting choices, Bet365 stands as a global giant, offering extensive coverage, real-time updates, and a plethora of betting options, ensuring a thrilling experience for sports enthusiasts.

Major Sports: Football, Tennis, Cricket, Basketball, American Football, Baseball, Hockey, and more.



Established: 2000

Description: Hailing from Sweden, Betsson is a seasoned player offering a comprehensive sportsbook, advanced features like “Cash Out” and “Multi Bet,” and a statistics center to empower informed betting decisions.

Sports Coverage: Football, Cricket, Basketball, American Football, Darts, Snooker, Esports, and more.



Global Operation: Since 1997

Description: Operating globally since 1997, Bwin is a live betting expert with an in-play platform, covering a wide range of sports disciplines, providing a dynamic and interactive betting experience.

Popular Sports: Football, Tennis, Cricket, Basketball, American Football, Baseball, Hockey, etc.

SkyCity Online Casino

Live Casino Adventure on SkyCity Online Casino App
Live Casino Adventure on SkyCity Online Casino App

Established – 2019

Description: SkyCity Online Casino offers competitive odds for the FIFA World Cup, coupled with enticing bonuses and promotions, making it a noteworthy destination for football enthusiasts seeking a rewarding betting experience.

Betting Focus: Special emphasis on the FIFA World Cup with various betting options, along with bonuses and promotions, including a free bet of up to $50 for new customers.

Betting Odds and Markets

Betting is a world of calculated risks and potential rewards, where understanding odds and markets is key to navigating the landscape.

This guide delves into these essential concepts, empowering you to make informed decisions when placing bets.

Understanding Odds

Odds offer a quantified representation of the probability of an event occurring, expressed in various formats:

  • Fractional odds (e.g., 7/2) represent the ratio of your profit to your stake (7:2), implying a 70% win probability.
  • Decimal odds (e.g., 3.50) indicate the total payout (including stake) for every unit wagered (3.50x stake).
  • American odds (+140 or -250) designate the profit (+$140) for every $100 wagered on an underdog or the amount required to win $100 on a favorite (-$250).

Bet Markets

Bet markets offer a range of options for where to place your money.

Some popular markets include:

  • Match/Event Outcome: Predict the winner, loser, or draw in a sporting event.
  • Handicap Betting: Level the playing field by giving one side a virtual advantage or disadvantage.
  • Futures Betting: Wager on long-term outcomes, like league winners or tournament champions.
  • Over/Under Betting: Predict whether a specific statistic, like goals scored, will be above or below a certain threshold.
  • Prop Bets: Wager on specific occurrences within an event, like who will score the first goal.

Common Bet Types and Implications

  • Single Bet: Wager on one outcome within a single market. Simple and straightforward, but has less potential payout compared to other bet types.
  • Accumulator Bet: Combine multiple single bets from different markets in one bet. Higher potential payout, but all selections must win for you to win the entire bet.
  • Each-Way Bet: You win if your selection wins or finishes in a predetermined position (e.g., top 3). Offers a safety net, but lower payouts than straight-win bets.


Understanding odds and bet types is crucial to managing your bankroll and maximizing your winning potential.

  • Favoritism vs. Underdog: Favourites have lower odds because they are deemed more likely to win, offering smaller payouts. Underdogs have higher odds but are riskier bets.
  • Implied Probability: Odds reflect the bookmaker’s assessment of an event’s likelihood. Analyzing them critically can help identify potential value bets.
  • Risk vs. Reward: Consider the risk-reward balance of different bet types and markets before placing your wager. High-potential payouts often come with higher risk.


New Zealand’s regulated sports betting scene offers a legal, diverse, and exciting platform for enthusiasts.

With a range of sports, two main operators, and legal requirements in place, Kiwis enjoy a thrilling betting landscape.

The statistical insights into popular sports highlight the nation’s passion, while major events add to the excitement.

Top betting sites like Winstonbet, Bet365, Betsson, Bwin, and SkyCity Online Casino provide varied experiences.

Understanding odds, markets, and bet types is key for strategic wagering. As you explore NZ sports betting, may your bets be savvy and your experiences exhilarating.


Where can I find the best betting sites in New Zealand?

Look no further! At Pokiesmobile, we’ve curated a list of the top online betting sites for New Zealand. Our current favorites are Winstonbet, bet365, and LeoVegas for their outstanding services.

Are online gambling sites legal in New Zealand?

Absolutely. Online betting and gambling sites licensed outside of New Zealand are fully legal and open to Kiwi players. Rest assured, all the sites we recommend are legal, safe, and cater to New Zealanders.

How do I place a bet online?

Placing a bet online is a straightforward process.
1. After choosing your preferred sportsbook, create an account, and make a deposit, usually through the ‘My Account’ section.
2. Navigate to your chosen sport and market, enter your stake, and add the bet to your ‘bet slip.’
3. Confirm, that you’ve successfully placed your bet!

What does a ‘handicap’ mean in betting?

In betting, a ‘handicap’ involves a bookmaker giving one team a virtual advantage or disadvantage.
This is often done by adding points to the underdog’s side to level the playing field.
Handicap betting is popular in points-based sports like football, rugby, and basketball.

What is 3-way betting?

3-way betting involves placing a bet with three possible outcomes, commonly seen in sports like football.
The three outcomes are: 1. Win the match, 2. Lose the match, and 3. Draw (equal points).
3-way bets often offer higher odds compared to 2-way bets alone.

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About the author

Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika, a spirited and youthful author from Auckland, offers a unique viewpoint on the contemporary digital world. Merging her enthusiasm for narrative crafting with a keen interest in advanced technology, she creates engaging and informative content that both enthralls and educates her audience.