5 things to know before playing at real money online casinos

While the gambling has been part of the culture in New Zealand since the European Colonists first arrived, online gambling is a relatively new endeavour. If we go by the letters of the law, online gambling is not exactly legal in New Zealand, but we will not deny that it is one of the country’s most progressive industries.

Despite the restriction on online gambling in New Zealand, the industry took a more lucrative turn in 2020. Some people will attribute the industry growth to the lockdown and limited access to other gambling and entertainment facilities, but gambling in New Zealand reached new records in 2020. Customers all over the country have been exploring their skills and wagering at real money online casinos since the height of the lockdown, and they are still making gains today.

Like all gambling decisions, online gambling in New Zealand comes with risky stakes. But the odds could tilt in your favour if you had some helpful tips like the most honest online casinos to join and how to select the most rewarding games. Here’s an extensive list of the five most essential things to keep in mind as you explore the world of real money online casinos.

Term and Conditions Apply

They are so long that you often ignore them. If you are like most internet or mobile app users, you barely read past the first few lines of the terms and conditions before you skip to the end and click agree. Well, with online casinos, you might need to pay more attention to those tiny prints.

Terms and Conditions are more relevant in real money online casinos than several other activities because they control how you can access your gambling credits and whether you can make gains from your games.

The terms in online casinos cover areas like wagering requirements, deposit and withdrawal limits, and even the kind of games you can play from your location. These conditions affect how soon and if ever you can withdraw your online casino welcome bonus and other incentives the casino may offer. They also cover basic Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, with details on what the casinos would do with your data and even allow you to choose what information they can share.

Since these terms and conditions are part of an ongoing relationship between the casino and the customer, they are considered contracts. They are binding enough for the parties to sue one another in the event of a breach or misappropriation of the terms.

RTP – How Much Can You Win at Any Game?

Understanding how the RTP works is often the easiest way to determine how high a player can win at a casino game; it is the universal standard of how rewarding specific casino games can become.

The Return To Player (RTP) percentage is the ratio of betting stakes that the casino pays its customers on each game. It is a predetermined percentage of how much the casino will pay back to the punter if they win the game they have played. The RTP does not determine how often the player can win at specific games, but it guides how much of their wager will come back to them if they win. For example, if a player stakes NZ$50 on an online slot game with an RTP of 97.5%, they are most likely to win 97.5% of the $50 they staked – NZ$48.75.

While RTPs change with the games, the casino does not have any control over them. The game software developer often sets the RTP, making them consistent across all casinos that offer the same online games. This reduces the chances of the casino influencing or rigging the RTP. Organizations like eCOGRA also maintain customer assurance by rating the transparency and even providing regulatory standards for the casinos.

Withdrawal and Deposits matter

Payment method is often one of the first standards most players check when signing up for real money online casinos. Since they are largely financial, these payment methods can be viable assessments of the casino’s credibility, speed, or ease of payment.

However, like the RTP, the casino has very little control over the payment method. They are often a transaction between the customers and their financial institution. These institutions determine the speed and processing fee attached to each payment. Punters looking for the fastest payouts go for payment options like e-wallets, because they offer same-day withdrawals, while cheques and debit or credit cards may take two or more days.

Licenses and Security

Gambling in New Zealand comes with some security risks. Since the 2003 Gambling Act does not permit online gambling or even granting licenses to online casino providers, punters within the Islands have to place their bets with offshores online casinos.

While this practice offers as much entertainment and benefits as regulated online casinos would have provided, it still comes with more risk than most players can bear. Some of these casinos run from unidentified locations or places with lax regulatory structures. This increases the chances of the casino provider choosing to close shop and stop offering services that their customers have paid to enjoy. The absence of a regulatory structure means players cannot seek redress for their losses.

Despite the absence of a regulatory structure for online gambling in New Zealand, punters place their bets with credible offshore online casinos. Several renowned international casinos have a well-established presence in New Zealand. They are subject to international regulatory standards like the International Association of Gambling Regulators, the UK Gambling Commission, and the Malta Gambling Authority.

These institutions regulate online casinos in several countries across Europe, Australia and even New Zealand by providing strict regulatory standards like Secure Socket Layer Encryption for user data and stipulating best practices for managing financial interactions. Your choice of safe online casino in New Zealand will have to follow these international regulations.

Playing for Real Money at Trusted Online Casinos Only

Like every other good thing, online casinos have their bad eggs. The industry now has some unsavoury characters that pass off fake websites as real online casinos to scam unsuspecting customers.

The proficiency of these scammers makes it hard to tell a real casino from a sham because they set up similar structures starting from the registration portal to the payment and even the game lobby. These structures only present fronts to make them look credible, but they are mostly sites for illegally mining personal data or even duping punters.

Since it is almost impossible to tell these sham casinos apart from the real deal, our best bet is sticking with recognized and trusted online casinos. Playing games with casinos with verified identities and running on credible licenses is the best way to avoid falling prey to these scams.


Online casinos are exciting ways to explore your luck and make some money from placing odds. However, making this money comes with risks that you can manage by getting familiar with the list above. Your choice of a real money online casino should be one with a valid license, well-stated terms and conditions, and one that meets your expectation in reward and payment time.