Most Popular Casino Games

Most Popular Casino Games in New Zealand

7 min

Although seemingly isolated on the world map, this country is a great place to explore cultural customs that seem to infiltrate other domains with global impacts, like Rugby. At the same time, New Zealand is a country that encourages tourists and citizens alike to engage in casino-hopping and explore casino games.

Knowing this, it’s time to ask ourselves – what are Kiwis’ favorite casino games?



Slots, or “pokies,” are among the highest-grossing and most popular casino games worldwide. Therefore, finding out that both traditional and pokies online are immensely popular in land-based and online NZ casinos isn’t a surprise. However, let’s explore their numbers in more detail.

Using PGF Services to explore the Regional Pokie stats, we find out that New Zealand hosts 14,743 pokies nationwide. In a fun exercise, we decided to divide the number of the total population of the country, which is approximately 5.123 million, by the total number of slots in New Zealand.

Due to the great popularity of pokies, it should come as no surprise that free spins are among the most sought-after promotions, with bonuses featuring some of the most popular spinning titles like Starburst free spins and Mega Moolah free spins being highly popular in the gambling community.

Why did we do this? The purpose is to visualize quantities in a fresh light. The result tells us that there is 1 slot machine for every 347 people in New Zealand.

At the same time, we can see slots’ popularity through the number of money lost on pokies this year. According to Regional Pokie stats, the total number is $888,703,673, and it’s constantly growing. You can follow its progress with the source linked above.

Video Poker

Video Poker

Video Poker is an interesting casino gaming machine that may have accidentally renamed slots as “pokies.” At the beginning of the electronic casino games era, slot machines and video poker machines were placed close together. Thus the names might have fused into “pokies” due to comfortable speech.

For those who don’t know, Video Poker is similar to pokies online in that both use RNG (Random Number Generator) and are programmed with simple software.

However, when it comes to gameplay, the Video Poker games online are similar to table poker.

This game is so popular due to its easy-to-understand and easy-to-play interface. Inside the game’s mechanics, the RNG shuffles the card symbols until the player decides to start the game. Although Video Poker games online depend on luck, they also require skills. After all, the player can decide whether they keep the cards or discard them to get other chances.



We’re all familiar with Lotto, the chance game where players submit their participation as tickets with number selections that might propel your wallet into rich territories. Keno is just like that, but with four daily extractions offering prizes from $1 to $250,000.

For those who haven’t played this game before, playing Keno begins when you circle numbers on a ticket. The range of numbers on the ticket from which you can choose starts at 1 and goes up to 80.

Of course, you can’t pick them all; a limit is usually put in place to avoid a situation in which winning is guaranteed every time.Concerning its popularity, Keno has attracted a vast number of people due to its routine extractions and easiness of access. In fact, this article from NewsHub New Zealand informs us that Lotto agrees it has too many stores across the country, most of them in poorer areas.

Live Roulette

Live Roulette

Across the world, live gambling receives more and more positive reviews. It seems like live casinos are the next step in gambling and online gambling. The popularity of live games also stems from a suspicion of “rigged online games.” Although this suspicion is not valid, the tangibility of the equipment seems to increasingly attract players from all over the world.

In New Zealand, this situation is still actual, with Kiwi players agreeing that live Roulette makes a better experience than online Roulette.

Due to differences in gameplay, players of live Roulette should always gravitate toward French Roulette. If this game is still ambiguous to you, check our Roulette guide for beginners. Some advantages of this type of Roulette include the following:

  • “La Partage,” which returns half of your even money bet;
  • “En Prison” where your bet is stuck on zero, but you can receive the even money bet back if the ball lands on your pick.

Live Blackjack

Live Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world, second only to Poker. However, in New Zealand, the live version of Blackjack flows at the top of the ranking. Due to its big internet presence, recent years have seen big requests for Blackjack guides and tutorials online.

When people talk about live Blackjack, they sometimes describe it as the “more exciting version” since the other online option is an AI-controlled Blackjack game. The second version doesn’t stir as much excitement due to its purely mechanical nature.

Live Blackjack, alongside live Roulette and other popular casino games in this category, are becoming increasingly popular due to their imitation of land-based contexts.

Well, the most popular casino nodes in New Zealand are Dunedin, Christchurch, Auckland, Hamilton, and Queenstown. Anyone living outside those zones might replace land-based gambling with live casino games.

When did Casino Games Infiltrate New Zealand?

Gambling and primitive versions of casino games have always been a part of people’s lives. It seems that gambling doesn’t have a fixed origin, but it instead evolved in multiple places as part of the human psyche’s need for playing or controlling pure chance.

Since we don’t know the exact point in time when gambling crossed the oceans to reach New Zealand, we can base our commentary on recorded events. For example, in the 19th century, New Zealanders were already betting on card games or athletic competitions.

Furthermore, we know when the first casino in New Zealand opened its doors for curious players – it was 1994. This casino was named Christchurch Casino, and it is still functional to this day. Although in the beginning this casino didn’t bear as many casino games, it now offers more than 500 slot machines and more than 30 table games.

How Much Revenue do Casino Games Bring to New Zealand?

When did Casino Games Infiltrate New Zealand

As you may know, New Zealand’s gambling centers are one of the most popular in the world. The business of casinos is expanding each year in this country, so many tourists decide to secure a more extended stay to be able to experience famous venues like the SkyCity Auckland Casino.

But how much revenue do tourists and Kiwis bring to the gambling industry in New Zealand? According to research requested by SkyCity, 2020 saw a total of $332.6M in revenue only in the online casino sector.

According to the Department of Internal Affairs, the 2020-2021 fiscal year brought a total of NZ$2.62 billion in revenue for all gambling activities in New Zealand.

How Online Gambling Changed How we Wager

Ever since land-based casinos began gaining international acclaim, the overall gambling revenue has kept growing even in tough times. However, the true revolution in this sector came with the introduction of online casinos in 1994 by Microgaming.

From that moment on…

…the gambling companies started creating online counterparts for their land-based casinos, and other independent online casinos spawned at a high rate.

In 2021, the entire casino and online gambling sectors were worth a staggering $231 billion. In terms of employees, these sectors account for more than one million people that provide services in more than 5000 venues and online casinos.


Regional Pokie Stats

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

NewsHub New Zealand

Adina Minculescu
AuthorAdina MinculescuSenior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Adina’s analytical way of thinking is what casino players need to understand the casino market. With her expertise in this niche combined with her intensive studies in linguistic typology and hermeneutics, she will provide you with the essential help to make informed decisions. Trust her to be your trustworthy guide!