Land Based vs NZ Online Casinos | Where Should You Gamble?

Julie Bowring

Posted On:   SEP - 01 - 2019

Reading Time: 5 minutes

While technology has come a long way allowing us to play our favourite casino games on our mobile devices, for many land-based casinos still provide the ultimate gaming experience. The sights and sounds, the glitz and glamour that comes with a land-based casino can provide for a truly mesmerising playing experience. Not only do the casinos provide you with the usual selection of table games, poker and bingo but also have great bars and restaurants. Kiwis can enjoy Asian inspired cuisines to classic pubs all while trying to win the jackpot on their favourite slot games.

For those that are still unsure on what we refer to as land-based, a casino of that nature is located inside a physical building. This brick and mortar establishment is in a contract to an online casino that exists only in a virtual world. Now that we are clear on the definition, we can talk more about the history of the land-based casinos which began in the 1600s. The first casino was built in 1638 and was called the Italian Casino di Venezia. The first land-based casino to be legalised is the Wrest Point Hotel Casino established in 1973, Tasmania in Australia.

First Land Based Casino in New Zealand

It took quite some time for the first land-based casino to be opened in New Zealand. As early as the 1900s the gambling laws in New Zealand had made it illegal to gamble. The only form of gambling that was allowed was on horse racing and in 1951 the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) was established with the aim of modifying the existing gambling laws.

It took another 43 years after TAB was established for the first land-based casino to be opened in New Zealand. This was set up by the SkyCity Entertainment Group in Christchurch which later followed up with casinos in other cities called SkyCity Auckland, SkyCity Queenstown, SkyCity Hamilton, Dunedin Casino, and SkyCity Wharf Casino.

Do People Still Play at Land Based NZ Casinos?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, why would anyone want to leave the comfort of their home to play at a land-based casino? It is true that online casinos are a very convenient way of gambling and can provide nearly all the games and more that a land-based casino has to offer. However, they will never be able to replicate the true sensation of visiting a land-based casino. The ‘tangible’ nature of land-based casinos is what sets them apart from other platforms. Furthermore, they allow you to immerse yourself into the atmosphere allowing you to take part in conversations with fellow gamblers, dealers and also experience physical sensation of sitting at a blackjack table planning your next move.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between Land Based and NZ Online Casinos

There are however few things to consider when deciding whether to go for a land based or online experience when it comes to gambling.


By first the biggest drawback to a land-based casino is the physical address. You have no choice but to visit the casino which can prove to be a costly affair. You need to consider things beyond travelling as well such as accommodation and food and beverages. Add employee tips into this and you might be staring down a rather expensive holiday. Also being confined to a physical building means that the casino can only hold a certain number of games. This means that new games may not be added as frequently as they are at an online casino and are usually done at the expense of older games.

Interactive Gameplay

Evolution Gaming has certainly elevated online gaming to the next level by allowing you to interact with the dealer and the players. Once again it allows you to focus on your games as your are not distracted by the noise of a land based casino floor. If solitude is your thing then we advise you to stick to online casino nz. However if you are looking for a more interactive experience with a human touch then you need to head over to a bricks and mortar casino.

Speed of Gameplay

As online games are powered by a computer the gameplay session tends to be faster than what is experienced at a land based casino. The computer is unlikely to make errors and will not be deterred by what is happening around it when making its next move. A dealer at a land based casino might have to converse with players while shuffling the cards which can slow down the game. There are numerous factors which can affect the speed of gameplay which not be the case at an online casino. However, the connection when playing at an online casino needs to be at a respectable level otherwise player can face similar issues of drop off, lag that will affect their gameplay.

Welcome Bonuses

If you head over to our review section, you will see that every online casino will have its own version of a welcome bonus. Some might offer higher deposit bonuses while others will free spins with aim of getting you to open an account at their casino. With land based, the concept of bonuses is very different. They can provide you with free drinks, access to certain member only areas depending on how much you are spending at their casino.