Playing on a Real Money Casino for Free vs Playing for Real Money

Real money casinos have seen unprecedented growth in the last few years. This can be attributed to the overall advancements made in technology; be it computer hardware or internet connectivity.

Some players are still wary of depositing their own money into these casino sites and would rather try out online casino games for free instead.

Thankfully, most of the reputable casinos allow the user to try out online casino games for free. This means that the user is not required to deposit any of their own money to enjoy their range of games.

The online casino gives them what can be defined as fake money or credits to try out their online casino games. The experience is identical to playing with real money with the major differences being that the player balance remains intact and that the player is unable to win or lose by playing casino games for free.

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Is It Legal to Play at Real Money Casinos in New Zealand?

There is no single law that governs the gambling world and as a result it can be tricky to keep up with the changes in regulations being made in each and every country. The year 2019 has seen Sweden enter the world of gambling regulation following the footsteps of countries such as United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium.

For those wanting to play at real money casinos in New Zealand, the answer, however, is straight forward. New Zealand treats gambling as recreational exercise deeming it to be 100% legal.

The Gambling Act 2003 replaces the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977 and the Casino Control Act 1990. The law has been amended twice (2005 and 2015) but the main statutes are still in place. While the act was initially created to be applicable to land-based casinos it has been amended to include several different betting options.

At present, the law governs not only land based but also remote betting activity as well which covers ‘online casinos’, ‘online poker’, ‘online bingo’, ‘online lotteries’ and ‘all forms of mobile betting’.

As per the law, the players are free to play at online casinos whose servers are not located in New Zealand however these off-shore companies are not allowed to advertise their services within New Zealand.

To put it plainly, Kiwis are free to engage with online casinos but must be careful in selecting the operators. It is advisable to always go for brands with good reputation and those that can be trusted.

The reason why this is important is because Kiwis are not able to file any complaints against these off-shore online gambling operators in any of the New Zealand courts. So, in case of any wrongdoing on the part of the operator, it is still the customer who has to bear the full brunt of the loss.

The good news is that if you do end up winning, then the winnings are completely exempt from taxation, as gambling is considered a hobby according to the law.

The only exception to this rule is that if the casino game falls under what would be considered, according to standard accounting practices, as income.

One can argue that winnings from online poker which involves knowledge of the game and use of strategy versus online slots must be declared as taxable income.

How to Play in Online Casinos for Real Money

Here are the factors to consider before playing at an online casino.


Hardware / Software

Before even thinking about signing up to a real money casino, players need to make sure that their hardware / software and internet connection is up to scratch. While the good online casinos have optimised sites allowing for a seamless playing experience, it is always good to ensure that the internet connection can handle the casino platform.


What Casino Games to play

Deciding on which casino game to play on should be the next consideration; whether it involves spinning reels or the wheel or going up against the dealer.



It is always advisable that you play at a casino that offers information in a language you are comfortable and familiar with. This means, there is less chance of getting caught out by terms and conditions that you cannot understand. Most online casinos provide content in a variety of languages, so this makes the choices somewhat easier.



Bonuses are used by online casinos to incentivise new players as much as to retain their existing customer base. Most of the online casinos will shower the new player with bonus offers that seem highly attractive but as always, due diligence needs to be done on the terms and conditions associated with these bonuses. Apart from the welcome bonuses, real money casinos also offer VIP bonuses, tournament bonuses. However, if any of this is not clear, always ask the support service for clarification.


Support Staff

It is good practice to gauge the quality of a real money casino by talking to their customer support staff. The aim of the staff should be to help you and put you at ease by providing information in a timely and professional manner.


Free or Real Money

Another common tactic used by online casinos is to let their players try out the real money games for free. This allows their customers the chance to enjoy the casino games first without depositing real money, so without the worry of losing anything. Online casinos do this to give their players a chance to become familiar with their product, which in turn gives the customer the confidence to play with real funds.



Be fully aware of how the casino pays out its winnings. Things to look out for include how long it will take the casino to pay the player, the withdrawal methods available and charges / fees associated with it.

Best Real Money Casinos in New Zealand

Kiwis are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the best real money casinos and the team at can recommend the following

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Omnia Casino

A new comer to the world of online gambling, Omnia Casino has made quite a splash with its vibrant colours (salmon red and parrot green!) and funky design. However, beneath the flashy exterior lies a robust casino powered by iGaming Cloud software.

This means that users can enjoy games from a variety of software providers including Netent , Microgaming to name but a few. Couple this with a good support team and decent welcome offer (100 Spins on Book of Dead) and Omnia Casino becomes an easy pick under the best real money casino category.



Next up we have a heavy hitter in the world of real money casino, Jackpot City. A veteran in the casino world that provides a seamless interface with customer service that can help regardless of the query. They are also quite generous with their welcome offer, providing a whopping $1600 bonus.

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Royal Vegas

Next up on the list is Royal Vegas with its $1200 welcome bonus combined with one of the highest pay-out rates and bulletproof reliability. It is fairly easy to create an account and once done you can be off to enjoying their large selection of games in no time.

Enjoying a bit of healthy competition for the 4th spot are two real money casinos, Platinum Play and Spin Casino. Spin Casino provides a NZ $1000 welcome offer, whereas Platinum Play offers the same and adds a further 50 Free Spins to the equation. Both are excellent in terms of reliability, customer service and game selection.

The best bit about the real money casinos mentioned above is that they all accept NZD, i.e. players can see, deposit and withdraw in NZD, play in the currency, and see their transaction history in New Zealand dollars!.

Also, the real money casinos mentioned above are certified by eCogra and have the appropriate licenses of the country where the casino’s operations are based. This means you can expect a safe and secure playing experience at these casinos knowing that the gameplay will be fair.

A good practice is to always scroll to the bottom of any real money casinos and make sure that they have the proper accreditation in place before making a deposit. A lack of these details should act as a red flag and taken as an indication that the casino is not to be trusted.

The Emergence of New Zealand Real Money Casinos

Kiwis are no strangers to gambling. The first recorded incidents come from as early as the 1830s. George Julius, a New Zealand resident invented the automatic totalisator, which later came to be known as the Tote board, a machine that was used to show how the horses were positioned during a race.

Having endured prohibition on almost all fronts of gambling over the years in New Zealand, it has now finally become widely accepted. National gambling expenditures have been reported at a staggering sum of NZ $ 2 billion per year. Sports betting has been overtaken by online pokies real money which account for 35%. This is followed by casinos at 26%, and lottos at 21%.

Furthermore, all public gaming companies are required to donate a portion of their profits; these donations are to be used for the betterment of the community. At the time of writing this, a total of six land-based casinos made up the casino landscape of the country.

The selection opens up quite a bit once you go online, with the New Zealanders laws allowing residents to play at casinos online IF they are not actually based in New Zealand.

Playing at the Best Online Casinos for Real Money

The first most glaring difference between online and land based casinos is the fact that you do not have to leave the comfort of your home to play on these real money casino sites. All that is required is good internet connection and a good computer to replicate the experience of a land-based casino floor.

Most players also prefer the lack of distraction that is associated with land-based casinos. With online casinos, you are left alone to think about casino game strategies and not be distracted by anything else.

Then there is the abundance of online casinos on the World Wide Web. With just one click you can view hundreds of online casinos, all of them offering their own version of what an online gambling experience should look like.

You can take your time choosing from the different colour scheme, graphics, and game choices that are available; and even the promotions and bonuses on offer. All in all to say the player is spoilt for choice when it comes to online casinos would be an understatement.