Online Pokies in New Zealand: An Action-Packed Pastime for Kiwis

Where did it all Begin?

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A 2015 study established that 75% of the New Zealand adult population had engaged in gambling activity one way or another in the previous year. But then, how did we get here? Well, New Zealand mainly had gaming machines as early as the 1980s, even though they weren’t licensed officially. It was only until 1988 that the first gaming license issued. The key regulator of this industry is the Department of Internal Affairs.

Pokies, as slot machines are fondly known here, are predominantly found in hotels and bars. Notably, charitable organizations use them as a source of funding noble causes for the community. Several reports like the 2012 Auckland city report on gambling emphasized on the significant contribution of pokies to charitable organizations.

It is documented that between 1991 to 1992 the number of slot machines doubled; however, the number was at an all-time high in 2002 (25,221). As of June 2018, the number of pokies has considerably gone down being registered at 15,420. This decline of the physical land-based slot machine is attributed to two factors; the Gambling Act 2003 legislation and the digital age.

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  • For the most part, the transition from the 1978 fortune coin built by Kearny Messa to online pokies was fast-tracked by the growth of the personal computer and internet age. Moreover, the development of Microgaming software used in safe online transactions since 1994 also contributed significantly to this shift. Additionally, privacy accorded through digital encryption boosted gambling online and made it more convenient than going to a casino.

    Well, now that you understand how it all started, here’s a look at how you can pick an excellent casino platform to enjoy slot machine games;

    How to Pick a Good Slot Machine Casino in New Zealand

    There are plenty of factors that Kiwis must consider before deciding to play in a given slot machine casino site. Some of the most significant factors include:

    Registration & Licensing

    Above anything else, before signing up to play at any slot machine website in New Zealand, you must make sure that it is fully registered and licensed by well-known bodies. Watch out for bodies such as the UKGC, MGA, AGCC and Curacao eGaming.

    Choose Pokies Casinos with the Highest Payout Rates

    For many of us, the logic behind gambling is to get the most significant payout, other than just having fun. When selecting a slot machine casino, it is essential to go for a gaming site which casino offers the most significant payout overall RTP. As a rule of thumb, more established casinos are more inclined to provide pokies with a bigger pay-out compared to less established ones.

    Pick a Casino with Both High and Low Volatility of Pokies

    Volatility refers to the risks involved versus the reward considering the amount of time you are at the slot machines. In general, slot machines are classified as either high or low volatility. Highly volatile pokies offer massive rewards, but the frequency of getting high winnings is small as compared to their counterparts who offer fewer pay-outs but at a higher rate. Most casinos prefer highly volatile pokies since they favor the house due to their less frequent payout. And thus, it’s best to play on a platform that offers both low and high volatility slot machines to give you a variety of choice depending on your taste

    Software Providers Powering the Casino

    In case you didn’t know, casinos powered by reputable software providers such as Microgaming, Net Entertainment, RTG and Betsoft will always have better slot machine titles. That’s because these software providers work effortlessly to craft immersive titles using the latest technology to keep players glued to their screens.

    Consider the Variety of Games in the Lobby

    Slot machine games come in many different varieties. You will find classic 3-reel titles, video slots, progressives, and 3D titles created by different software developers. The finest casino is one which will give you a chance to enjoy a little bit of everything. That way, it becomes quite difficult to get bored once you log in to the lobby.

    Are Online Pokies Fair?

    In New Zealand and many other parts of the world, there is a common perception that online pokies aren’t fair. Physical pokies that allow deposit of coins and instant results seem more realistic and practical compared to their online counterparts. Since online gambling software is used to run the entire system, there is always second guessing of either the software itself or the house being considered fraudulently acquiring money from its customers.

    While most online casinos may be honest, that doesn’t discount the fact that there are also scan online sites that fleece the unknowing public. So, what’s the difference between the fair and the biased online slot? Two things, RNG and the fairness of the RNG itself.

    What is RTP? How Does it Influence the Chances of Players Winning?

    Return to player or RTP is also termed in other places as payout ratio or expected return. It often indicates in lay man’s terms the likelihood of winning an amount to be paid back. As the name suggests, it is merely the rate of total money earned per total money staked.

    However, this statistical term approaches a payout from a long-term point of view. So, before we proceed, you should know that the RTP of any game doesn’t guarantee you any given outcome with every round of play.

    Online pokies, in general, are reputed to have a payout ratio of between 92 to 99 percent. A higher percentage indicates a higher likelihood of a high payout or a win. A higher rate than 100% shows that the casino will lose, while a 100% RTP translates to a draw between the house and the player-both having an equal chance of winning or retaining the payout (In case of the latter).

    And so, the RTP has to be less than 100% since, after all, online casinos are a business that needs to make profits. On the flip side, the difference between 100% and the RTP of a specific slot game indicates the percentage of the house edge. So, a 97% RTP means that the house edge lies at 3%.

    Bear in mind that particular rules of the game, payout tables and symbols on virtual wheels influence the RTP. Thus, if you want to have more winning chances, it is essential that you pick a slot machine that has a higher RTP since it increases your likelihood of winning. For the most part, we recommend that a good slot machine should have a minimum of RTP of 90%.

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    The Rise of Mobile Pokies in NZ

    The evolution of pokies from the land-based casinos to online platforms was just a stepping stone to finally spinning the reels on mobile. Given the increased mobile phone usage world over, and a booming applications market, the only logical move for online gaming was to go mobile. Online casinos, therefore, invested in the development of mobile-friendly sites and native mobile applications to further attract more gamers.

    Betting via Desktops vs. Playing on Mobile

    Mobile platforms are usually convenient and easy to access depending on your data plan or access to Wi-Fi. The portability of mobile devices offers an added advantage of betting on the go. Their desktop counterparts, on the other hand, have the demerit of not being readily portable.

    The features of desktop gambling sites may be of a slightly higher quality and less compressed as in the case of mobile. However, anything from the login credentials to betting procedures and even the slot games variety are generally similar.

    The slot games are even synced in real time such that players can switch from desktop to mobile effortlessly without losing your data or progress. And by the way, specific mobile sites opt to remove some clutter features like pop-ups or even minimize wordings to allow for easier loading of pages.

    Top 3 Casinos Where Kiwis Can Enjoy Slot Machine Games

    1. All Slots Casino

    Offers over 500 casinos games and is readily downloadable using viper software to your desktop and there is also a mobile platform option of accessing these games. With up to $1,500 in a three-tier welcome package, you have loads of opportunities to earn some solid payouts.

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    2. Royal Vegas Casino

    This casino has over 700 online games mainly composed of slot machines and a signing in welcome bonus of up to $1,200. On the first deposit, the player is awarded $100 match bonus up to your fourth deposit. In addition to this bonus incentive, this company offers weekly promotion exclusively for their loyal clients.

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    3. Jackpot City Casino

    The purple-themed online pokies casino offers over 300 games with slot machines being the biggest chunk. In addition to this, a hefty welcome package of $1600 for new clients is readily available. The site boasts secure gaming 24/7 free software with the games readily available through downloads for desktop or browser format for your phone.

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    Some of the most common questions about online slot machine gaming in New Zealand are;

    New Zealand doesn’t tax winnings from slot machines

    Debit and credit cards are readily available to make payments as well as e-wallets like PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill. Pre-paid vouchers like PaysafeCard are also accepted in many Kiwi casinos with even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Litecoin coming up as payment options.

    Of course, given that the primary currency in New Zealand is NZD, many Kiwi casinos use New Zealand dollars as a standard. However certain casinos prefer USD, Euro or the Sterling Pound and in such cases, you may have to part with currency conversion fees.

    Betting and gaming sites have a strict privacy policy and do not share client information. They also employ encryption and firewalls to prevent malicious third parties from accessing information.

    No, but only as long as you play in legit casinos and gambling companies. They are often subject to audits, review, security checks from global bodies like GLI and eCOGRA that ensure consumer protection.

    Yes, there are several promotions ran by different Kiwi sites to draw and retain customers. However, these promotions are often subject to terms and conditions and exclusive reserve rights to the company on how they conduct them. So, as lucrative as many of them appear, you must take some time to read the fine print.

    Gambling is a preserved to adults in the eyes of the government; it means that any person below the age of consent 18 years old is not legally accepted to bet.