Frequently Asked Gambling Questions

Although many people enjoy gambling as an exciting way to spend leisure time with friends, most gamblers are in it for the money, and some do win handsome amounts. However, there is no guarantee that you will win – gambling online as well as offline remain games of chance. The outcomes of online games depend on the random number generators (RNGs) used by online casinos to run their games. The key word is ‘random’: there is no way that one can predict with any certainty that you are likely to win. ‘Clever’ betting strategies may give you a slightly better chance at winning for some games, but there are no certainties in gambling. Don’t gamble with real cash that you cannot afford to lose.

Are there times I can’t play?

You can play at an online casino any time, day or night. In fact, this is one of the advantages of playing at an online gambling site – you can keep playing round the clock.

Which online casino bonus is best for me?

There is no single answer that will work for everybody. It will depend on how often you are likely to play and how much of your own money you are prepared to deposit, since some bonuses require that you also deposit cash before you can take your winnings. Most online casinos offer handsome sign-up bonuses, but you should carefully read the terms and conditions for any bonus you might be prepared to consider.

How do I unlock my casino bonus?

There is no single rule for doing this, since every bonus offered by an online gambling site will have some conditions attached to it (find out more in our guide). Unlocking your bonuses will depend on those conditions, and will most often depend among others on the online casino’s play-through conditions. These conditions differ, but often you will have to ‘play through’ a minimum amount of games or deposit a minimum amount of your own money before you can withdraw your winnings in real cash. If and when you qualify to withdraw money, you will have to go to the casino’s cashier, choose your payment option and follow the relevant instructions.

Are there fees for deposits or withdrawals?

Most of the time, fees for deposits or withdrawals will not depend on the online casino, but on the institution that provides the payment option you choose. However, some casinos do charge a small fee if you use certain payment methods. Carefully read the payment terms and conditions of the particular casino, and of the payment options that you may want to use. If necessary, visit the website of the relevant service provider. Read more about this in our deposit and withdrawal guide.

Can I gamble online for free?

Yes, most online casinos allow some free gaming. This helps you to familiarise yourself with the games and the way things work at that particular casino. Generally, you will not be able to have any winnings of a free game paid out to you in real cash. Note that this is not the same as making use of the sign-up bonus offered by an online casino, where you could win real money and have it paid out to you (but most often with some conditions, such as that you also will have to deposit some of your own money before you can withdraw winnings).

Do I have to download software to my mobile?

You could download special gambling apps on your mobile device, but you do not have to do so. There are many no-download Flash games available for PCs, Macs or mobile devices.

How do I collect my casino winnings?

Normally you will simply go to the cashier at the online gambling site. You can then choose the payment method and follow the instructions. However, check first whether there is a minimum pay-out amount at the particular site. Also, if you are using the ‘free’ money from bonuses, there may be some conditions attached that you will have to meet before your winnings are paid out to you. Read the terms and conditions for pay-outs before you join a site – even when it advertises itself as a fast pay-out site.

What is the smallest deposit needed to play online?

The deposit amounts differ from site to site. Most minimum deposits range between NZD 5 and NZD 20.

Can I use my account on my desktop, iPad or tablet?

Most of the reputable casinos will support your account and your games will display well, independent of the device you use to connect to the internet or the software running on that device. Your account does not depend on which device you use: your username and password will remain the same for any device you use to log on to your account.

How long after creating an account can I play?

Because online casinos want you to start playing and betting quickly, you will be able to do so immediately after registering. Free games and bonuses are generally available immediately. However, in some cases you may have to wait for your funds to clear if you have deposited money to use for your bets.

Is my money secure?

Reputable online gambling sites use sophisticated secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption technology to protect users’ personal and financial data transmitted between them and the online casino. Also, if you are playing at a reputable, recommended site registered at international gambling bodies, your money should be safe, and you would be able to have disputes settled. In terms of general internet security, follow the same common sense guidelines as you would for any other site where you can buy things online or conduct other e-commerce transactions: ensure that there is SSL protection, avoid using public computers when doing financial transactions and ensure that your own devices have up-to-date virus checking programmes that are regularly updated. You should also ensure that you only use safe payment methods online.

Is my personal information safe?

If you sign up at a reputable, recommended online casino, all the data that is transmitted between you and them will be protected with SSL encryption technology. You should also ensure that you have updated anti-virus and anti-spyware on all the devices you use to access the internet. Be careful of typing in personal information when using public computers and never allow a public computer to save such information if asked.

Can new casinos be trusted?

Some new casinos are as good if not better than older ones, because they take trouble to make their gaming pleasant and interesting. However, there are also some new start-ups that use outdated software, or that are not registered with international gambling organisations, and where it may be less safe to play because there may be difficulty in getting winnings paid out to you. We use our experience as players to research and test new online casinos, using a rigorous set of tests. Any site featured among our recommendations will offer fair gameplay and be trustworthy.

Can people cheat when gambling at online casinos?

Just as at land-based casinos, some people do try to cheat. They try to count cards and devise betting schemes to beat the system. Some also attempt to hack into online casino programs. However, such attempts almost never work. The reason for this is that online casinos make use of encrypted software for secure authentication, and their games are based on random number generators (RNGs) that are very hard to crack and that are tested regularly by independent international bodies.

How do I know a good online casino from a bad one?

If you follow our recommendations, you would have no problems, since all our top picks are trustworthy sites. However, you could also check the following things:

  • Are they accredited at reputable, international gambling bodies? Look for the certificates on the site.
  • Do they use secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption technology? If they don’t, your data may be at risk.
  • Do they provide full address details? If they don’t, stay away.
  • Do they have a (preferably ‘live’) customer service help function 24/7? Test them by asking a few questions.

Are online casino games fixed?

All reputable international online casinos make use of random number generators (RNGs) to run their games and the RNGs are regularly tested by independent bodies. This ensures that game outcomes are ‘unsystematic’ and not rigged.

Is there a benefit to using no-download games?

No-download, ‘live play’ games give players the flexibility to play various games without having to download special software. You do not have to wait for the download to complete and install, and there is no software taking up memory or storage space. You can also more easily play them on borrowed or public computers without getting permission to download the software.

What online casino game gives me the best chance of winning?

There is no definite answer to this, but some experts say that games that involve some skill like poker and blackjack will give you a slight edge compared to games that are purely random like pokies. Nevertheless, because of random number generators, there are no specific strategies or rules that are guaranteed to improve your chances of winning.

What online casino games are good for beginners?

Many beginners start with ‘easy’ games of pure chance such as pokies. Pokies are also popular among New Zealanders because people are familiar with how they work from playing at land-based casinos or in clubs. If you often play a game like poker socially, you might want to try the online version, since the basic rules remain the same even though there are many online variations. One way of finding games that are right for you, is to play some free games before deposing some of your own New Zealand dollars.

What is the minimum age to play at an online casino?

In New Zealand the minimum age to play at land-based casinos is 18 years. Some international online casinos may have a higher or different minimum age.

Will gambling in New Zealand remain legal?

There is no way to tell if the current New Zealand laws will change in future. Current legal forms of gambling inside the country include pokies, the Lotto, betting on horse races and gaming at legal land-based casinos. As far as online gambling is concerned, the only legal ‘remote interactive gambling’ operations in New Zealand are run by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission (NZLC) and the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). However, online gambling by individual New Zealanders is legal if the site where you are playing is registered outside New Zealand.

Where can I get help for a gambling problem?

Here are two useful New Zealand resources: