- Do not be fooled by false promises. Play only at trusted sites that are accredited to international regulating organisations. Examples: e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) and Technical Systems Testing (TST).
- Only play at sites where they use the latest gaming software. Some of the top software providers are Microgaming, Playtech, Wizard Gaming, Realtime, Vegas Technology and Cryptologic.
- Make use of the fact that most reputable sites offer genuine, generous welcome bonuses. However, also ensure that you read the terms and conditions so that you will know what will be expected before you can withdraw any money that you win. Not all sites that promise fast pay-outs deliver on that promise.
- Ensure that the sites where you play allow deposits and withdrawals in New Zealand dollars.
- Check for good security features. At the bottom of the website page you will be able to see if they use secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption technology to protect their customers’ personal and financial information. Do not share data with any site until you are sure it is safe.
- Pick the right games. A good idea is to test games by playing free games (most sites have some available where you don’t play for real money). Otherwise, start with games with simple rules (e.g. pokies) or games you already know from playing with friends at home (i.e. poker). Also, when you start betting real money, start with smaller amounts.
- Don’t chase losses. When you gamble, you can either win or lose – facing that risk is what makes gambling exciting. Sometimes people think that if you they do badly on a particular occasion, that they should carry on until they have ‘made up’ their losses. But in reality it does not work like that: the odds remain the same every time you play a new game or spin the wheel or bet on any game. Casino games are run on random number generators, and believing that the more you bet the better your chances are to make up for lost money, is not wise.
- Understand the gambler’s fallacy. Similar to the belief that you can make up losses, is the mistaken belief that if something happens more often frequently than usual during a certain period, it is likely to happen less often in future. This ‘fallacy of the maturity of chances’ or ‘Monte Carlo fallacy’ is not based on any fact. Gambling is a game of random chance that does not follow such rules or pattern.
- Take regular breaks. For reasons of physical health (back, neck, eyes, etc.), as well as to ensure that you do not take unnecessary chances when you are over-tired, it is a good idea to take regular breaks when playing at online gambling sites. You always have the same odds to win and playing until you are exhausted is not likely to win you more money. Besides, you will probably enjoy the thrill of betting and playing the different games more after a break.
- Look out for regular promotions. Most online casinos offer promotions by offering extra (free) bets, double points or additional bonuses when you try out new games or sometimes if you have played for a certain period or on special occasions. Look out for these promotions that could mean big savings or more opportunities to win real New Zealand dollars.
- Do not drink and gamble. Alcohol and clever gambling are not good friends. When you drink and gamble, you may be tempted to take unnecessary risks and could lose large sums of money. It is not worth the ‘pleasure’ of that extra drink if you discover later that you have emptied your bank account by making unwise bets under the influence of alcohol.
- Manage your bankroll and beware of recklessness: Be careful and realistic about the budget you set for your online gambling. It is very easy to become over-enthusiastic and gamble away too much cash. Both winning and losing streaks could easily lead to reckless behaviour, so stay calm and stick to your budget. One way of doing this, is to choose a payment method that makes it more difficult for you to act irresponsibly with your money.
- Keep an eye on progressive bonuses: Progressive bonuses generally apply to games such as slot machines (pokies) and video poker. It simply means that every time someone plays that game, the jackpot at that virtual ‘machine’ increases until someone wins it. The game then resets to the basic minimum value (it differs from game to game). You might be tempted to keep playing if the bonus is getting close to its previous maximum – but remember that the chances of winning a progressive bonuses or jackpot is very slim indeed – and many other people are also playing at the same time as you are, with the same desire to win.
There are very many online casinos that cater for New Zealanders. They all offer a range of features and each have their special advantages – but not all of them are equally good, so you have to choose carefully where you register.
You can play at online casinos any time of the day or night, and also on any device (desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet) that can connect to the internet. Also keep in mind some of the following tips to help you manage your bankroll and have fun: