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As New Zealand’s tourism sector continues to flourish, their casino industry is reaping the benefits. Total tourism expenditure exceeded $39.1 billion in 2018, which makes it New Zealand’s largest export industry. This was a 7.7% growth from the previous year, which translated to $2.8 billion in extra revenue. Unsurprisingly, this influx of visitors has a profound impact on the kiwi economy. Tourism directly employs 216,012 people, which is one in seven New Zealanders. This bonanza directly affects casinos, since everyone from international visitors to locals are flocking to these vibrant venues.
Out of all New Zealand’s visitors, no countries are more heavily represented than Australia. Over 39% of the 3.8 million people who travel to New Zealand every year are Australian, which equates to 1.5 million visits. This impressive figure makes Aussies a treasured commodity, and allowed us to avoid paying New Zealand’s international visitor taxes. This ability to freely travel to New Zealand has made the country a haven for punters. Between its close proximity to Australia and vibrant casinos, New Zealand is quickly becoming a punters’ paradise.
To truly understand why New Zealand is so appealing for punters, examining their casinos is essential. There are currently six legal gambling facilities scattered throughout five cities across the country. In total these venues boast 147 table games, 2,772 pokies machines and 9 poker tables. This impressive amount of games isn’t spread out evenly, which is why doing some research is essential. We compiled a list of the best casinos in New Zealand, so discover which venues are stealing the show!
Casino #3: Skycity Casino Hamilton – By blending high end gaming with family friendly activities, this casino offers the best of both worlds. Skycity is nestled in the heart of Hamilton’s CBD, and this strategic location allows it to provide some unexpected amenities. In 2006, they unveiled a ten-lane bowling alley. This epic attraction is complimented by a series of family friendly restaurants, but the entertainment options don’t end there. Visitors can choose between the Local Taphouse, Zone Sports Bar and La Parilla for a unique getaway with friends or spouses.
Even though the bowling alley steals the show, their casino options don’t disappoint. This 16,000 square foot game floor is packed with 331 pokies machines and 23 table games. Aside from Christmas, Good Friday and ANAC Day, Skycity is open 24 hours every day of the week. It’s the perfect place to simultaneously treat the family and your inner thrill to win big, so stop by when in Hamilton!
Casino #2: Christchurch Casino – On top of being a stunning casino, this landmark is an essential piece of New Zealand’s history. When Christchurch casino opened its doors in 1994, it was the only casino in the country. Ironically, even though it survived an earthquake in 2011 it couldn’t escape the SkyCity corporation. Through intense negotiations, SkyCity purchased a 40% stake in this iconic casino. They now have an interest in 5 of New Zealand’s six casinos, and this investment almost completed their monopoly.
On top of pioneering legal gambling in New Zealand, Christchurch casino offers a robust amount of entertainment options. Punters can choose between over 500 pokies machines and 34 table games that range from Baccarat to Tai Sai. There are also 3 restaurants and two bars, which makes this venue a great place to spend an evening. Christchurch casino also hosts massive events like the New Zealand Poker Championship, so don’t miss out on the action!
Casino #1: SkyCity Auckland – Even though this was New Zealand’s second casino to open, it managed to outdo all the competition. Boasting 2,100 slots, 100 table games and 9 poker tables, this is easily the biggest casino in New Zealand. All these gaming options are complimented by 2 hotels, 12 bars, 12 restaurants and one 700-seat theater. This sprawling complex is located right at the base of the infamous Sky Tower in the Central Business District of Auckland. Everything about this casino is impressive, which makes it an attraction that no respectable punter can miss.
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