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History of Gambling in New Zealand

Gambling history in New Zealand is much justified by New Zealand’s way of life and has made a considerable progress due to the natives’ choice of playing private card games for cash.

The gambling business since then has had its ups and downs, which made it all additionally interesting to the world. Understanding of its history will give you a superior view about the nation overall and the peculiarities of New Zealand gambling in particular.

Horse Racing

Everything started from the horse racing. In the nineteenth century the individuals from NZ wagered on cards and on athletic rivalries. However, the most well known leisure was betting on horses; the primary race meeting was held in 1835 in the Bay of Islands. So, gambling in NZ has been around for whatever the length of time that New Zealand has been a nation, yet it wasn’t until the 1830s that it turned into a prominent entertainment for the grown-ups. That is when the horse racing turned into a real marvel across the nation and when a vast part of the population saw an approach to have a great time and, in the event that they were lucky, even make a fortune out of it.

It was until the resistance from the Protestant church worship that prompted the limitations towards the end of the nineteenth century, and about 1910 bookmakers were banned to organize and accept the wagers on horse racing. Aside from games of two-up among the military forces amid both world wars, and pakapoo (a type of lotto) among the Chinese groups, until the 1980s betting was to a great extent restricted to lotteries and wagering on horses.

From 1932 the craftsmanship union lotteries were controlled by Hammond and McArthur under the government regulation, and in 1961 the Golden Kiwi lottery was presented. With respect to the wagering on horses, that too was assumed control in 1950 by a state-run organization which was called the Totalisator Agency Board or TAB. Sadly enough for the individuals who delighted the horse wagers, it didn’t take long for the legislature to restrict the bookmakers to take wagers on the game. This implied, starting from 1910, the main way punters could make a wager was to appear at the race track. It wasn’t until 1950 that the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) was built up, permitting individuals to make wagers on any horses at any tracks in the country.

It’s interesting to find out that George Julius, a child of an early New Zealand Anglican diocese supervisor, created the world’s first programmed totalizator, utilized for races and sports wagering. He initially outlined it as a mechanical vote-counter, yet adjusted it for the race course, despite the fact that he had never been to any. The principal request for the machine was for Auckland’s Ellerslie Racecourse in 1913. After ten years, Julius was knighted in Australia for his commitments to innovation.

Lotteries and Pokies

The 1980s brought sensational changes. To begin with the round of Lotto, based on a weekly draw of numbers got under way to the gigantic public interest. In July 1987, New Zealand had its first across the country lottery framework made by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

From that event, Kiwis have possessed the capacity to buy Lotto tickets and scratch cards through various establishments. In the mid 2000s the game was frequently played by 67% of the populace, and 400,000 New Zealanders viewed the week by week lottery draw on TV each Saturday night.

In 1988 electronic gaming machines (‘one-armed bandits’ or ‘pokie machines’) were made lawful for games clubs, sanctioned clubs, Returned Services Associations and inns. Only a couple of years after the fact, pokies were authorized throughout the nation. This conveyed significantly more enthusiasm to betting since these games were straightforward and easy to play for everyone.

At long last in 1989 Parliament affirmed the presentation of gambling clubs, and by 2003 the six had been officially presented in Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, and Hamilton, and two in Queenstown. The impact of these progressions was to decrease the relative spending on racing. Thus, after the pokies presentation in 1991, they have spread the whole way across the nation and can now be found in more than 1,500 areas of NZ.

Accordingly, the TAB moved into offering gambling on different games apart from races. If in 1987, horse races took around 85% of the average betting spend, by 2000 this figure had dropped drastically. New Zealanders were looking to put down their wagers somewhere else, with such proportions:

  • Gaming machines – 35%
  • Clubs – 26%
  • Lotteries Commission diversions (Instant Kiwi, Lotto, Daily Keno) – 21%
  • Horse races and sports wagering, including rugby and cricket results – 18%.

NZ Casinos

The rapid growth of gambling in the last decades of the last century was marked by the opening of the first casinos in the country. Christchurch Casino turned out to be New Zealand’s first gambling club opened in 1994. It allowed local people and travelers to legitimately bet while offering them delicious nourishment, local liquor and other excitement.

This further expanded the fame of NZ horse races and pokies, and it additionally acquainted the nation with the other table games. There are presently five more gambling clubs in New Zealand:

  • Skycity Auckland
  • Skycity Hamilton
  • Skycity Queenstown
  • Dunedin Casino
  • Wharf Casino

Surprisingly, but casinos in New Zealand are one of the most popular places of interest among the local population places for entertainment and recreation and the tourists. Across the country, many towns have their own casinos, where adults are not just  gambling, but also relax, have fun with friends, enjoy delicious local cuisine and so on.

SkyCity Auckland

SkyCity Auckland is known n to be largest and the most popular casino in New Zealand. The casino consists of the two luxury hotels, one of which earned five stars. It is located in the bustling capital of the country and attracts the attention not only of the locals, but also of many tourists coming to New Zealand annually. The world-class hotel, attracts average players and high-rollers from around the world.

Despite the success of the casino, the guests of the capital city are also offered the convenience of a hotel in which the casino is located. Needless to say that the casino boasts high quality rooms, has here 1600 slot machines and 700 table games,12 bars and restaurants will satisfy the whims of any person to night fun. SkyCity also manages two other casinos in Queenstown and Hamilton. In both casinos there are excellent hotels, where guests through access to the Internet via Wi-Fi can also play slot machines and other favorite games of their mobile devices without leaving the room.

Another brilliant case recorded in the NZ gambling history was as follows: a poker enthusiast from the New Zealand city of Auckland, asked himself and the gambling establishments to put him into a “black list” for his own initiative because of the game addiction and after he almost lost 60 thousand dollars.

Back in 2004, the local citizen named Mr. Sinn, fearing the harmful effects of his gambling addiction, put a so-called self-restraint by asking casino SkyCity management, where he began to spend more and more time, not to serve him and not to admit to the gambling tables.

Six years later, a 28-year-old Mr. Sinn, either forgot about his request, or decided that the prohibition of action for a long time had already elapsed, unsuspectingly came into the favorite restaurant and sat down to play at least his favorite Caribbean stud poker.

When he approached  the end of 22 (!) hour play, Sinn, who had already lost by the time the hope of success, suddenly bought additional straight flush and broke the bank with the amount of 60 thousand dollars. However, the joy of victory was immediately overshadowed by a reminder of the six year old self-restraint, and the refusal of the casino to  pay a lucky win!

“I could not believe I was so lucky – said Sinn. – Everybody congratulated me, clapped on the shoulder, and I literally jumped for joy, and there was a disappointment. The day I won, at first seemed to me the best day of my life, and after a few minutes, it turned to the worst. “

The “win” followed by a long series of debates and proceedings at the SkyCity Casino, and with the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs, which acted on the side of the gambling establishment, the requirement not to pay Sinn the win was final.

The Department of Internal Affairs have observers in every gambling establishment in the country. Fortunately, the observers in SkyCity, previously made a decision on the player being “blacklisted”, acknowledged that the term of self-restraint action had long expired and said that now the resolution of the situation would depend on the honesty of the  casino management.

SkyCity Casino, for obvious reasons, was not happy with this course of events and continued to insist on the fact that Mr. Sinn did not fulfill the conditions necessary for the exclusion from the”black list”. In addition, the institution management focused on the fact that the SkyCity and local law enforcement agencies had different ideas about how they should have met the requirements of the player who was under self-restraint in order to regain the right to visit the casino.

However, the reluctance of the casino management to go to court overcame the reluctance to pay the player the winning, and finally the suffering Mr. Sinn received his 60 thousand. Everyone couldn only hope that the incident taught the New Zealand player a lesson, and the won money would be spent wisely, and Sinn would never come back to the casino again.

Christchurch Casino

Christchurch Casino is also a popular place, although the casino has been longer visited by the locals enjoying the entertainment. This casino and hotel can not boast such a chic and splendor as SkyCity Auckland, but there is a well-equipped gaming floor, where visitors are offered entertainment and exciting activities. Every week, Christchurch Casino offers the players a new way to earn cash prizes, including lotteries and tournaments.

Christchurch Casino has recently gone through some difficulties, but now it is again on its feet. Christchurch Casino had been closed for a few months after the 6.3 earthquake magnitude, which occurred in the city in 2011. With the support of the local community and the casino managers, the community center was restored in May 2011. It has been successful since then. In addition, Christchurch Casino has its own casino website where anyone visiting the casino, may first be trained the skills to play classic card games and practice slot machines for free.

Dunedin Casino

Dunedin Casino is also a place of interest for the gamblers of all over the world. The hotel is located in a short drive from local attractions of the city Dunedin Otago Museum, Botanical Garden Dunedin, the University of Otago, and Olveston Historic House. Dunedin Casino is a casino and a sports’ arena Carisbrook.

You will definitely find many shops, galleries, cafes and bars in the surrounding area, many of which are within walking distance from the hotel. Distance from Dunedin International Airport is 24 km which makes the place especially attractive to the tourists. The total number of rooms in the hotel is about 50 rooms, which are divided into corporate suite; studio; twin room; family suite apart from the casino hall.

In addition, the fans of gambling in New Zealand can play in many special local gaming clubs or pubs. These places do not offer the popular casino table games, but they offer a huge variety of pokies and other electronic gaming machines.

They say that a drug dealer living on a dole once lost a huge amount in the casino of NewZealand.

New Zealand Police kept surveillance of Van Thanh Chan for some time. This gentleman, the officially unemployed (he even received benefits like any unemployed citizen), in fact, was a boss of one of the largest Asian criminal syndicates. The members of this “organization” hunted pseudo ephedrine production (raw materials, from which the amphetamine is made).

So, the Police planned to arrest all the members who were participating in the crime syndicate, and therefore in no hurry sent Van Thanh Chan into the jail (previously caught at the smuggling of more than 250 kilograms of drugs). He, along with 6 other suspicious high rollers were spotted to often play in New Zealand casinos. He especially welcomed one particular institution, where he managed to lose about $ 15 million during a year of gambling!

As it was reasonably noticed by one of the law servants, Chan was forced to staying at the casino, not because of game addiction or painful relationships stuff, but due to the fact that he could easily launder the profit from the sales of drugs. It has been estimated that the syndicate leader spent and”laundered” about $ 67 million only in his favorite casino,for all the time spent there!

Internet Gambling

Online casino have a significantly advanced level and spread the ubiquity of betting in New Zealand due to their straightforward entry and the way that most casinos allow various games to browse. These gambling casinos online have been around since the land-based gambling of the 1990s has developed into a $20 billion industry around the world.

Nowadays, online gambling clubs allow the individuals to set up the records in their own locations all over the globe and play an assortment of classic casino games like blackjack, baccarat, slots, roulette and poker. Clients can play pokies, wager on games and bet on whatever else that is legitimate in New Zealand’s land-based casinos.

New Zealand has no right now to permit the gambling organizations to make online casinos operated inside the country, yet Kiwis who are 18 or more can legitimately bet at any online gambling club they pick based abroad or operated by the foreign gambling companies. Since the casinos they pick are situated not in New Zealand, nationals don’t need to pay charges on their rewards.

New Zealanders spend more than 2 billion US dollars on bets in online gambling establishments every year. No wonder, because this passion is the most important part of the local culture of this country. The greater part of the population are aware of how to install slot machines on their pcs or play from their mobile devices nowadays, and about 40% of adults make certain bets on online casinos at least once a week. The average New Zealander weekly spends about 41 USD on gambling. Although about seven casinos are located on this oceanic archipelago, local inhabitants still pay homage to the history and often prefer numerous racetracks and bingo halls to the traditional casinos and their services we are well aware of or online betting.

No wonder, the country has the widely ramified network of bookmakers: it has hundreds of offices, constantly taking bets on all sorts of events including rugby and other sports. In general, the commercialized gambling industry in New Zealand is relatively young, and started developing only in the early 1990s. A certain period the development of gambling with slot machines in New Zealand was not regulated. In 2003, the Law on the gaming industry was finally adopted, and it limited the number of open casinos and other types of institutions, taking bets. Although gambling is still extremely popular, experts say, that they “are regulated” as little as somewhere else on the planet, especially in the sphere of online gambling.

Current Gambling Laws

The legal act adopted in 2003 prohibits the country’s online gambling. An exception is made for certain strictly regulated lotteries and sports betting which are completely controlled by the national government. In April 2008, the national lottery gained its online version, so since then, all the popular types of games it provides have been available to the users directly from their personal computers, not only via TV.
All betting in New Zealand is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs. The dominant part of betting foundations in the country are state-run, which permits the benefits of those organizations to do a reversal into the community budget. The Racing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2003 manage each type of betting in New Zealand carefully. The Racing Act 2003 contains each law that needs to do with sports and racing bets. The Gambling Act 2003 directs each other kind of betting throughout the nation.

A large portion of New Zealand’s gambling laws were placed to keep the slot machines and different casino games up to code, however, a considerable number of the laws spread what the national citizens can and can’t do secretly. It is up to every individual player to know these laws so they can evade the fines or violate them.

The TAB Agency, engaged in conducting sweepstakes also offers its services on the I-net, providing the ability to do a variety of sports betting. Roughly speaking, the legal gambling network is limited to TAB and Lotteries Commission of New Zealand. However, online slot machines to a certain extent still are available to the Internet users in the country. The state government did not prohibit its citizens to visit foreign gambling websites, in fact, leaving the use of their services at the risk of the gamers.
Nevertheless, the hottest gamblers are extremely pleased with these circumstances. In fact, they have access to many other English-speaking online gambling resources operated from overseas and maximum adjusted to the NZD and the players from Kiwi land. Most of these services are played by New Zealand gamers successfully on the monthly basis. So, a variety of games both for fun and real money in this island state are sufficient to form an impression of the New Zealanders as a nation of gambling.

If you know some more facts about NZ gambling and the gambling nation, you’re welcome to share them here. Add your comments on the history of New Zelanders gambling below.

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