Differences between South Africa and New Zealand Casinos. Image: Supplied

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 Differences between South Africa and New Zealand Casinos

South Africa and New Zealand don’t offer the same casino experience, discover 10 differences that shape online gambling between these two.

Differences between South Africa and New Zealand Casinos. Image: Supplied

South Africa and New Zealand are continents apart. Regardless, gambling is equally popular in both countries. New Zealand’s online gambling market is well-established in the industry, offering various forms of betting. The options cut across casinos, lottery games, and sports betting. In fact, casinos are popular entertainment destinations for tourists and locals. The National Gambling Act of 1996 does not permit online gambling in South Africa. However, it legalized betting. 

Despite the similarities, both countries have restrictions. Likewise, there are controversies due to concerns about negative social impacts. If you’re visiting either country for the first time, we recommend you read the differences and similarities so that nothing rains on your parade. Take a look at ten surprising distinctions between reliable online casinos NZ and SA below.

Online Casinos Popularity in South Africa and New Zealand

Online betting is becoming popular due to accessibility and convenience. Nonetheless, the growth trajectory is not the same in every country. Factors like legislation and technology contribute to or against the development.

Legal StatusLegal, but regulatedLegal, but regulated.
Payment MethodsMultiple channelsMultiple channels
Currency OptionsSouth African RandNew Zealand Dollar
BonusesVarious promotional offersVarious promotional offers
Customer SupportMultilingualBilingual
Mobile Gaming Accessibility Accessible on many platformsAccessible on many platforms
Minimum DepositR5$1
Online Casinos Popularity in South Africa and New Zealand. Table: Supplied

South Africa

The government approved betting with the 1996 Gambling Act. The legislation outlines the requirement for online gambling license South Africa, taxes, and regulations. The government passed another Gambling Act in 2004 and 2008. The latter allowed citizens to bet in casinos of all kinds and even supported online betting. There are nine provincial gambling boards in the country. Each province has casinos, with numbers as high as eight and as little as two.  

New Zealand

Kiwis enjoy betting. Besides, the convenience of safe online casinos in New Zealand draws players in large numbers. The government promotes responsible betting. As a result, the best online casino sites accept players from New Zealand. Players choose from the top online casinos available in New Zealand that have been carefully vetted by professional reviews. Gamblers pay attention to certain features that distinguish real casinos from fake ones. They include licensing and security, games selection, and bonuses or promotions. Likewise, they examine customer support options, mobile compatibility, and user experience. Top NZ casinos accept a $1 minimum deposit, offer large payouts, and accept the NZD currency.

1. Casino Experience

New Zealand and South Africa casinos share similarities. However, there are differences in the experience due to factors like regulations and culture.

When Did the First Casino Appear in South Africa?

The first legal casino to allow online gambling in South Africa started in 1979. The Sun City Casino Resort in the North West province pioneered casino betting and played a role in transforming the country’s gambling landscape.

The First Casino in New Zealand

Christchurch Casino spearheaded online gambling in New Zealand. It started in 1994 and is located in the city of Christchurch. The casino operated first under the regulations postulated by the 1993 Gambling Act.

2. Laws and Regulations

The legality of sports betting and gambling has been complex and subject to legislation. Although the countries support wagering for money, there is a distinction between the two.

Legal Status of Online Casinos in South Africa

Gambling laws in South Africa have allowed online betting since 2004 but consider online gambling illegal. For context, online betting refers to sports and horse racing. In contrast, gambling covers everything else, including casino games, bingo, and poker. The only way to play them is to visit offshore gambling providers.

Regulations and Licensing Authorities in New Zealand

The gambling laws in New Zealand are administered by the Department of Internal Affairs through the Gambling Commission. It oversees sports betting and racing regulations. The DIA further administers casino licensing, monitors compliance, and enforces gambling regulations. There are currently six casinos operating under licenses granted by the department. The New Zealand Racing Board controls licensing for sports betting and racing operators. 

3. Game Selection and Preferences

Casinos in SA and NZ have a vast game database and players can participate in any event.

South Africa

SA has 300 licensed bookmakers and 400 betting shops. Gamblers play lottery, bingo, racing, and sports bets. Offshore South Africa online casinos feature slots and table games.

New Zealand

NZ’s 2003 Gambling Act permits casino games, lottery, horse racing, and sports betting for citizens older than 18. However, you must be at least 20 years old to play in land-based casinos. New Zealand casinos feature games like slots, table games, and more.

4. Mobile Gaming and Accessibility

Both countries don’t have the same mobile gaming landscape. As a result, gamblers don’t access games equally.

South Africa

Many online casinos offer dedicated apps and mobile-optimized websites. In addition, there are SMS-based services, and players scan QR codes to access gaming. Online mobile casino South Africa payment services like PayFast facilitate access, and widespread free Wi-Fi and mobile data make it easy to access games on the go.

New Zealand

NZ has a higher rate of smartphone ownership and internet access, competitive data plans and higher device compatibility for simplified access. Gamblers access games primarily via mobile apps, optimized websites, and QR codes.

5. Payment Methods and Currency

Casinos in SA accept the South African rand (ZAR) as the primary currency option, while NZ operators accept the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). Commonly accepted payment methods at online casinos are cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets.

Commonly Used Payment Methods in South Africa

Operators accept the following payment methods:

●      SID instant EFT

●      South African credit and debit cards

●      PayFast.

●      i-Pay

●      Prepaid cards and vouchers.

Payment Options in New Zealand

An online casino with New Zealand dollars accepts the following payment options:

●      Poli

●      Paymark and PayClip mobile apps

●      Local credit and debit cards

●      KiwiSaver

●      Local payment processors

●      Prepaid cards and vouchers.

6. Bonuses and Promotions

Casinos use promotional offers to attract players and retain existing ones. The design varies between operators, and it applies to both countries.

South Africa

SA casinos hold promotions tied to holidays, special events, and game releases. Hence they are exclusive to the country alone. Some examples are Freedom Day (April 27th), Heritage Day (September 24th), and Day of Reconciliation (December 16th).

New Zealand

Operators in NZ offer bonuses, themed tournaments, and special rewards during holidays and special events. For example, Waitangi Day (February 6th), Māori New Year, or Queen’s Birthday (First Monday in June).

7. Gambling Tax

There is a stark contrast between how taxes on online winnings are treated in both countries.

South Africa

Casino operators pay tax on gross gambling revenue, but the amount varies between locations. It is around 27% – 40%. The national lottery pays 7% of gross ticket sales. Individual profits from gambling are not taxed. However, gamblers pay a 6% tax on horseracing and a 1% levy on totalizator turnover.

New Zealand

Players don’t pay tax on their winnings, regardless of the casino game. The reason is that money earned from gambling is not a taxable income. Instead, the government taxes operators and bookmakers. Gaming providers pay levy rates, which depend on the casino’s location and size, among other factors.

8. Customer Support

Casinos all over the world use customer support to provide information and assistance. The channels utilized are calls, emails, and live chats.

South Africa

SA is a multilingual country with many official languages. Hence, help is available in diff languages to accommodate the population’s linguistic diversity.

New Zealand

NZ is a bilingual country. The official languages are English and Māori. Therefore, customer support is only available in both languages.

9. Cultural Influence

The cultural atmosphere in SA and NZ is shaped by factors unique to each nation. They include historical, social, and cultural occurrences.

South Africa

The culturally diverse nation possesses a history of colonization, immigration, and indigenous populations. Hence, casinos incorporate traditional music, dance, and artwork to highlight the country’s heritage. Operators feature live music and performances, food, and offer multiple languages, including Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa.

New Zealand

The indigenous Māori culture influences casinos in NZ. From artwork to designs, the symbols are parts of interior decorations in land-based gambling houses. Apart from this, the country emphasizes sustainable and eco-friendly design and features local traditions to showcase the country’s beauty. They include Māori performances, traditional music, and its adaptation as an official language.

10. Responsible Gambling Initiatives

Responsible gambling policies address potential betting risks, promote responsible behaviors, and support individuals with problems. Despite the similarities in goals, the countries don’t adopt similar approaches.

South Africa

The National Responsible Gaming Program (NRGP) is a public-private initiative between government regulators and the industry. It is funded by voluntary contributions from the country’s gambling industry. SARGF provides addiction treatment programs, prevention, mentorship, and support programs. The National Regulator for Compulsory Specification (NRCS) further administers specs to control gaming devices and ensure responsible gambling in South Africa. 

New Zealand

The government and various organizations run public awareness campaigns to educate the public on responsible practices. The Gambling Act of 2003 provides a regulatory framework, and Problem Gambling Foundation offers support. The PGF is a non-profit organization that offers counseling, support, and treatment services to affected individuals and their families. NZ operates a national gambling helpline that offers free and confidential support for gamblers.


SA and NZ possess vibrant online casino markets that share many similarities. Nonetheless, there are differences in regulatory frameworks, game sections, and currency options. Likewise, the payment methods, cultural themes, and language preferences are not similar. The gaming market in South Africa enforces a stricter ban on gambling within its borders than NZ. Hence, the latter accommodates more gaming providers and has a wider offering. Online casinos in the countries incorporate themes and elements that resonate with the local culture. SA operators offer multilingual customer support. In contrast, NZ casinos only offer help in two languages. Still, these differences add to the unique experience’s players enjoy in the countries.

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