Brick and mortar casinos still hold a very real appeal to players around the world. Yes, online casinos are easy and accessible from the comfort of the couch but players still enjoy going to a casino to experience the glitz, glamour and excitement of a land-based casino. Even though population sizes in New Zealand are small compared to other countries there are still a considerable number of casinos to choose from, based on both the North and South Islands.
I have gone through the trouble of reviewing them all so have a look through and then you can decide which casino to visit. With a host of events, fine-dining restaurants and other entertainment options land-based casinos still hold a lot of appeal for players.
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For those visiting or residing on the South Island, the Christchurch Casino is the destination of choice. This was the first land-based casino built in New Zealand and it is conveniently located in the city centre, within close walking distance to many hotels and is open 7 days a week – so no matter when the urge strikes you are guaranteed that the action will be hot. Just keep in mind that the casino has a smart dress code which adds to the perception that this is a top-notch venue.
From a gambling perspective they offer a fairly decent array – from 36 tables and over 500 pokies to choose from and a great range of traditional and modern games we guarantee that you will find more than a few games that meet your entertainment requirements;
Poker: Poker lovers can choose to play Texas Hold ‘Em or Omaha Poker. The New Zealand Poker Championship is held every year at the Christchurch Casino and it brings the crowds and is a fun event to go be a part of.
Blackjack: Blackjack players have many choices including your Classic Blackjack or Blackjack Plus.
Kiwis and international travellers can enjoy the three restaurants and two bars that are on offer. The Monza Sports bar serves up a selection of craft beers, perfect to pair with the Casinos famous barbeque ribs. The bar also features flat screen TVs that allow patrons to watch all the sporting events from all over the world in a lively atmosphere. The Valley Bar has a different offering, with live bands and music on offer every weekend for their many visitors. The Grand Café Buffet offers great buffets for the breakfast, lunch and dinner crowds. Visit on a Thursday afternoon and enjoy a lively session of Bingo!
For the adventurous gamblers with a more refined palate try out the Chi Kitchen offering genuine Cantonese cuisine. If that is not enough of a draw card (excuse the pun!) the casino hosts wine and beer tasting on certain evenings, as well high teas, pizza parties, and many other fun-filled decadent dining experiences.
Address: 30 Victoria St, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand
Number: +64 3-365 9999
The friendly Dunedin Casino is found much further South on the South Islands. This is the ONLY casino in Dunedin and was first opened in 1999, it is a great mix of old and new and gives off a very elegant feel. With its grand sweeping staircase which leads up to the spacious casino floor covered with a very impressive glass dome this casino was fashioned in a way that assimilates the Scottish and native Maori legacy of Dunedin with Victorian and Edwardian architecture that prevails in the area.
Located in the four-star South Cross Hotel building this casino is a big draw card for locals, Kiwis travelling to Dunedin and the many International travellers that pass through its doors. This adds to the very sophisticated feel of the building.
No matter what your game of choice is you will find something to grab your interest here. The Poker enthusiasts will find classic poker and Caribbean Stud poker for their gaming pleasure. For those with an interest in table games, the casino offers countless American roulette, blackjack and baccarat. For the Pokie lovers there are hundreds of pokies machines that line the floor so believe me when I say that anyone will find something that suits their interest and budget.
For the ravenous gambler there is The Grand Bar and Café that offers all kinds of delicious options on their menu. Room 118 is a boutique bar that offers revellers hand crafted cocktails, craft beers and a great wine list. You can pair those with delicious tapa style eats. If that still doesn’t appeal, here are a few other choices on offer at the Southern Cross Hotel.
- Ports O’Call Bar
- Carlton Restaurant
- Boldini Cafe & Wine Bar
During the day you can take a trip through some historic sites and at night you can soak up the entertainment of the Dunedin Casino. Whilst surrounded by the marble floors and grand chandeliers all players get to feel like a high roller.
Address: 118 High St, Dunedin, 9016, New Zealand
Number: +64 3-477 4545
SkyCity Casino in Auckland
For those residents and visitors to the North Island, the SkyCity casino situated in Auckland offers excitement and non-stop entertainment. To date this is the most popular and successful Casino in New Zealand. Known for its rather extensive facilities and grand design this land-based casino offers visitors everything they need –two top rated hotels, its own nightclub and four restaurants this casino is a must see.
They also offer the most impressive gambling options so no matter what you are after, Sky City will deliver:
- 2 Full Gaming Floors
- 130 Gaming Tables – options include Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat and Roulette
- Over 1700 Pokies – no matter what your betting level is, you will find an endless variety of Pokies to satisfy your needs.
This resort impressively spans two blocks and is open 24/7 and as long as you are 20 years and older you are able to enter and enjoy all the entertainment options that the casino has to offer. When you need a break and some sustenance is required you can choose from:
- Masu by Nic Watt: fine dining Japanese cuisine
- Huami: authentic Chinese with a modern twist
- The Grill by Sean Connolly: New York steakhouse with a Kiwi twist
- The Sugar Club: luxurious cocktail and fine dining selection
- Gusto at The Grand: Rustic Italian cuisine
- Orbit 360* Dining: Top of the tower, this restaurant rotates 360* every hour
- Depot: Fast paced and fresh eatery
- Federal Delicatessen: Kiwi take on a NY Deli
- Fortuna Buffet Restaurant: Buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Andy’s Burgers & Bar: Nothing fancy here, just authentic and well-made Kiwi food paired with a great selection of beer
- Bellota by Peter Gordon: Authentic Spanish tapas bar
- Spice Alley: flavoursome and affordable cuisine
- Sky Café: Auckland’s highest Café, casual yet delicious menu options
- Sammy’s Lounge: A casual and relaxed bar
This land-based casino is a must see for gambling aficionados and even for those just looking for a fun and entertaining few days in Auckland.
Address: Victoria Street &, Federal St, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
Number: 0800 759 2489
Another offering from the expansive SkyCity Entertainment Group is their land-based casino in Hamilton. Built in the glittering city of Hamilton, New Zealand SkyCity Hamilton is known for its fantastic views as it is ideally located in the Central Business District, right on the banks of the Waikato River. It is a three-story entertainment and convention centre which is packed to the brim with all types of entertainment options.
Offering 23 Gaming Tables that cover: Blackjack, Poker, Roulette and Baccarat and over 300 pokies this land-based casino has enough variety to keep any gambler occupied.
From the Zone Sports Bar to the classy Marble Room, Kiwis can enjoy their favourite casino games and diner here no matter what their budget is. Here is a list of bars and restaurants on offer:
The Local Taphouse: casual dining paired with an appealing range of beer
Zone Sports Bar: Home to one of the largest screens in Town! This is THE place to watch all your sporting events because no matter where you are seated, you will have a view of the screen.
Eat Burger: a mouth-watering array of burgers, fresh and filling
Coffee Post: Full brunch menu as well as delicious, convenient and fresh cabinet food
Vue Bar & Number 8 Bar: Located on the main gambling floor, this is a casual venue to meet friends and enjoy some drinks and snacks
Marble Room: Sophisticated surroundings offering extensive high-end cocktails, champagne and whiskey
If gambling is not what you are looking for there is a state-of-the-art Bowling Alley on site that is a great option for travellers and locals looking for a fun thing to do. There is also the option of sitting and enjoying an expansive view of Hamilton from the many floor to ceiling glass windows. Attached to the Casino is a 600-guest Convention Centre which means that there is always some action to be found.
Address: 346 Victoria St, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Number: +64 7-834 4900
SkyCity Queenstown and Wharf Casino
There are two casinos based in Queenstown, New Zealand: SkyCity Queenstown and SkyCity Wharf Casino. They are linked but are located in separate parts of the city. SkyCity Queenstown can offer their visitors 12 gaming tables and 86 pokies. The sister casino, SkyCity Wharf Casino offers visitors a mere 6 gaming tables and 61 pokies at the moment. One notable difference to some is that the Wharf Casino is positioned as a ‘boutique’ casino, offering Kiwi players a more personalised experience in the lively Steamer Wharf.
This casino sponsors a Hockey Team and is a major sponsor for many local events in Queenstown. Since being taken over by the SkyCity Entertainment Group these venues may be small but be assured that they still offer Kiwi players the high level of service offered at any of their bigger casinos based around New Zealand.
Enjoy a small variety of pokies and table games whilst also getting to experience some great food. At SkyCity Queenstown enjoy a meal at the well-known Wild Thyme, known for their wholesome and great value meals this is a sure thing for many Kiwi travellers to SkyCity Queenstown. By day you can explore this beautiful city, take in the historic sites and end off the day with some entertainment at the SkyCity Queenstown and Wharf Casinos.
Address: 16/24 Beach St, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
Number: 03 441 1495
Opens: Daily from 4pm
Closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Number: Number: 03 441 1495
Opens: Daily from 4pm
*Excluding Christmas Day, Good Friday and between 3am – 1pm on Anzac Day.
We hope you have found this information useful, please go and enjoy some of the wonderful land-based casinos on offer in New Zealand.