Most Popular Bookies in New Zealand

Any sports enthusiast recognizes that New Zealand is a sports-mad nation. On top of being home to the All Blacks, one of the most decorated rugby teams, the country is also the birthplace of many high-profile professional athletes, including Valerie Adams, Hamish Carter, and Richard Hadlee, shotput, triathlon, and cricket stars, respectively. The nation has rallied around these and many other Kiwi stars, especially the rugby athletes. And New Zealanders are not afraid to bet on their favorite sports and athletes either.

While New Zealand has a relatively small population (slightly below 5 million, as of 2022), that has done very little to prevent the surge in popularity of sports betting, especially online sports betting. Punters in the country are blessed with dozens of top-tier Kiwi sportsbooks, meaning they have the leeway to shop around for the best odds, bonuses, and other goodies before staking their dollars.

Most Popular Bookies in New Zealand

One thing that gives impetus to sports betting in New Zealand is that it is legal. Thus, Kiwis can sign up to any sports betting site and place wagers on their favorite sports without worrying about breaking the law. However, the only catch is that they have to sign up with betting sites located outside the Kiwi territory. That means punters can join bookmakers from reputable jurisdictions, such as the UK, Curacao, and Malta.

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History of betting in New Zealand

History of betting in New Zealand

Having been a colony for close to half a century, New Zealand is a country where most of the population has British ancestry. So, it can only be logical for one to imagine that horse racing has been a thing of interest among the citizens for years. The sport dates back to 1835, with the maiden thoroughbred horse setting foot on Kiwi soil in 1840. A sport that began in military barracks would fast become a popular recreational activity outside the confines of the barracks, with racing events organized in multiple cities, including Canterbury, Otago, Wellington, and Auckland. It was during these events that sports betting was born in New Zealand.

Sports betting in New Zealand became even more popular when totalisators were introduced to help calculate wagers and the distribution of winnings. At this point, bookmakers were already dominating the country's betting aspect of horse racing.

Obstacles experienced

The sports betting history in New Zealand experienced a soft block towards the end of the 19th century when Protestant Churches pressured the government of the day to ban the activity. This would culminate in the Gambling Act of 1908, which banned all forms of betting, save for betting on horse racing.

Since horse racing was immensely popular in the country, Kiwis would still find a way around this law, of course, with the help of bookmakers. The law had prohibited the bookies from carrying out their trade at racetracks, so many of them decided to set up underground betting shops under the guise of renting rooms. They could place bets remotely on behalf of punters present at the race through this. The 1908 Gambling Act has stipulated that punters could only place bets while at the race.

Decision to regulate sports betting

By 1951, the New Zealand government realized that sports betting was an opportunity to generate substantial revenue. Consequently, the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) was set up to regulate the Kiwi betting industry. TAB would also prevent the mushrooming of illegal bookies in the country. And while all TAB betting joints were initially state-owned, they were later privatized.

History of betting in New Zealand
Betting nowadays in New Zealand

Betting nowadays in New Zealand

Today (as of 2022), the internet has fueled the growth of sports betting in the country. Kiwis no longer need to visit TAB-operated betting shops to bet on sports. Capping the sports betting revolution in New Zealand are mobile betting apps. With mobile betting, Kiwis can now carry their bookmakers with them. But many sportsbooks for New Zealanders are also mobile-friendly, so the apps may not be necessary in some cases.

Future of betting in New Zealand

With technology advancing at a rate never seen before, the internet still holds the future of the Kiwi sports betting landscape. Currently, the New Zealand government seems not to allow any more online betting operators, but offshore sites are still allowed. As long as one has an internet connection, they can pick any reputable offshore sites and start placing wagers right away. With mobile betting proving to be more convenient than desktop betting, one can only expect that the former will only become more popular. And the future is likely to be crypto, so more and more bookies in New Zealand will likely embrace crypto payments.

Betting nowadays in New Zealand
Betting acts in New Zealand

Betting acts in New Zealand

In New Zealand, all forms of betting are governed by the Gambling Act of 2003, which defines what is legal and illegal concerning betting. As its name suggests, the law was enacted in 2003. The Act also regulates all the local-based betting firms in the country.

Kiwi punters are exempted from the law

Perhaps the best part of this Act is that it doesn't prohibit online betting at offshore casinos. Rather than targeting punters, this law is directed toward betting firms. As explained above, New Zealanders are allowed to bet at offshore sites without the worry of prosecution. In other words, the Gambling Act of 2003 does not care about players; all it cares about are commercial entities.

NZ Gambling Commission

The enactment of the 2003 Gambling Act gave birth to the establishment of the New Zealand Gambling Commission, an independent decision-making body on matters related to betting and gambling in general. According to the law, the commission has, among others, the following responsibilities:

  • Acceptance and renewal of casino operator and casino venue licenses
  • Specification and revocation of casino license conditions
  • Determination of appeals against licensing and regulatory decisions emanating from the Department of Internal Affairs
  • Advising the Minister of Internal Affairs on the administration of the Gambling Act of 2003
  • Hearing complaints on how the Department of Internal Affairs has dealt with gambling-related disputes
Betting acts in New Zealand
New Zealand players' favorite games

New Zealand players' favorite games

Kiwi punters have always had their favorite sports when it comes to betting. Here are some of the sports to which they keep coming back repeatedly.


Whether one is more union or league, rugby is a very popular sport in New Zealand. Dominating the sports betting calendar in the country are national and international rugby events, and any match that All Blacks play will always attract thousands, if not millions, of punters.


Most punters in New Zealand look to the New Zealand Football League when it comes to football betting. Foreign leagues such as the English Premier League and La Liga also command a huge following. And it should not be forgotten that there is always a buzz around the country's national football team playing in international tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup and World Cup Qualifiers.

Horse Racing

As seen earlier, the first-ever bet in New Zealand was placed on horseracing, and the sport is still a big business in the country today. With dozens of operating racetracks in the country, Kiwi punters always have what to wager on. Favorites include the New Zealand Derby, the Auckland Cup, and Melbourne.


Cricket-betting fever tends to grip New Zealanders whenever the Blacks Caps are playing against England or Australia. In addition to the international tournaments, the country's domestic cricket is also highly regarded by bettors.


For punters, NBA comes out on top. Kiwi punters are also big on ANBL and NBL, with New Zealand Breakers enjoying huge support.

New Zealand players' favorite games
Payment methods in New Zealand

Payment methods in New Zealand

Kiwi bettors can add funds to and withdraw from betting accounts using multiple ways. And while everyone may have their preferred payment method based on safety, reliability, and processing times, here are some of the most used methods by punters.

  • E-wallets: E-wallets are popular in New Zealand because they come with security benefits and are very easy to use. They also Process transactions quickly. In the lead are international e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller, but many Kiwi punters are also familiar with Poli, which is available at many sportsbooks.
  • Debit and Credit Cards: Nearly all betting sites for New Zealanders accept credit and debit card payments. The main issuers here are MasterCard and Visa. And while there are sentiments that the country should follow in the footsteps of the likes of the UK and ban credit card deposits, cards are still very popular among Kiwi punters.
  • Bank Transfer: While bank transfers are slower than cards and e-wallets, they are considered the safest payment methods. However, some operators may charge a fee on transactions.
  • Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Ethereum have already become popular, and while the betting industry in New Zealand is still catching up with cryptos (as is the case elsewhere), the method is the fastest and most private.
Payment methods in New Zealand


Is online betting legal in New Zealand?

Yes. While TAB NZ enjoys a betting monopoly in the country (under the 2003 Gambling Act), there is no law barring New Zealanders from betting at international sites.

What sports can Kiwi punters bet on?

Kiwis have a wide range of sports to bet on. Leading sportsbooks offer punters in New Zealand the chance to bet on horse racing, football, rugby, cricket, and basketball, among many others.

Is online sportsbooks safe in New Zealand?

Online sports betting is generally safe. While there may be unlicensed betting sites online, many are trustworthy. Gambling law in New Zealand does not protect punters at international sites. So, it is incumbent upon the punters to find safe betting sites.

Where can one bet in New Zealand?

Many international sites accept New Zealanders online, so finding one should not be an uphill task. It is advisable to check their licensing information to ensure they are safe.

Are Kiwi punters required by law to pay taxes on winnings?

No. There is no law requiring Kiwi bettors to pay taxes on their winnings. So, punters are neither subject to taxation nor prosecution.