A Detailed Look at New Zealand’s Online Sports Betting Industry

Online Sports Betting Industry

New Zealand has some pretty strict laws regarding online casinos and online gambling in general. For this reason, many believe that there is no way to wager online in the country. However, that isn’t exactly the whole truth. In this article, we are going to explore the New Zealand sports betting industry, and share some tips for Kiwis interested in betting online.

Is it Legal to Bet Online?

First thing is first, it is illegal to operate an online sportsbook out of New Zealand. What this means is that a business cannot offer sports betting services online, if they are headquartered in and operating out of the country. So, then that is case closed, right? If there aren’t any businesses that offer online sports betting options, then there is really no way to wager?

Not quite! You see, Kiwis are perfectly fine gambling and betting at offshore bookies. A lot of European sportsbooks operate on an international level, and have licenses that are valid and trustworthy, internationally. These bookies also tend to double as casinos, and often offer a bonus incentive to users, that makes joining up a lot more desirable.

But, is it legal to wager at these offshore bookies? The answer is yes. In fact, it is the only legal way to wager online in New Zealand. At least for now. However, many believe that the gambling laws in the country will change soon, so we may just see a future where New Zealand has embraced all forms of online gambling, and Kiwi casinos operate freely within the country’s borders.

The Favorite Sports to Bet On

New Zealand is a country with a pretty big passion for sports. Of course, the colonial heritage of the nation can be seen in the sports that they enjoy. Largely, Kiwis love football (soccer), rugby, cricket, and horse racing. Recently, however, we have seen a drastic increase in interest for eSports and eSports betting has become a pretty big deal in the country.

It isn’t only colonial heritage that New Zealand’s sports scene reflects. The residents also have a pretty big passion for things like motorsports, sailing, rowing, and surfing, which is to be expected of a country with one of the most beautiful coastal lines and some of the finest beaches. Tennis, squash, field hockey and golf are all pretty popular as well, both as played sports and as betting options.

Now that we have a general idea of which sports are the most popular in New Zealand, it would be beneficial to look at each individually, talk a bit about why its popular, and discuss the success it enjoys at Kiwi sportsbooks.

Rugby Union

Probably the most well-known and well-liked sport in New Zealand is rugby union, or simply rugby. So beloved is rugby in the country, that it is considered New Zealand’s national sport, and therefore, it shouldn’t surprise many to learn that rugby enjoys incredible popularity when it comes to online betting in New Zealand.

Any punter knows that betting with your gut is a fool’s errand. There are sports betting odds that professionals have spent hours trying to come up with. However, it is also true that, when betting, it is nice to wager on the team you are most attached to. Considering New Zealand has had quite a bit of success in the realm of rugby, it is no surprise that the sport is so popular among Kiwi bettors.

The popularity of rugby union and rugby league betting means that a lot of New Zealand-based punters are looking for diverse betting options. We’d like to share some of the different options for betting available to fans of the sport.

  • Match Bet: classic, simple, and easy, a Match Bet simply entails wagering on which team will win the game.
  • Total Points: how many points will either or both teams score by the game’s end?
  • First Score: which team (or player) will score first?
  • Margin of Victory: what will the final difference in points between the two teams be?


Cricket is not just one of the most popular sports in New Zealand, but also one of the most popular sports in the world. Currently, there are over 2 billion fans globally, that follow cricket tournaments with a burning passion. It is no wonder then that most bookies cover all the latest events in cricket, and allow Kiwis to place bets on them.

In terms of success, New Zealand has not done a bad job. The Kiwi team has managed to make it to the top five in all three major cricket formats held by the ICC. They are fifth in One Day International and Test Cricket, and fourth in Twenty20 International cricket. New Zealand also has a pretty healthy and vibrant national cricket culture, with the Super Smash (Men’s and Women’s) being their national league.

When visiting sportsbooks, Kiwis might find that the cricket bet options are just as diverse, if not more so than rugby, or even football. One could wager on the best batsmen, bowlers, final score, whether the game will conclude in a day, whether the game will be delayed, the final score, and much more.


Finally, we have to talk about soccer, or football. Without a doubt the most popular sport in the world, Kiwis love soccer, just like most people around the globe. There are over 3 billion football fans worldwide, and many of them love to wager. So, bookies pour a lot of time and attention to soccer odds, tournaments, and betting options.

Any New Zealander who wants to wager on football has a plethora of options. For example, they could place simple match bets, which are popular for any sport. However, there are other choices worth looking into. Some of the most popular ones are the following:

  • Both Teams to Score (BTTS): a risky bet which predicts whether both teams will score during a game.
  • Total Goals: a bet on the total number of goals scored by both teams during a single game.
  • Correct Score: possibly one of the riskiest wagers, the correct score bet has punters predicting the exact final score of the game.

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