Casinos in New Zealand
Casinos in New Zealand are all controlled by the department of Internal Affairs and thus all public gambling is expected to return a portion of their profits to the community. Gambling and Casinos came to New Zealand with the European settlers, and during colonial times it was a pretty common place activity. In 1908 an act called The Gambling Act was passed that allowed gambling to only legally take place at racetracks. This didn’t have a massive effect on the populace however, and gambling continued to take place both on and off the course.
Since 1951 the laws have evolved and changed to allow more and more places where betting and gambling can take place. This included the introduction of a state sanctioned lottery and pokies, which are slot machines, and the opening of casinos. In the most recent years this has included the opening of a number of online casinos as well. Currently casinos in New Zealand are limited to only six of them spread out through the major cities. The first of these opened in 1994.
Skycity Casino Hamilton
Skycity Casino Hamilton is one of the largest casinos in New Zealand. The casino complex includes a large kids gaming area as well a number of restaurants and bars. Set in American style the casino itself has over 330 slots and video poker machines offering everything from three reel Pokies to five reel animated Pokies. Pokies are the New Zealand slang for slot machines.
There are 23 gaming tables with a choice of all the favourites such as Blackjack, different kinds of Poker and Roulette. The casino is open almost every day except for Christmas Day and Good Friday. The Boulevard offers ten pin bowling, a gaming arcade and a Cafe to keep the whole family entertained. The rest of the Restaurants at Skycity Casino Hamilton are all al la carte with a mixture of fine dining and casual. A number of bars provide live entertainment throughout the week.
The Casino Christchurch is another modern casino that does not include a hotel. It does have a few bars and restaurants however and various live entertainment. The actual casino is a medium sized one with 500 poky machines and 30 gaming tables. A dedicate poker room has a number of variation on the game and holds regular tournaments.
Skycity Casino and Hotel Auckland
SkyCity Casino and Hotel in Auckland was one of the first casinos in New Zealand. Opened in 1996, it is now 20 years old. At the time of its construction there was a lot of controversy going on about the hotel and casino, much of it from the mayor of Auckland. Most of the concern was about problem gambling and how the casino planned to manage it. As it was, the casino went ahead and provided 2000 jobs to the citizens of Auckland, and has returned millions of dollars to the community. The hotel attached to the casino offers 323 rooms, which were all refurbished in 2013.
A new hotel, the SkyCity Grand Hotel was opened in 2005 and cost $85 million. It is connected to the original hotel and casino via a skybridge. This hotel has a clientele of mainly older guests as well as visiting celebrities and high stakes gamblers. The entire complex has twelve bars and restaurants ranging from fine dining to a quick bite, a 700 seat theatre and a convention centre. The actual casino has over 1600 gaming machines and 100 gaming tables with a wide variety of games. It has two separate VIP areas.