On numerous occasions, Hollywood has brought the glitz and glam of land-based casinos to the silver screen in blockbusters like Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen, Casino Royale, Casino, and Bugsy.
And it’s the same thrill and excitement that’s captured in the film that draws thousands of players to popular gaming destinations daily. But is the real magnet the table games and pokies machines, or is it the vibrant atmosphere, the extra entertainment provided or purely the social environment you can only find on the floor of such a tangible casino.
Most would argue that it boils down to individual taste or that it’s likely a combination of all of the factors mentioned above. So it would probably be best to put it to the test and visit a nearby casino yourself.
Like many other major countries around the globe, New Zealand’s bigger cities play host to a total of six prominent bricks and mortar casinos, one poker room and a bingo hall. Below you’ll find a description of each of these land-based casinos, their unique features and where they’re located.
Located in the heart of Auckland’s Central Business District, you’ll find the SKYCITY Casino towering way above the rest. This is true as the building’s Sky Tower measures an incredible 1,000 feet in height, making it the country’s tallest man-made architectural structure.
But it’s not just the complex’s imposing stature that makes a lasting impression; it also offers a broad range of impressive features which include two hotels, twelve bars, twelve restaurants, a conference center, a 700-seater theater, a spa, fitness center and indoor pools.
Casino players, in turn, have access to a thrilling 1,600 pokies machines, 100 table games, a poker room with nine available tables to take a seat at along with various VIP lounges. Due to its popularity, SKYCITY Auckland is in the process of expanding their game selection by adding a further 400 pokies to their already remarkable line-up.
Hamilton’s SKYCITY Casino first opened its doors in the city’s CBD in 2002. Today it offers 16 thousand square feet of gaming entertainment that include over 300 pokies machines and 23 table games. It’s open 24 hours a day and is renowned for its exceptional service, making this a haven for players all year long.
Beyond its generous gaming selection, visitors can also enjoy the casino’s many other attractions which include a popular ten-lane bowling alley, aptly names The Bowlevard. It also offers a wide range of six restaurants, each with their own unique menu to see to every palate.
You’ll find ‘Christchurch’s Premier Entertainment Destination’ in the city’s popular Victoria Street district. Being a respectable establishment, it reserves a smart and neat dress code for its patrons – setting a high standard all around.
Casino players won’t ever run out of options with over 500 pokies machines and a total of 36 table games (including Blackjack, Poker, Roulette and Baccarat) to choose from. Select players can also get an exclusive invite to the casino’s VIP gaming lounge, Club Aspinall. Plus, it also offers loads of cash promotions and a number of fun events throughout the year. In turn, visitors to the Christchurch Casino can also pay a visit to one of four mouth-watering restaurants and three vibrant bars where sports, music, live bands and even dancing could make it onto the menu.
While Dunedin Casino might be on the smaller side and not open 24/7, it still offers a wide enough variety of casino games to satisfy their players’ needs. Players who enjoy the thrill of electronic pokies machines will have 180 options to choose from. In turn, the casino offers a total of 12 table games which include the following popular choices: Texas Hold’em Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Bacarrat, Blackjack, and Roulette.
Like many other establishments, Dunedin Casino also offers a rewards program which lets players earn points for gaming that can be redeemed for cash. As a member, you’ll also qualify for frequent discounts, offers, and exclusive promotions. And if you want to take a break from your gaming activities, simply take a comfy seat at the casino’s Grand Bar and Café where contemporary New Zealand cuisine can be enjoyed.
SKYCITY Queenstown Casino
Open daily from 12 noon till 4 am the next morning; SKYCITY Queenstown Casino offers hours of fun, thrills and live entertainment in various forms in the heart of the adventure capital of New Zealand. Easy gaming options are available in the form of 86 pokies machines while table game fans can take their pick from 12 tables featuring American Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Texas Hold’em Poker, Blackjack, and Baccarat. Patrons can brush up on their skills via available ‘learn-to-play’ brochures or call on one of the floor staff to assist them.
Other player-oriented attractions include SKYCITY Queenstown Casino’s Premier Rewards program, lucky draw nights, its function-friendly Wild Thyme Bar and Restaurant and its exclusive VIP gaming area, the Horizon Room.
SKYCITY Wharf Casino in Queenstown
If you’re looking for a unique, boutique casino experience, the SKYCITY Wharf Casino certainly won’t disappoint. This picture-perfect gaming destination, located in Steamers Wharf, is open from 11 am to 2 am daily. Like its sister-SKYCITY casinos, this sibling also offers a generous Premier Rewards program, which includes a host of offers and promotions, exclusive to its members. On the entertainment front, patrons can look forward to a selection of 75 pokies machines as well as table game options like American Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, and Blackjack.
How Do You Choose a Land-Based Casino?
For most players, especially those living in New Zealand, choosing a land-based casino is purely based on location and availability. Others who’d want to incorporate a casino visit into their travel plans might have more options available to them. It’s important to know what it is you’re looking for in a casino and ensuring that the one you choose to visit, meets your requirements. Do a little research online beforehand to avoid disappointment. Most land-based casinos will provide you with a breakdown of their gaming facilities, i.e. their number of pokies machines and the type of table games they have on offer, as well as their other attractions. To find out more about possible tournaments, promotions and events, don’t hesitate to contact the casino’s support staff who can provide you with the finer details of their itinerary.
Ready to Play at a Land-Based Casino?
It’s important to remember that you have to be 20 years old or older to play at a land-based casino in New Zealand. So the next time you’re in one of the cities that play host to one of these world-class casinos, why not try your luck on one of the many pokies games or take a seat at the table of your choice. Who knows, it might just be your lucky day. But don’t despair, if traveling to a land-based casino is not an option for you, you’ll still have a wide range of online casinos to choose from that allow you to play on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Just remember to choose one that’s fully licensed and accepts both NZ$ and players from New Zealand.