Gamblers who land on the Rabona website landing page will receive confirmation there’s enough evidence that a new breed of online casinos is entering the Aotearoa New Zealand cyberspace. That is, online operators who have made their mark in the online sports betting arena and are now embracing the online casino platform to provide Kiwis a complete wagering experience.
Like Fansbet Casino NZ, Rabona’s landing page greets New Zealanders with pronounced gold-and-crimson images of a soccer player hogging the limelight on the backdrop of a packed stadium. A first-deposit bonus of $NZ200 is on its left flank and a $NZ3,000 collector’s card promotion on the right. The horizontal charcoal menu allocates the first four links to “sportsbook”, “live betting”, “horse racing”, and “virtual sports”. Enough said.
But Kiwi online casino gamblers mustn’t fall into the trap of thinking that’s all there is to the Rabona site. Below the horizontal strap of “top betting” fixtures is the next tier of three billboard-like promotions. The “Live Casino” follows the sports betting one with a $NZ1,000 cashback offer, and the “Casino Games” comes with a promise of a $NZ800bonus.
Our goal is to put Rabona under the microscope, so that you won’t have to waste precious time on digging up information when deciding which online casino to play your favourite pokie (slot) titles if the sportsbook is your preferred choice of gambling. Despite the sports betting-heavy platform, we’ll begin our evaluation with the online casino’s easy-to-navigate website.
A newcomer on the gambling industry block, Rabidi N.V. owns and operates Rabona Casino NZ, established in 2019. It’s a company incorporated under the laws of Curacao, a constituent island nation in the Caribbean that comes under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It holds a licence from Araxio Development N.V., but we wonder how many Kiwis know much about Curacao. Despite its infancy and fledgling recognition among gamblers, Rabidi N.V. is building an online casino industry reputation.
Rabona is one of 17 brand affiliates of Rabidi N.V. Some of its cousins include Alf, BoaBoa, Campobet, Cadoola, Frumzi, Librabet, Malina, Nomini, Wazamba, YoyoCasino, and Zulabet. A company incorporated under the laws of Cyprus, Tilaros Ltd provides the payment management services to Rabidi N.V. As a multilingual virtual iGaming playground, Rabona isn’t available to countries such as Australia, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and United States.
If Rabona website page statistics is anything to go by, the online operator offers a staggering 6,937 games. On the left flank of the casino page is the categories of games — “top”, “new”, “popular”, “slots” (pokies), “live casino”, “table games”, “jackpot”, and “all games”. To us, that’s a sign of Rabona’s commitment to ensuring it covers a broad spectrum of Kiwi preferences.
A column below the categories is the “providers”, offering an A-Z game search as well as the rash of game developers and the number of titles they have contributed to Rabona’s jaw-dropping iGaming catalogue. The online casino operator’s radiant thumbnail titles are second to none. Let your mobile device’s mouse loose over each title to discover which ones offer New Zealand gamblers “demo” games. At the time we were reviewing Rabona, many NetEnt titles didn’t offer free games.
At the bottom of the page is a rolling “Win Now” horizontal menu that reveals the latest winners. The winners’ windfall can be as nominal as €5 to as much as €200. That, we believe, is a fair indicator of how the operator welcomes casual players as much as high rollers. It doesn’t bank on staggering six to seven-figure jackpot wins to create hype.
Threading in even a couple of New Zealanders’ wins in kiwi dollars may have a magnetic effect. Kiwi traditionalists will be delighted to know Rabona has Bingo, Keno and scratchies. Just deposit the name in the search engine to find variants. The “arcade” category also offers variety.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to New Zealanders that 6,287 games create a pokies paradise. Kiwi players can identify games from green sashes to denote “new” titles as well as a white-on-red one for “exclusive” ones. Just below the top list is a cluster of oversized thumbnails to promote the tournament games. Name a theme and you’ll be hard pushed not to find something that tickles your gambling fancy.
Here are some eye-catching titles Kiwis will find on entering Rabona’s iGaming lounge:
It’s in this category that Kiwi gamblers are often able to identify the genuine online casino operators from the pretenders to the iGaming throne. Rabona leaves the likes of FansBet for dead in the card/table games division. It offers 234 titles, including variations, compared to the latter’s 61. New Zealanders will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of playing demo games. Joining iGaming software giants Evolution Gaming in not offering free games are Belatra, Nucleus, and PariPlay.
The classic baccarat, black jack, poker, and roulette selections are among the mix. Random number generated (RNG) black jack spearheads this department, with Golden Rock Studios’ Back Blackjack among the three new titles. American, European, and French versions set the pace in the roulette popularity stakes but Kiwis will note the addition of Asian and Russian variants.
For whom the roll of a dice matters more, craps is on the catalogue with 3D Baccarat for some elementary engagement. Poker games and variants include Aces and Faces Poker, Caribbean Poker, and Casino Hold’em Poker.
Here is a cross section of card/table games:
When an online operator rattles and hums players with live-casino games that begin to question the merit of ever wanting to go to a brick-and-mortar casino, then you know it’s got something special. Rabona Casino NZ does that with 172 titles, including a sight for sore eyes — “exclusive” and “new” ribbons slashed across thumbnails.
Like other rival online casinos, Rabona doesn’t have free live-casino because of the complexities of live-streaming games and the cost. New Zealanders have the luxury of engaging with croupiers and dealers in real time while playing baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. Game-show theme titles provide some break from the humdrum.
However, it isn’t clear if Rabona has bet-behind options, hot numbers, side bets, and other wicked twists to the traditional table games. The operator also offers VIP tables to high rollers.
Here’s a snapshot of some live-dealer games:
Unfortunately, this is where Rabona comes up shy. It’s not obvious what the payout percentage is from its fantastic games catalogue, but we’ve come to an overall 96%-to-97% rating from working out the average from pokies’ returns. Many marquee New Zealand online casinos tend to hover around that threshold although the pace setters often nudge the 99% vicinity.
That’s why we’re advising Kiwi gamblers to read Rabona’s terms & conditions. It took us time to figure out where some of the details are after having clicked on the FAQs drop-down No.7 Bonus & Promotions bar.
To fully comprehend the principles of an establishment’s payout percentage, Kiwi players must come to grips with how the
return-to-player (RTP) percentage works. RTP is the result of comparing the money paid out from wins against the sum of cash wagered at any casino. At Rabona, for argument’s sake, an average RTP of 96% comes with the understanding that for every $NZ100 a New Zealand gambler wagers, the online casino will cough up $NZ96 in winnings.
However, do note this is a theoretical six-figure number of gamblers wagering over an extended time, rather than some perceived sense of religious returns on spontaneous individual bets. Only some lucky Kiwi players will go on to share those returns. We’ve considered the RTPs of individual titles of games developers, such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Pragmatic Play, to provide Kiwi gamblers a yardstick of averages. Game providers determine the RTPs of individuals, so the averages may fluctuate depending on the addition of new titles to the Rabona catalogue.
We’re not suggesting that Rabona is pulling wool over Kiwis’ eyes, but it does leave us wondering why the operator’s third-party auditor’s seal of approval, Professional Evaluation and Certification Board Management System (PCEB MS), isn’t more pronounced at the bottom of its landing page. We feel a loud-and-proud display of such emblems — on top of the Curacao Government’s licensing authority of Antillephone N.V. credentials — to endorse Rabona’s integrity and sense of fairness with RNGs is crucial. Rabona must wear the Kosovo-based company logo like a badge of honour. Rival casinos do that with eCOGRA, which pokies award-winning software provider Microgaming founded.
The 100% welcome bonus of up to $NZ800, plus 200 free spins — like all its other promotions and with a minimum deposit of $NZ20 — has to meet a wagering requirement of 35x of deposit and bonus 10 days on accepting the offer. Also referred to as the playthrough, rollover, or turnover, Kiwi gamblers have to meet the requirements before they can withdraw any winnings from bonuses. We recommend Kiwi players read the clauses of 7.6 to 7.20 of the Bonuses & Promotions listed in the general terms & conditions before signing up for perks.
Winnings from a no-deposit bonus will be limited to $NZ160 and also subjected to a 40x rollover. So will winnings from a free-spin promotion.
Rabona Casino games will contribute towards any playthrough requirements. Under the Bonuses & Promotions section (clause 7.10) of the terms & conditions, a swag of pokies titles is exempt from turnover. Reassuringly, a Special Games List of four contributes 50% towards the rollover — Crazy Times, Dream Catcher, Dream Catcher First Person, and Monopoly.
Here’s the percentage of contribution from online casino products:
Rabona doesn’t champion the logos of any of its game manufacturers at the bottom of its website landing page. To us that means the operator has no favourites. Instead, the casino dedicates a drop-down column on the left flank, listing a breath-taking 105 slick studios and the number of games they contribute to its playground. A click on the A-Z button puts them in alphabetical order.
Here’s a list of game providers who contribute close to or more than 100 titles to Rabona’s platform:
The list above denotes that it isn’t always about the award-winning giants of Evolution Gaming and Microgaming at Rabona but a collaboration. While the operator doesn’t flash emblems, it does show the spread of studio geniuses. NetEnt’s relationship with 20th Century Fox™ and Universal Studios™ means it brings filmdom’s lovable characters to life.
If that’s not enough, NetEnt will take New Zealanders into the rock ‘n’ roll realm of Guns ‘n’ Roses™, Jimi Hendrix Online Slots™, Motorhead™, and Ozzy Osbourne™ themes. Its hero titles with the Kiwi gamblers include Gonzo’s Quest™, Jack and the Beanstalk™, and Reef Raider™.
We picked Spinomenal’s Gangster’s Gold new pokies release at random to juxtapose it with a new title from Microgaming called Ark of Ra to show other game providers parity. Here’s how they face off:
This shows other iGaming creators’ wizardry helps find that ultimate experience, thanks to Rabona’s culture of inclusivity. The live-casino section shows how they maintain a cutting-edge digital presence. The likes of Atmofera, BetGames, Ezugi, Hollywood TV, and Pragmatic Live add variety to Evolution Gaming’s vision.
For an online casino that tees up its business on a sportsbook, Rabona has established a VIP programme that will please Kiwi gamblers. The operator has a five-tier structure to reward its loyal customers as follows:
The mantra is the same as it is at any other reputable online casino — the more you play, the higher New Zealanders will go up the flight of tiers. The gamblers’ status soars on account of the number bonuses they receive, their deposits, and withdrawals within a span of 30 days. Kiwis who neglect their iGaming for a month will slide down the VIP ladder until they reach the Beginner level, where they’ll have to start all over again.
Whether it’s a personal manager to confide in or the staggering privileges accorded in return for your loyalty, New Zealanders will enjoy a royalty-like status that’ll enable them to make handsome withdrawals in stress-free time as VIPs. Rabona assures customers they won’t have to thread their worry beads. Simply “play for the pleasure” and win “without any limits”.
The distinction between land-based casino and arcade games at malls, milk bars, pubs, and restaurants has been around for yonks. The casino is out-and-out gambling mostly on luck while the latter demands players’ skills to rack up points on a leaderboard, rather than chance. However, online casinos offering arcade games have managed to blend a skills-based game with wagering.
Not all online casinos have arcade games and those that do seldom go into the details. Rabona has dedicated an entire page on its website to arcade games. Calling its arcade lobby Green Jade, the online casino operator takes New Zealanders through a confectionary of candy and fruit-themed games. A munching Pac Man-type character offers demo games before a kicker at the bottom reminds Kiwis that making real-money is more interesting.
Maximum wins on games range from 1,000x to 10,000x. During our visit, a minute-long tutorial offered insight on what the latest addition to the arcade lobby, Cash Quiz, entailed, as well as a glimpse on Galaxy Wings. Next to it is a leaderboard that ranks the daily, weekly, and monthly pacesetters.
Many online casinos tend to mention tournaments in passing with the promise of more information if they sign up to play. However, we find Rabona’s tournaments page is one of the best we have come across. It can promote up to a dozen events. At the bottom of each thumbnail tourney is a “details” button. We urge Kiwi gamblers to click on anyone that takes their fancy to become familiar with each tournament’s terms & conditions, although be mindful that Rabona’s terms & conditions override them.
Each thumbnail clearly indicates if a tournament is “new” or “active”. Both offer starting and ending dates so you don’t trip up on the timeline. In the details section, a countdown clock keeps you in check in case of any confusion in global time zones. The casino does a deal with a games software provider to play on designated pokies, which can be as few as just one on the “Slot of the Week” to 43 from Pragmatic Play at its €62,000 ($NZ100,000) “Drops & Wins” Tournament. The €2,500 ($NZ4,000) “Weekly Live Casino Tournament” takes it to another level with a medley of 113 titles from different game creators.
To give New Zealand gamblers an example, Rabona, in collaboration with Microgaming, offers a minimum €0.3 (NZ60 cents) wager on its “End of Month Thrills” tournament to take the heat of its Northern
Hemisphere customers amid a scorching summer. The six titles, including Thunderstruck II and Mask of Amun, offer a $NZ20,000 prize pool after the week-long event. Our only gripe is having kiwi dollars on thumbnails instead of euros for prize pools.
The heartening news is that there’s no wagering requirement on promotional wins. Cash goes straight into players’ accounts. Every $NZ4 placed as bets yields two points on the leaderboard. A trophy symbol indicates the top three placegetters who will receive $NZ4,000, $NZ3,000, and $NZ2,000, respectively, at the end of the tourney. Read each tourney’s terms & conditions thoroughly.
It’s when you enter the sportsbook of Rabona that it hits you why it’s the feather in the online casino operator’s cap. Like FansBet, there’s no mistaking the online sports betting section of Rabona is teeming with events that New Zealand punters can partake in if the online casino isn’t their first port of call. The “cashout”, “quick bet”, “fast market”, and “multi-bet builder” are there but may not be that obvious to those browsing for a feel.
The first item on the horizontal bar menu of its landing page is a rolling red-and-white promotion that teases Kiwi players with acca boosts, bonuses, cashbacks, free bets, horse-racing reloads, and other such offers. “Top Leagues” on the left flank and an extensive menu of sports codes with the number of markets indicated next to them make it easy for New Zealand punters to navigate their way around the sportsbook.
Rabona doesn’t have an 0800 phone service but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t care about its Kiwi customers. The online casino operator has FAQs that it encourages players to consult first before contacting its support crew via email or live chat. The latter lives permanently at the bottom of each website page as a yellow headset icon. It asks gamblers for their name, email, and message on the form before clicking the charcoal “start chat” button.
The emblems of the marquee payment providers are displayed at the bottom of the website landing page but it’s still not clear where Kiwi gamblers can find the link to it. Click on the words “show more” next to the logos and it takes you to the payments list. It reveals a dozen deposit methods and 10 withdrawal ones, although PayPal is missing.
Let your mouse scurry over the thumbnails to find that all fee-free deposits/withdrawals require a minimum $NZ20 — bar flexepin ($NZ15 deposit) and Skrill ($NZ40 withdrawal) — but Rabona’s maximum amount is $NZ10,000, bar a few. Rabona’s point of difference also is evident in accepting cryptocurrencies.
Here is the breakdown (with maximum amounts of $NZ10,000, unless stated otherwise in brackets):