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Skycity New Zealand Review (2022)

When putting the establishments in the context of cyberspace age, it’s fair to say SkyCity Online Casino NZ is an infant in Aotearoa New Zealand. But don’t ever mistake that infancy as a relative unknown because this baby, who had arrived on the online casino landscape with a lot of pomp and ceremony in August 2019, is delivering big time.

SkyCity has been on the lips of every Kiwi — gambler or not. That’s because the stork brought this bundle of gambling joy on the reputation of this country’s landmark — the symbolic 328m Sky Tower built-in 1997 in Auckland. With brick-and-mortar casinos also located in Hamilton and Queenstown cities, Kiwis had followed the investments of owner SkyCity Entertainment Group with a lot of interest and anticipation of whetting their appetite for online casinos flutter.

With the influx of a rash of online casinos from overseas in New Zealand, SkyCity Entertainment Group eventually launched its virtual baby into cyberspace. Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) operates SkyCity Online Casino NZ on behalf of SkyCity Malta Ltd, an independent subsidiary of the SkyCity Entertainment Group.

SkyCity, enjoying a 360-degree view of the country’s largest city, proudly waves the Malta Gaming Authority licence to authenticate its legitimacy in the online casino arena. It hasn’t matched the status of the All-Blacks rugby brand yet but, suffice it to say, SkyCity provides as trustworthy a “borderless entertainment” platform as any other reputable operator.

Right at the bottom of its landing website page, SkyCity reveals how much it cares about New Zealand iGamers in acknowledging the help and support of Asian Family Services, Oasis — Reducing Gambling Harm, Raukura Hauora O Tainui (Māori health watchdog), and The Salvation Army.

The SkyCity website landing page drops off the Kiwi gamblers at the doorstep of its lobby where a montage of games greets them with familiarity. You won’t find any fine-print clauses, akin to an insurance policy, at the easy-to-navigate website. It cuts to the chase with nifty blurbs on SkyCity’s background, why the online casino assures Kiwis sky’s the limit for them on account of considering them it's No 1 priority, as well as what excitement awaits the New Zealanders.

Range of Games

Because New Zealanders have a vivid image of what it’s like to venture into a brick-and-mortar casino, SkyCity is going the extra yard to ensure its online experience matches up to the real deal, as it were. Its player-first lobby seduces the eyes with an impressive catalogue of more than 1,000 online games. Unlike a landline casino, Kiwis don’t have to wait in the lobby. Just dive in to pick from pokies (slots), jackpots, and table games.

In fact, SkyCity makes the hunt for games easier than a supermarket aisle. It makes the supermarket checkout scanning ritual look like a painful exercise. If you’re not the type to sift through the “all games” flag, then don’t stress. SkyCity’s structured window drops to make your life easier. Foreign rival online casinos are raising the stakes, but SkyCity isn’t about to roll over anytime soon to short-change its home-grown players.

Here are the shift-arrow right window drops to SkyCity’s easy-peasy categories, specially designed for Kiwis entering the lobby:

  • New games
  • Live casino
  • Jackpots
  • Roulette
  • Daily drops
  • Baccarat
  • Hourly jackpots
  • Blackjack
  • Scratch cards
  • All games

The navigation journey is akin to a sightseeing excursion through exotic locations, without deserting your La-Z-Boy chair. The classics beckon with sought-after games, such as Book of Dead, Fire Joker, Irish Gold, Mega Moolah, Starburst, and Vegas Diamonds in the pokies department. It’s real money fare with a minimum $NZ10 deposit but if you’re a newbie and wish to build some confidence and familiarity with games, there’s the option for some free games.

If you’re the type of gambler who likes to be among the popular games, SkyCity has collated a Top 12 package of most-played titles. On the other hand, if you’re sick and tired of the same-old, same-old stuff, the online casino’s new games category will woo you with titles such as Book of Gods, Deco Diamonds, Drago Maiden, and Ra’s Legend.

To put its money where its mouth is, SkyCity doesn’t impose wagering requirements on free spins. That means Kiwis can withdraw their winnings without having to meet any conditions on the number of times they place bets. The free-spin bonus is valid for seven days from the time a gambler activates it.

Pokies

For adrenaline junkies who wish to flick the Tiptronic switch for an almighty overdrive fix, SkyCity won’t disappoint. Kiwi gamblers will only need to click on the Daily Drops and Hourly Jackpots tabs that deliver Must Drop Jackpots and heart-racing multiple jackpot prizes. Have a defibrillator within reach because Daily Jackpots identify some of the most popular pokies that come with the guarantee of a reward dropping on the hour, every single day. Based on the principles of Progressive Jackpots, it’ll feel like shooting fish in a barrel for Kiwis. All you have to do is keep an eye on the money meter rolling furiously while keeping track of the bumper prizes.

Scratch Games

To show you SkyCity knows what makes New Zealanders tick, the introduction of Scratch Games is the evidence. Remember the days when Kiwis would dash around to the local corner dairy or Lotto shop to buy a scratch card for an instant win? Well, SkyCity says conserve that energy for jumping up and down by doing the same thing from your comfort zone while engaging virtually on a mobile device of your choice.

Leave that $1 coin — that you used to use for grating off the silver foil on a glittery card to dirty the shop floor — in your pocket. Instead, use your digital cursor to erase a virtual image that tickles your fancy to find out if it’ll be your lucky day.

SkyCity has an overflowing Scratch Card catalogue because its variations and themes have come from canvassing the opinions of Kiwis. Consequently, it’s loath to recommend any favourites. Microgaming’s Cashapillar will have gamblers twitching owing to the offer of instant wins of up to 10,000 times the bet. Frogs, from Quickspin, on the other hand, provides the opportunity for Kiwis to get their mitts on an instant $NZ5,000.

Table Games

The range of table games at SkyCity Online Casino is impressive. The online lounge takes you to classic table games of blackjack, baccarat, and roulette as well as a variety of video poker. New Zealand’s most well-known brand offers Kiwi players, especially newcomers, uncomplicated tips on how to develop strategies and have a sound grasp of the game-defining rules. Kiwis have a choice of player-dealer interactions or multiplayer rooms, with professional dealers conducting the tempo at the head of the table.

Here’s the breakdown of some of the Kiwi favourites (number of games/snapshot of types):

  • Blackjack (22): Blackjack Multihand, Blackjack Platinum VIP, Blackjack Red Tiger, Deal or No Deal Blackjack, European Blackjack Gold 2.
  • Baccarat (4): Baccarat A, Baccarat Squeeze, No Commission Baccarat, Speed Baccarat B.
  • Craps (1).
  • Roulette (14): Auto Roulette VIP, Double Ball Roulette, Dragonara Roulette, Immersive Roulette, Speed Roulette.
  • Video poker (7): 3 Card Poker, Joker Strike, Mystery Joker, Power Plant.

Live-dealer games

Aotearoa New Zealand is a multicultural nation but doesn’t fall off your perch at home if a live dealer addresses you by your name from the lounge of the SkyCity Online Casino lounge. It pays to keep a regular tab on the operator’s promotions page because, every so often, bonus rewards are up for grabs. They can be day-long or even week-long ones.

Whether Kiwi gamblers opt to stay or hit on blackjack games, let the roulette ball and wheel take them to giddy heights, or yearn for a game show-style of thrill — SkyCity has got them covered. If you’ve had your fill of straight-up card games, don’t fret. SkyCity live dealers will warmly welcome you to novel engagements, such as Football Studio or Monopoly Live. Gamblers have the opportunity to claim Free Bets for exclusive use in live-dealer games.

Payout Percentage

Whether Kiwi gamblers are happy with SkyCity’s welcome bonus ($NZ100) and free-spin offer (70) is entirely their choice. What they can’t dispute is that the online casino operator’s payout percentage is the best on the New Zealand virtual landscape. The return to player (RTP) for iGamers is a whopping 97.8% and leaves them on the top rung of the operators’ payout percentage ladder in a cutthroat industry.

That means for every $NZ100 Kiwi players wager, they stand to — in theory, and on average — rake back $NZ97.80. That is as stark an indicator any gambler will find of an online casino operator that champions not only fairness but also generosity. SkyCity goes a long way in this department to live up to its claims of putting the welfare of its Kiwi customers first.

  • Maximum withdrawal limit: $NZ5,000 a day.
  • RTP: 97.8%.
  • Welcome bonus: 100% for up to $NZ100 play 70 free spins.

Now, before any New Zealanders start worrying about tripping on any white goods-type of six-point-sized terms and conditions, consider SkyCity’s deposit match bonus of 35x wagering requirements. Compare that with some of the rivals’ 50x and even 70x wagering requirements. Kiwis will find SkyCity isn’t that bad after all. To make it attractive, the online casino declares there aren’t any wagering requirements on free spins. Register wins and they’re all yours.

Here’s how the different games at SkyCity Online Casino contribute towards the wagering requirements:

  • Blackjack and baccarat, Casino Holdem: 10%.
  • Pokies:100%.
  • Remaining table/card games and live casino games: 20%.
  • Roulette and live-dealer roulette: 35%.
  • Video poker: 20%.

It’s important for New Zealand gamblers to note that SkyCity has a list of restricted pokies that don’t count towards the wagering requirements.

Software Manufacturers

Many online casino industry heavyweights tend to flex their bicep muscles on account of subscribing to the might of Microgaming, NetEnt, Yggdrasil, and Evolution Gaming. Fair enough. These software developers are forever pushing the boundaries of technology on what is required to give gamblers the ultimate experience.

However, SkyCity Online Casino NZ isn’t shy to throw its net out wide to see what some of the smaller, lesser-known software geniuses — via a partnership with award-winning Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) platform providers — have to offer for a snappy, cutting-edge experience. For those who aren’t technologically savvy, that simply means GIG’s platform opens the doors for a range of innovative software developers’ latest games to be exposed to everyday Kiwis using basic devices.

Here are some of the range of software developers (with game example) that SkyCity isn’t shy to roll out on its casino lobby to break the monotony for Kiwi gamblers:

  • Big Time Gaming (Book of Gods)
  • No Limit City (Hot Nudge)
  • NYX Gaming (300 Shields)
  • Oryx Gaming (Xploding Pumpkins)
  • Play N Go (Book of Dead)
  • Pragmatic Play (Peaky Blinders)
  • Red Tiger (Multiplier Riches)
  • Quickspin (Ticket to the Stars)

Loyalty Programme

Again, there’s no DIY instruction manual-type of six-point fine print here from SkyCity Online Casino NZ to bore its Kiwi faithful. The operator’s Loyalty Programme is straightforward. Want the perks, then “level up” to enter The Online Club, comprising 100 Levels, and presenting five Tiers to negotiate along the way.

It doesn’t have to be a painful exercise. How much fun New Zealand gamblers have on the way to mustering Club Points for Random Rewards is entirely in their hands. Keep your head down and build froth around your mouth with your favourite games to scale level by level to a fresh tier, on the way to claiming money prizes, free spins, first in the queue for new games, sweepstakes, and promotions, as well as a swag of random rewards. The excitement hits a crackling crescendo at Level 10 for a chance at snaffling an exclusive Tier Reward.

Kiwis can join The One Club in their sleep. Simply make a deposit to embrace a three-step process to muster points:

  • Step 1: Earn Club Points for every wager you place on your go-to games.
  • Step 2: As you fill-up the progress bar, advance to the next level.
  • Step 3: On acquiring a fresh level, rub your hands with glee at the chance of claiming a random reward.

SkyCity provides a personal VIP staffer to help you keep a tab on your valuable Club Points in real-time and be available for any other queries.

Mobile Sites/Apps

 With the absence of any native apps, that doesn’t mean New Zealanders should feel disadvantaged wagering on SkyCity Online Casino NZ Mobile. That’s because the operator provides an optimum web-version platform for Kiwis to engage in instant play. The mobile casino website from SkyCity is of such premium quality that players won’t lose any of that native-app feel when making seamless transitions.

App stores are out of bounds for SkyCity because they cater purely to Kiwis. However, the absence of a download app from its website shouldn’t stop the SkyCity faithful from using their desktop, portable, or tablet devices to access casino software from any browser. Thanks to GIG security and HTML5 compatibility, Kiwi players can expect a rapid download and maintain slick iGaming qualities on compact android and iOS mobile phones. 

Customer support

When SkyCity boldly declares it's adopting a Kiwis First stance, it isn’t pulling a gambler’s leg. A committed stable caring crew is ready to cater to New Zealanders’ curly questions or feedback. Be it a payment problem or technical tasks causing you untold grief, the savvy support staffers are up for the challenge.

What catches the eye on SkyCity’s website — under the “Play Responsibly” wing on the landing page — is the extent it goes, not just to shield gamblers but their loved ones. For instance, the 20+ age restriction comes with the assurance of parental protection tools, such as the CYBERsitter software that helps collate sites and block them from underage occupants in a home.

Even more impressive is the immediate availability of a self-assessment test to what a player’s risk is to gambling. Throw in the “Reality Check” feature to help you keep a tab on how much time you’ve spent on launching your maiden gaming session, and you’ll feel immediate reassurance that SkyCity gives two hoots about your welfare.

Here’s how you can contact SkyCity’s diligent customer support crew or become more knowledgeable with the availability of easily accessible information:

  • Blog: Guidelines on A to Z of how to play on the online casino.
  • Email: help@skycitycasino.com
  • FAQs: Common questions iGamers ask.
  • Live chat: A 24/7 service via a symbol on the bottom left-hand corner on the landing page of the website.
  • Twitter: @SkyCasino

The “Play Responsibly” link also points gamblers in the direction of free support groups in the Kiwi community for those who, in the highly unlikely event, don’t find the SkyCity online casino’s services to answer all the questions.

Payment Methods

As much fun as playing virtual games can be, only one other thing matches that rush of joy — the simplicity and smoothness with which any Kiwi can deposit and withdraw money from online casinos. No one knows better than SkyCity Online Casino NZ how to flick the happy switches of New Zealand gamblers, even before they have placed their nimble fingers on any devices to begin playing.

Deposits at SkyCity are instant via a selection of reputable and trustworthy payment methods, thanks again to the GIG wizardry, although bank transfers can take up to five working days. Withdrawal times can be as quick as 24 hours to access money in your account or up to five days, depending entirely on what your preferences are based on your choice of payment methods. Do note, SkyCity’s six-hour processing time is fixed for either form of transaction, and the lowest deposit it accepts is $NZ10.

Also, be mindful that not all payment methods process deposits and withdrawals. Registering should be a breeze for Kiwis with something as universal as their driving licence. Withdrawals via e-Wallets are wickedly fast, from as early as a quarter of an hour to 24 hours. Cards and banks can push you out from 12 hours to five days. In fact, some of SkyCity’s services are up there with the VIP treatment of top rival casinos. Its website link below also offers comprehensive background on payment providers to put Kiwis’ minds at ease.

Here are some SkyCity payment methods familiar to many Kiwis gamblers:

  • Bank transfers
  • ecoPayz
  • Inpay
  • Mastercard
  • Neteller
  • Paysafecard
  • Skrill
  • Visa

Info

  • Information
  • Products Casino, Live Casino
  • License Malta Gaming Authority licence
  • Founded 2019
  • Customer Service
  • Chat Yes
  • Email help@skycitycasino.com
  • Phone N/A
  • Opening Hours
    , 24/7

Our Score

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  • Customer Service
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  • Payment Methods
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  • Licensing & Safety
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  • Design & Usability
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