To understand what TonyBet represents requires Aotearoa New Zealand gamblers to appreciate who the owner is and what has fuelled him over the years to establish an online operation whose roots go back to 2003. Antanas Guoga is an entrepreneur, retired professional poker player, politician, and philanthropist who was born in Lithuania but emigrated to Australia as an 11-year-old. A Rubik’s Cube champion of Lithuania in his childhood, he took to the poker tables at 18. In 2014 the pro player, known in poker circles as “Tony G”, had declared he wouldn’t sport a poker face again.
Now, the 48-year-old Australian Poker Hall of Famer is the inspiration behind TonyBet.com’s virtual playground to Kiwis. He had bought OmniBet (founded in 2003) in 2009, with the ambition of turning it into the ultimate one-stop online sports betting site. Proud of his accomplishments, Guoga had renamed the operation TonyBet. For someone who had reportedly intimidated his poker opponents, Guoga didn’t just bring his gambling habits into TonyBet but also a rich tapestry of sport. He had served in Lithuanian basketball circles as a sponsor and as a senior national administrator, as well as rowing.
No matter how many New Zealanders dislike trash-talking, win-at-all-cost Aussie ways, they secretly admire Guoga’s hard-nosed attitude to taming the capitalist arena. We can safely say no Kiwi will turn down his more than $NZ10 million career earnings in poker. The man knows what he’s doing, never mind what he’s talking about, right?
The Estonian Tax and Customs Board regulates and licenses TonyBet for fairness and transparency. Not disguising his ambitions, Guoga’s global iGaming and sportsbook platform continues to make inroads every year under eCOGRA’s certification. It pledges Kiwi gamblers’ ultimate security with SSL encryption tools that worldwide armed forces subscribe to in protecting ultrasensitive data.
On touching down on the landing page of TonyBet’s website, you’ll find the slick interface drives home the message of “we’re a sportsbook first, mate!”. If you’re a Kiwi looking for a smorgasbord of online casino fare, you won’t be disappointed on seeing the animated masthead offering a welcome bonus, a mind-boggling total jackpot meter prize money, as well as a rolling winners’ board. The range of online casino games includes 144 popular games, 985 new ones, 519 “bonus buy”, 4,317 pokies, 41 instant games, and 41 “drops & wins”.
All of that suggests TonyBet’s got its finger on the New Zealanders’ pulse in providing a pokies paradise, complete with 3-reel, 5-reel, and 3D versions. Popularity of individual games aside, the online operator isn’t shy to inject new material to kill boredom from what every other marquee rival offers. Its commitment to variation is reflected in the drops & wins and bonus buy to keep adrenaline coursing through the veins of Kiwi bettors and players.
Where TonyBet stumbles is in not letting New Zealanders have a feel of what’s on offer. Hover above the thumbnails of games to find an option to “login or sign up”. Where’s the “free game” or “try” option to see if Kiwi gamblers can have a taste of the close to 1,000 new games TonyBet boasts of? Instead, it informs Kiwis on the bottom of its “slots” page that it’s a good idea to play a few free games and lists a handful of other online casinos that offer freebies.
TonyBet offers a variety of themes when it comes to pokies (slots), including animal, classical, fruity ones, game shows, mediaeval moods, nature, and sporty ones. That speaks volumes of the online casino operator’s iGaming lounge, considering TonyBet doesn’t list software giant Microgaming in its list of 213 studio wizards. If anything, it shows Guoga’s not scared to take on the odds of the gambling industry’s movers and shakers to carve a niche without having Mega Moolah’s makers on its catalogue.
Here is a snapshot of some of the pokies:
Kiwi gamblers who love the brick-and-mortar ambience can click to the live casino section to find blackjack variants spearheading the charge on TonyBet, which is more than twice the number of what roulette caters to on its virtual table. Search engine helps New Zealanders navigate through the “popular” section on the highest rung of games available. You’ll find games such as Deal No Deal, Double Ball Roulette, and Monopoly Live. The “others” catalogue offers variants of bingo, craps, horse and hound racing, Sic Bo, and various European soccer football leagues.
Here’s the breakdown of the categories in the numbers game:
For obvious reasons, this category deserves highlighting on its own. That’s simply based on Guoga’s phenomenal success around the poker tables from his teenage years that, no doubt, provided him the fiscal tee-off mound to drive his entrepreneurship and a political career. New Zealanders who end up wagering on poker will no doubt know the owner will have smothered his personal passion into ensuring Kiwis don’t leave without having a sliver of experiencing his highs and lows.
The TonyBet poker lobby is dedicated to catering to predominantly rookies and casual players. The 11-game portfolio will please Asia immigrants and residents in New Zealand who are partial to Super Andar Bahar, and One Day Teen Patti Classic, alongside the traditional Caribbean Stud Poker, Side Bet City, and the Ultimate Texas Hold’Em.
Overall, the payout percentage at TonyBet hovers around the 95% to 97% mark. But Kiwi gamblers of any repute know that they’ll have to dig deeper to find out what is worth mining on the online casino operator’s platform and what isn’t. That includes a scrutiny of the return to player (RTP) for individual games in different categories as well as the wagering requirements on bonuses that tend to bolster the house edge.
When it comes to the pokies parlour at TonyBet, it seems the floor sets in around the 93% threshold, bar the odd ones slipping through the cracks between floorboards. However, only the odd few will push the ceiling of 95% for the online casino operator. When we were writing up this account, the Big Bad Wolf (Playtech) was just above the 97% mark, while Hell's Kitchen (NetEnt) was pushing the 96% threshold. New Zealanders may well ponder if that has something to do with the absence of Microgaming.
However, no points for guessing that the premium RTPs are up for grabs from card/table games such as blackjack and roulette, in some cases flirting around the 99%. The online casino savvy will tell you that if there are any built-in bumper benefits in games, then the chances are the RTPs will drop to the 94% level to compensate for any impending hefty losses to the house.
We believe this is an opportune time to put aspiring Kiwi gamblers through a payout percentage crash course here. They’ll need to comprehend what RTP is. It is the result of comparing the money paid out from wins against the sum of cash wagered at any given online casino. At TonyBet, for example, an average RTP of 97% comes with the understanding that for every $NZ100 a Kiwi gambler wagers, the online casino will have to fork out $NZ97 in winnings. However, it’s vital to note that this is in theory a six-figure number of gamblers wagering over an extended time, rather than some perceived sense of religious returns on spontaneous individual bets.
That pushes us into the class that drums into Kiwi gamblers that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. TonyBet’s minimum wagering requirements kick in for any bonuses, free spins, and loyalty rewards. Also referred to as the playthrough, New Zealand gamblers have to meet the requirements of 40x on all deposit bonuses before they can withdraw any winnings. However, it’s a more sedate 3x playthrough for VIP bonus spins and a 1x one for any bonus points accrued from competition points.
To put TonyBet’s wagering requirements rates in perspective, they aren’t excessive when compared to those of rival online casino operators whose playthrough can be anywhere from an overwhelming 50x to oxygen-depriving 70x. Besides, New Zealanders will find comfort in knowing that a lion’s share of pokies titles contributes to 100% wagering requirement. Our advice to New Zealand gamblers is to read the terms and conditions thoroughly to make sense of bonuses and a swag of pokies titles that don’t contribute towards wagering requirements. All table games, bonus-buy games, and live-dealer ones DON’T contribute as playthrough, too.
Kiwis love nothing more than a provider who isn’t shy to break the monotony of rolling out games from a handful of studios. That’s why they’ll embrace TonyBet’s decision to roll its dice on a swag of other software manufacturers to help spawn so many titles without enlisting Microgaming.
To be precise, TonyBet has an orchestra of 87 studios creating its online casino and sportsbook symphonies. The beauty is you just need to click on the search engine of “all providers”, next to the game one, to isolate any of your favourites. Here are the list of software wizards who make sounds that feel like gambling music to Kiwis’ ears:
It goes without saying that the multiple award-winning Evolution Gaming is the conductor on the live-casino stage. The contributions for the sea of pokies titles falls under the umbrella of major game providers such as NetEnt, Play’n GO, Pragmatic Play, Quickspin, and Yggdrasil, to name a few. That TonyBet is game to let so many smaller brands enter the game providers’ den is a reflection of its commitment to providing a quality iGaming lounge on a contemporary virtual playground that is competing against long-established rivals.
One software provider, Pragmatic Play, deserves a special mention, for the 35-title Drops & Wins catalogue on the TonyBet site. Whether TonyBet’s category falls into some timeline and is similar to tournaments on other marquee online casinos isn’t clear. It appears to be a substitute for a progressive jackpot-type of element on its platform. We pushed and probed but couldn’t find any references to the Drops & Wins terms and conditions.
Other online casino operators can learn from TonyBet’s loyalty programme. A click on “promotions” on its website landing page takes New Zealand gamblers to its VIP Programmes. It’s an east-to-grasp 30-step ladder that is automatically activated on making the first deposit. The lowest rung offers 10 free spins from as many points accrued to 100 free spins from 350 points at the sixth rung. Mustering 600 VIP points will entitle Kiwi gamblers a claim of $NZ8 from the No 7 rung. They can up the tempo to 500,000 points for $NZ8,000 at the 35-rung mark. From there the giddy heights of 10 million points will yield $NZ170,000 at the highest 30th rung.
Throw in priority customer service, complimentary free chips, and free spins, as well as exclusive VIP offers for Kiwi players to recognise the importance of belonging to this loyalty programme. Every $NZ20 wager yields a point in the VIP equation. One hundred points can be exchanged for $NZ1.50. We advise New Zealanders to click on the terms & conditions drop-down arrow at the foot of the page to check out the time constraints on rewards as well as other factors such as wagering requirements and what pokies qualify for free spins. The Friday Reload is among several promotions TonyBet offers as sweeteners to Kiwis.
TonyBet’s sportsbook is not only a show within its mobile platform but it’s the jewel on the newcomer’s crown. The easy-to-navigate landing page cuts to the chase with live events, top championships, and events on display on the left-hand side of the viewing panel. Soccer football leads the way on the odds but it’ll please New Zealand gamblers that rugby just pips the beautiful game. Basketball and cricket wagering fans will be a little disappointed as the RTPs table shows below:
The variety of codes shows TonyBet cares about Kiwis’ interests, not just within the shores of Aotearoa NZ but also the neighbours Australia. The sportsbook offers 36 different codes from mainstream sports that’ll make any Kiwi drool. In some respects, it’s an ideal platform for those punters who just want to have a flutter without becoming too overwhelmed with every bell and whistle on the interface. The notable omissions are field hockey, netball, and rugby league for this part of the world. Where TonyBet drops the ball cold is horse and hound racing. Zip. Funny that because Guoga lives in Victoria where the Melbourne Cup “stops two nations” as the biggest horse racing event in the Southern Hemisphere.
Predicting all TonyBet’s selection of pre-match winners can make Kiwis eligible for the $NZ1,700 free bets. If you miss out on that, you can still claim a free bet if you nail 7-9 victors.
Some of the fringe sports for Kiwis include Aussie Rules, darts, futsal, kabaddi, MMA, ski jumping, stock car racing, table tennis, volleyball, and water polo. Then there’s TonyBet’s eSports:
TonyBet’s iGaming lounge opens its virtual doors to the high-octane, in-play wagering world. Make sure you’re alert because the odds can flip in the blink of an eye. Our advice to Kiwi gamblers is to consult the main sources of information at the bottom of the sportsbook page that’ll take you to leading URL links of premier leagues/competitions of numerous key global markets. Don’t forget to read the terms & conditions of live betting.
The downside of TonyBet’s sportsbook is the absence of live streaming. That means Kiwi bettors will be banking on its graphical updates, which isn’t the same as trying to outwit the bookmakers.
Similar to its online casino one, TonyBet has a Sport VIP Programme although it has only six tiers to collect prizes. We advise New Zealanders to click on promotions to become familiar with the bonus terms & conditions. Bettors will receive a point for every $NZ3 wagered with the minimum odds of 1.30 on their total betting slip. It’s free to join the Sport VIP Programme and points can be accrued and exchanged for kiwi dollars. Kiwi bettors can withdraw winnings from free bets, too.
TonyBet makes no bones about putting its customers first on its website mission statement. The orange live-chat bubble takes a few seconds to prompt Louise to ask you how she can help. It’s a round-the-clock service available in different languages. If you can afford the luxury of a 24-hour wait, click to the “contact us” link at the bottom of the website page. It offers eight categories of help but requires your consent to share your data with third parties.
Failing that, there’s always the email for customer support and complaints. Our advice to New Zealand gamblers is to exhaust the FAQs first. We couldn’t find a free-phone contact, but it'll make Kiwis wonder why an Aussie entrepreneur didn’t go the extra yard here to help his cousins across the Tasman.
Here’s a list of options that TonyBet’s courteous and savvy support staff offer to New Zealanders:
The options for New Zealand gamblers to make payments, especially in kiwi dollars, is a yawning one. TonyBet subscribes to reputable payment method providers who will drop deposits into players’ accounts instantly and withdrawals in relatively rapid times. They include bank transfers, cryptocurrencies, debit/credit cards, e-Wallets, and pre-paid cards. TonyBet is among the few Kiwi online casinos that offer cryptocurrencies.
We advise all Kiwi bettors to read the terms & conditions thoroughly before deciding what options suit them best. It’s crucial to know that providers can levy fees on deposits. TonyBet places a minimum 10% ceiling on the stake of New Zealanders’ first deposit. It can take 1-2 days to process withdrawals in its year-round service.
A minimum $NZ10 is required, which also is applicable when activating the welcome bonus. If PayPal is among the payment methods we couldn’t figure it out. However, like many other online casinos plying their trade in the Kiwi cyberspace, the PP is not listed on its website alongside the logos or names of other providers. Frankly, TonyBet can do better with a hyperlink to everything on payments, as opposed to bits of it on FAQs.
Note: Not all deposit methods allow for withdrawals, so do your homework if you don’t wish to use two methods of payments.
The time it takes to process transactions will depend on what providers Kiwis opt for.
Note: TonyBet sets withdrawal limits. It’s a minimum of $NZ15 and a daily maximum of $NZ4,000; weekly of $NZ20,000; monthly of $NZ60,000.