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NetEnt Casino Sites For New Zealand

Welcome to this fans’ site dedicated to NetEnt casino sites. This is not an ‘official’ site. We are not linked to NetEnt or its current owner, Evolution in any way. We are not sponsored or supported by them, nor do we receive any financial payments from them. This is a fans’ site, pure and simple!  NetEnt is responsible for creating hundreds of slots available on what we refer to as NetEnt casinos today.  With its superb graphics and innovative designs, NetEnt is the name behind many of the most popular slots and casino games. If you aren’t sure if a NetEnt casino is trustworthy, we have a list of casinos that accept a $5 deposit here that are all fully licenced. These 5 dollar casinos still allow you to claim the welcome bonus.

Top NetEnt Casino Sites In New Zealand

Dream Vegas

Dream Vegas

Welcome Bonus

200% Bonus Up To $2,500 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: $7000 Deposit Bonuses available across first 3 deposits, as well as 120 spins. 1st deposit offer 200% bonus up to $2,500 plus 50 bonus spins on 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to $7,000 and 120 spins over 1st 3 deposits. New players only. Minimum deposit $20. Bonus spins are valid on any eligible Netent game. One bonus offer per player. Maximum bonus bet $5. Wagering is 35x the total of bonus money, deposit and bonus/free spins. Wagering must be completed before any funds can be withdrawn. Not all games contribute to this wagering requirement. Deposits made by Skrills and Neteller not eligible. Unused bonus fund expire after 30 days. Unused bonus spins expire after 10 days. Our standard promotion terms apply.
BC.Game
BC.Game

Welcome Bonus

180% Bonus Up To $20,000 + Spin The Wheel For Free Crypto!

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer Spin to win up to 5 BTC on sign-up. Plus up to 1080% Bonus over 4 deposits, starting with 180% Bonus up to 20,000 BC Dollar on 1st deposit. BCD is the in-house cryptocurrency and its value is equivalent to 1 USDT. Minimum deposit NZ$17. Full terms apply.
The Grand Ivy

The Grand Ivy

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $300 + 25 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: For players in New Zealand, 100% up to $300 bonus plus 25 free spins on Starburst on 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to $1500 plus 100 free spins over 1st 3 deposits. New players only. Minimum deposit of $20 is required. This welcome offer cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other offers. Wagering is 35x the total of bonus money, deposit and bonus/free spins. Wagering must be completed before any funds can be withdrawn. Not all games contribute to this wagering requirement. The maximum bet allowed whilst the welcome bonus is in play is $5. Deposits made by Skrills and Neteller not eligible. Unused bonus funds / spins expire after 30 days. Standard promotion terms and website terms apply.
Barz Casino
Barz Casino

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $500 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: $1500 Welcome Offer on your 3 first deposits, plus 130 Spins. 1st deposit offer 100% match bonus up to $500 plus 50 bonus spins on Book of Dead on 1st deposit. New players only. Minimum deposit $20. Winnings from free spins are credited as bonus funds. Winnings from deposit-based free spins are capped at $20. Bonus funds are subject to wagering requirements 40x the total of bonus money, deposit and free spins before they are converted to cash and can be withdrawn. Deposits made by Skrill and Neteller are not eligible for this offer. Unused bonus fund expire after 30 days. Unused free spins expire after 10 days. Full terms apply.
SpinYoo

SpinYoo

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $1,000 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Up to $2000 Welcome Bonus and 100 Spins on 1st 3 deposits, starting with 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1000 Slots Bonus + 100 Spins on 1st deposit. 18+. New players only. Minimum Deposit $20. Maximum Bonus Bet $5. Bonus offer is 100% of first deposit up to $1000 on Slots only and 100 Yoo Spins valid on 9 Masks of Fire, Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead, Fire Joker, Wacky Panda and Big Bass Bonanza respectively (first 20 credited immediately upon first deposit; rest credited at 07:00 CET at 20/day). Spins must be used by 23:59 CET of the day on which they are credited, any unused shall be removed. Winnings from each 20 spins set capped at $50 and credited as bonus funds. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 35x wagering of bonus funds and deposit amount. Full Terms Apply. Play responsibly. BeGambleAware.org.
Casimba
Casimba

Welcome Bonus

200% Bonus Up To $5,000 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: For players in New Zealand, 200% bonus up $5000 and 50 bonus spins on 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to $6,500 bonus plus 125 spins over 1st 3 deposits. New players only. Minimum deposit $20. 1 bonus offer per player. Maximum bonus bet $5. Bonus spins valid on any eligible Netent game and must be used within 10 days. Winnings from extra spins are capped at $100. Wagering is 35x the total of bonus money, deposit and extra spins. Wagering must be completed before any funds can be withdrawn. Bonus funds expire in 30 days, unused bonus funds will be removed. Full terms apply.
PlayFrank

PlayFrank

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $100 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% bonus up to $100 and 50 Bonus Spins on Starburst. New players only. Minimum deposit $20. Wagering bonus 35x. Wagering bonus spins 35x. Bonus T&C apply.
Neptune Play

Neptune Play

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $50 + 35 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome package 100% up to $50 and 110 Spins on Book of Dead, split over 3 deposits. 1st deposit 100% up to $50 and 35 spins. 18+ New players only. Minimum 1st deposit $10. Wagering requirement 35x. Spins are credited in specific games. Maximum winnings from free spins $100. Spins expire after 24 hours. Promotion available for 72 hours. Full terms apply.
Rizk

Rizk

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $1,200 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions:

Welcome offer 100% up to $1200 and 50 Free Spins on Gates of Rizk. New Zealand players only. Minimum deposit $10. No cap on winnings or withdrawals. Free Spins have a 35x wagering requirement and are given in sets of 10 over 5 days. Bonus needs to be wagered a minimum of 35x on the bonus amount before the funds can be withdrawn. Full terms apply.

Magic Red

Magic Red

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $100 + 20 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% up to $100 and 20 Extra Spins on Big Bass Bonanza. New depositing players only. Minimum deposit: $20. Max. bonus: $100 + 20 Bonus Spins on Big Bass Bonanza. Offer valid on the first deposit. Winnings won with bonus spins that require a deposit have no wagering requirements. The match-up bonus that requires a deposit must be wagered 40x. Full terms apply.
Jackpot Frenzy

Jackpot Frenzy

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $1,000 + 200 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% up to $1,000 and 200 Free Spins plus 1 Bonus Crab. First deposit only. Opt in required. Minimum deposit to claim offer $40. Spins added as 20 per day for 10 days. WR 35x deposit + bonus within 10 days. WR for winnings from Free Spins is 40x. Full terms apply.
Playfina

Playfina

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $365 + 200 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome package up to NZ$1,820 and 600 Free Spins plus a Secret Bonus over 3 deposits, starting with 100% up to NZ$365 + 200 Free Spins on 1st deposit. Minimum deposit NZ$35 will give 100% Bonus and 100 Free Spins. Minimum deposit NZ$180 will give 100% Bonus and 200 Free Spins. Promo code FIRST required. The bonus must be wagered x40 before any winnings can be withdrawn. Free Spins are available at a bet of NZ$0.10 and are given in 2 sets over 2 days. There is no maximum win limit. The fourth secret bonus will be available to the player after making 3 deposits Full terms apply.
Luckland

Luckland

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $800 + 200 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% Bonus up to NZ$800 and 200 spins on 1st deposit. New depositing players only. Minimum deposit NZ$40. 40 spins will be issued upon login, at 12.00 PM every day for 5 days from your first deposit. Unused Free spins expires 24hrs after being issued. Free Spins are available on several games. All bonus money will expire 21 days after being awarded to you. Winnings won with spins that require deposit, have to be wagered 35x. Bonuses that require deposit, have to be wagered 35x. Bonus Policy and Terms of Service apply.
PlayGrand Casino

PlayGrand Casino

Welcome Package

$1000 + 100 Bonus Spins Welcome Package

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: For players in New Zealand, 100% up to $300 and 30 Reactoonz spins on 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to $1000 & 100 bonus spins over 1st 3 deposits. 18+. New players only. Minimum deposit of $10. Any winnings from bonus spins are bonus funds. The bonus must be wagered 35 times on real money games before any winnings can be transferred or withdrawn. For this offer, only your bonus funds contribute towards any wagering requirements. Any use of your cash funds does not contribute to any wagering requirements. Not all games contribute or contribute at the same rate towards the wagering requirement. The maximum bet allowed while the welcome bonus is in play is $5. Deposits made via Skrill or Neteller are not eligible for the welcome bonus. All deposit bonuses expire after 30 days. All deposit Bonus Spins expire 10 days after release. Any remaining bonus funds not used within 30 days after the bonus was granted will expire. Any remaining bonus spins not used within 10 days after release will expire.Promotional terms and conditions and general terms and conditions apply.
Miami Dice

Miami Dice

Welcome Bonus

200% Bonus Up To $2,500 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: For players in New Zealand, 200% match up to $2,500 plus 50 Starburst bonus spins on your 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to $3,500 in bonuses and 200 bonus spins over first 3 deposits. 18+. New Players Only. 1 bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit $100. Max. bonus bet is $5. Free Spins on selected games only and must be used within 10 days. Winnings from Free Spins credited as bonus funds and capped at $100. Bonus funds expire in 30 days, unused bonus funds will be removed. Bonus funds are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus money, deposit and Free Spins. Only bonus funds count towards wagering contribution. Full terms apply.
Plaza Royal

Plaza Royal

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $259 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% Bonus up to NZ$259 + 100 spins on 9 Masks of Fire on 1st deposit. New players only. 18+. Minimum deposit NZ$10. Wagering requirement applies 35x. Offer valid for 72 hours. Spins expire after 24 hours. Full terms apply.
Millionaire

Millionaire

Welcome Bonus

Deposit $20 and get 50 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 50 Free Spins on Book of Dead on 1st deposit. New players only. Minimum deposit $20. Wager from real balance first. 50x wagering the bonus. Contribution varies per game, selected games only. Wager calculated on bonus bets only. Bonus is valid for 30 Days from receipt and free spins for 7 days from issue. Maximum conversion $20. Withdrawal requests void all active pending bonuses. Full Terms apply.
Fruity King

Fruity King

Welcome Bonus

200% Bonus Up To $50 + 10 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome bonus 200% up to $50 plus 10 Free No Wager Spins on Reactoonz on 1st deposit. New Players Only. Minimum deposit $10. Deposit code FREEDEPOSIT required. Wagering occurs from real balance first. 50X wagering the bonus. Contribution may vary per game. Available on selected games only. The wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only. Bonus valid 30 Days from receipt. Maximum conversion: 3 times the bonus amount. Withdrawal requests void all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill and Neteller deposits. Full Terms Apply. 18+ only. Please play responsibly. Begambleaware.Org. #AD
Regent Play
Regent Play

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $200 + 30 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: 1st Deposit 100% bonus up to NZ$200 and 30 spins on Book of Dead. Minimum deposit NZ$20. Offer only applies to new players. Unused spins expire 24hrs after being issued. Bonuses that require a deposit must have the bonus amount wagered 35 times. Winnings won with spins that require a deposit, have to be wagered 35 times your extra spins winnings. All free games credited to a player’s account must be used within 1 day from when the offer was granted. Full terms apply.
Winners Magic

Winners Magic

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $400 + 20 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 20 spins and 100% bonus up to $400 upon first deposit. Minimum deposit $20. Offer valid on first deposit. Offer only applies to new players. Winnings won with spins that require deposit, have to be wagered 35x. Bonuses that require deposit, have to be wagered 35x. Bonus Policy and Terms of Service apply.
OlympusBet

OlympusBet

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $500 + 25 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% up to NZ$500 on 1st deposit, plus get 100 Free Spins across your 1st four deposits, 25 for each. Bonus code OBWEL100 required. Minimum deposit NZ$20. The amount of the deposit and the bonus must be rolled over 40x within 21 days in order to convert the bonus into real money and cash out any winnings. Maximum bonus conversion is 10 x the awarded bonus. Full terms apply.
Tiger Riches Casino

Tiger Riches Casino

Welcome Bonus

200% Bonus Up To $1,000 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 200% match up to NZ$1,000 + 100 Free Spins on Wolf Gold on your First Deposit. Minimum deposit NZ$20. Bonus funds carry a wagering requirement of 40x the sum of your deposit and bonus amount. Once credited your bonus remains valid for 7 days. 100 Free Spins on Wolf Gold are worth NZ$0.10 each and are valid for 7 days. All winnings earned from the spins will be rewarded in bonus funds and carry a wagering requirement of 40x the total bonus amount earned. The maximum conversion amount from bonus funds will be capped at 5X the initial bonus amount awarded. Full terms apply.
FireVegas

FireVegas

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $400 + 50 Bonus Spins

View Terms Here

Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome package worth $2000 and 150 Free Spins over 3 deposits, starting with 100% Match Bonus up to $400 plus 50 Free Spins on Wolf Gold on your first deposit. Minimum Deposit is $20. Wagering requirements are 40 times cash amount + bonus amount, including free spins winnings. Maximum bet allowed is $5. Deposits made via Skrill and Neteller are not eligible for this offer. Unused Bonus funds expires after 30 days, unused free spins (where available) expire after 72 hours. Winnings from Free Spins are capped at $20 and are credited as bonus funds. Full terms apply.
N1 Bet

N1 Bet

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $2,000 + 150 Bonus Spins

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Go To Casino Terms & Conditions: Welcome package worth up to 10,000 NZD and 200 Free Spins over first 4 deposits, starting with 100% up to 2,000 NZD and 150 Free Spins on 1st deposit. Bonus code LETSGO required. Minimum deposit 30 NZD. You will get 25 FS a day for 6 days. Prize slot: John Hunter and the Book of Tut slot (Pragmatic Play). The wagering requirement is x50. The bonus expires in 3 days after being credited. Full terms apply.
Joo Casino

Joo Casino

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $1,000 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: Welcome package up to 6,000 NZD and 200 Free Spins on first 3 deposits, starting with 100% Bonus up to 1000 NZD and 50 Free Spins on 1st deposit. Minimum deposit 30 NZD. The FS are credited to the Wolf Treasure slot by IGTech.The FS bonus will be credited to your account automatically. The wagering requirement is x50. Full terms apply.
Zoome Casino

Zoome Casino

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $525 + 100 Bonus Spins

View Terms Here

Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: Welcome package offering 1800 NZD and 250 Free Spins over 3 deposits, starting with 100% up to 525 NZD + 100 Free Spins on 1st deposit. New players only. Minimum deposit 30 NZD Promo code FWB. 100 free spins in Elvis frog in Vegas by Bgaming will be added within 4 days, 25 free spins per day. The first 25 free spins will be added together with the 100% bonus. Bonus must be wagered 50 (fifty) times. Full terms apply.
Oxi Casino

Oxi Casino

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $150 + 100 Bonus Spins

View Terms Here

Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: Welcome package offering NZ$600 and 200 Free Spins over 3 deposits, starting with 100% up to NZ$150 + 100 FS on 1st deposit. New players only. Minimum deposit NZ$30. The Player will get 25 free spins per day for 4 days (100 free spins in total). Free spins will be credited to John Hunter and the Book of Tut slot (Pragmatic Play). The bonus and free spins must be wagered 45 times before the Player can request a withdrawal. Free spins must be activated within 3 days after receiving. Deposit bonus expires after 14 days. Free spins bonus expires after 7 days. The promotion is subject to the general bonus terms and conditions and to the terms and conditions of the Casino.
Turbonino

Turbonino

Welcome Bonus

Deposit $10 and get 100 Bonus Spins

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Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100 Free Spins. First Deposit Only. Minimum deposit: $10, Game: Thor and the Trials of Asgard, Spin Value: $0.10., Max Free Spins: 100. WR 60x free spin winnings amount (only Slots count) within 30 days. Maximum bet is 10% (min $0.10) of the free spin winnings amount or $5 (lowest amount applies). Spins must be used and/or Bonus must be claimed before using deposited funds. Deposit/Welcome Bonus can only be claimed once every 72 hours across all Casinos. Bonus Policy applies
Skol Casino

Skol Casino

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $300 + 100 Bonus Spins

View Terms Here

Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: Get up to $1300 bonus and 250 bonus spins on your first 5 deposits. 1st deposit offer 100% match bonus up to $300 plus 100 bonus Starburst spins on 1st deposit. New Players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit $10. Maximum bonus bet $5. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days & bonus spins within 10 days. Spins valid on Starburst only. The 100 spins triggered on your 1st dep are credited at a rate of 25 spins per day over 4 days. Bonus spins winnings credited as bonus funds & capped at $50. For the 1st dep offer, this winning cap shall be applied to each set of 25 spins. Bonus funds separate to Cash funds and subject to 35x wagering. Terms apply.
KatsuBet
KatsuBet

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $400 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: Welcome package up to 5 BTC or NA$6000 and 200 Free Spins over 4 deposits, starting with 100% up NZ$400 and 100 Free Spins on 1st deposit. New players only. Minimum deposit NZ$40. WR 35x before the bonus can be withdrawn. Bonuses expire after 14 days if the wager is not completed. Free spins are available in Aloha King Elvis game by BGaming. Maximum cashout from Free Spins NZ$200. Full terms apply.
Slotnite Casino
Slotnite Casino

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $250 + 100 Bonus Spins

View Terms Here

Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: 100% bonus up to NZ$250 and 100 bonus spins on Gonzo's Quest on 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to NZ$1,000 bonus and 200 spins over 1st 3 deposits. New players only. A minimum deposit of NZ$10 is required. The minimum withdrawal from your cash funds is NZ$10. Wagering requirement 35x the value of your original cash deposit + the bonus funds. Games contribute differently to the wagering requirements. The maximum bet for any of your bonus funds is limited to NZ$5. Any unused (i.e. not wagered) bonus funds will be removed from your account after 30 days. Any unused bonus spins will be removed from your account after 10 days. Website terms and conditions apply in full.
Captain Spins
Captain Spins

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $300 + 50 Bonus Spins

View Terms Here

Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: For players in New Zealand, welcome package offering 100% bonus up to NZ$1,200 and 260 Book of Dead bonus spins over first 4 deposits, starting with 100% match bonus up to NZ$300 + 50 bonus spins on 1st deposit. New players only. Minimum deposit NZ$10. Maximum bonus bet NZ$5. All spins are on slot game Book of Dead only. Bonus funds and spins must be used within 30 days. Wagering is 35 times the total of bonus money, deposit and spins. Wagering must be completed before any funds can be withdrawn. Deposits made via Skrill or Neteller are not eligible for the welcome bonus. Full terms apply.
Jonny Jackpot
Jonny Jackpot

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To $400 + 50 Bonus Spins

View Terms Here

Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: Welcome package NZ $1000 and 100 Bonus Spins, 3 deposits required. 1st deposit offer 100% up to NZ$400 & 50 bonus spins. 18+ New players only. Minimum deposit NZ$10. All spins valid on Legacy of Dead. Bonus funds expire after 30 days, Spins after 10 days. Maximum bonus bet NZ$5. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds and are subject to 35x wagering req. (deposit + bonus + spins). Full terms apply.
21Prive Casino
21Prive Casino

Welcome Bonus

125% Bonus Up To $300 + 200 Bonus Spins

View Terms Here

Claim Offer Terms & Conditions: For players in New Zealand, welcome package worth up to NZ$1300 and 200 bonus spins over 1st 5 deposits, starting with 125% up to NZ$300 + 200 spins on 1st deposit. New Players only. Minimum Deposit of NZ$20 required. Bonus spins to be credited at 40 bonus spins per day over five days, triggered on your first deposit. Winnings from the bonus spins are credited in the form of bonus funds and are capped at NZ$100. Wagering requirement to turn bonus funds into cash funds is 35x value of the bonus funds. Not all games contribute, or contribute at the same rate towards the wagering requirement. Maximum bet allowed while the Welcome Bonus is in play is NZ$5. Skrill and Neteller deposits excluded. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days and bonus spins within 10 days; otherwise any unused will be removed from your account. General Terms and Conditions and Promotional Terms apply.

A bit of background info on NetEnt

When this site was launched, NetEnt was by far the leading provider of online slots for the European market and was beginning to improve its coverage in the wider global market too. No self-respecting online casino could afford to be without a large selection of the company’s games being included in its portfolio. The company already had several acclaimed classics to its name, such as the ever-popular Gonzo’s Quest and Spinata Grande, plus the stone wall classic Starburst. These were supplemented by dozens of other innovative titles, such as the colourful cartoon fables Hook’s Heroes, Jack and the Beanstalk and Robin Hood, while Finn and the Swirly Spin took a more modern approach to the traditional fairy tale.

Meanwhile, fans of the darker side could choose from titles such as Blood Suckers II, the officially licenced Aliens slot, or my personal favourite, the spooky Universal Monsters version of Dracula. Talking of officially licenced, the company had also carved an impressive selection of music-themed games, with authorised releases of slots by classic rock artists, including Guns ‘n’ Roses, Motorhead and the iconic Jimi Hendrix.

The hits kept coming, too, with further innovative designs like Asgardian Stones, Halloween Jack, Vikings and Wild Bazaar following in 2018. There was a semi-successful attempt to follow up earlier classics too, with Berryburst adding a tangy citrus flavour to its super-successful predecessor, Starburst.

The following year saw several further superb releases to keep the company at the forefront of the industry. Finn returned once again with his Golden Tavern, and there were also sequels for previous hit releases Dead or Alive and Reel Rush. It wasn’t all about reboots, though, with some impressive new designs hitting the online virtual reels. Amongst an impressive total of more than twenty entirely new releases was the particularly successful horse racing themed Scudamore’s Super Stakes, and the zany yuletide caper Santa Vs Rudolf: a heart-warming tale of traditional Christmas spirit, it was not. The reputedly bat-eating Ozzy Osborne was also added to the ever-growing roster of officially licenced classic rock-themed games.

This consistent record of market-leading releases led NetEnt to a position firmly at the pinnacle of the online casino software industry. Its position as the foremost gaming software provider was unassailable, and the company produced financial figures to match.

NetEnt’s Corporate Performance

NetEnt’s success in widespread and critical acclaim meant that it could boast stunning financial performance figures far exceeding that of its rivals. Founded 1998 in Sweden’s capital city, the company had developed from a tiny start-up to an industry-leading international organisation in barely two decades.

Whilst the company headquarters remained in Stockholm, it had opened satellite offices throughout Europe, including the United Kingdom, Poland and Ukraine, plus two more in two of the foremost territories of the gaming industry: Gibraltar and Malta. Further afield, there were also additional outposts in New Jersey, United States, and Hyderabad in India. The company was responsible for the employment of well over a thousand employees located all across the world.

By 2019, the company had already developed over two hundred different games. Most of these were online slots, but there was also a good selection of more traditional table games, plus the company’s impressive live gaming operation.

This creative success meant the company was also positioned to post impressive financial performance figures. The financial report for the year ending December 2019 showed total revenues exceeding SEK 1800 million (over £140 million) with total earnings before tax of around SEK 600 million (just under £48 million).

Although revenue growth over the previous year was unspectacular at 0.6%, this was broadly in line with sluggish growth in the gaming industry generally at the time. Indeed, NetEnt CEO Therese Hillman was very upbeat, pointing to the more buoyant 10% increase in revenues over the year’s final three months. She was particularly confident about the company’s new live gaming operation, which showed firm growth signs, having broken records for player numbers that year.

2020 – The Turning Point For NetEnt

2020 was a turning point for all of us. The unprecedented pandemic completely transformed the world and was utterly unexpected, taking the whole planet by surprise. For NetEnt, the New Year brought a different kind of upheaval – one that, perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, was more predictable.

Growth was impressive during the first three quarters of 2020, aided by the gaming industry’s general solid performance while much of the European population was under lockdown. Being primarily confined to the home and with real-world casinos and other venues temporarily closed, the only natural alternative for gamblers was to move online.

As a result, NetEnt revenues were up more than 25% in the corresponding nine months of 2019, with earnings before tax up more than 40%. Income derived from the previous year’s acquisition of up-and-coming gaming software rival Red Tiger was now also coming on stream. Live casinos were also doing exceptionally well, perhaps buoyed by customers sitting at home craving the excitement of a real casino experience.

Arguably, this aspect of the company’s performance drew it to the attention of its previously unchallenged live-streaming rival, Evolution Gaming. Evolution was the dominant force in the live gaming market – their position in live casinos was even more pre-eminent than that of NetEnt in online slot design.

NetEnt’s live gaming operation’s spectacular performance was on a far smaller scale than Evolution’s, a massive worldwide operation. Nevertheless, its rapid increase in revenue represented a vast increase in market share, albeit from a very low base. This clear potential for NetEnt to become an emerging competitor to Evolution’s dominant market position was perhaps a primary motivating factor in Evolution’s decision to mount a takeover bid for the Swedish company in June 2020.

Although NetEnt’s board and shareholders swiftly accepted the well-judged offer, the takeover was not straightforward. The size and market share of the two companies within the online gaming industry triggered a merger enquiry by the UK Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). This was launched in September, with a provisional judgement in favour announced two months later. Only when the final decision to approve the takeover was published on December 8th was the acquisition finally able to be completed.

As a result, NetEnt became a wholly owned subsidiary of its new owners, with Evolution paying an initial SEK 19.6 billion (equivalent to around $2.3 billion). By December 12th, Evolution announced that it had acquired almost 97% of the company’s shares and had begun a compulsory buy-out process to purchase the remainder. NetEnt shares were therefore removed from the Stockholm stock exchange on December 16th. The company’s shares’ final trading price was SEK 86 (around $10).

NetEnt under Evolution Ownership

Founded in 2006, Evolution is a far larger organisation than its new acquisition. Although it is headquartered in Sweden and listed on the Stockholm stock exchange, it is even more of an international operation, with around 8,000 employees based around live studios across Europe and North America. Its main studio is based in Riga in the Baltic state of Latvia. Still, it has many others in locations such as Belgium, Spain, Tbilisi in Georgia and on the Mediterranean island of Malta. It is also keen to exploit North America’s increasingly liberalised gaming market, with studios in New Jersey in the United States and British Columbia in Canada.

This wide distribution of locations enables the company to provide live-streamed casino games in over twenty languages. It also promises to offer native speakers in whatever language any potential online casino operator requires.

Evolution is a far larger operator in the live-streamed casino gaming market than relative newcomer NetEnt, and it is not difficult to see its takeover move as an attempt to snuff out a possible future competitor. Indeed, the acquisition quickly became controversial, making even mainstream national news headlines, as it immediately closed down NetEnt’s own live gaming operations in Qormi in Malta and began a swingeing round of redundancy announcements.

Job losses were spread far and wide. In addition to Malta, NetEnt locations in Gibraltar and elsewhere were affected, with the entire operation in Krakow in Poland closed down. Even the company’s headquarters in Stockholm were affected, with hundreds of staff advised to stay at home and subsequently released. CEO Therese Hillman was among them – her departure was pre-announced, taking place at the end of the transition period in the spring of 2021.

In total, hundreds of NetEnt employees lost their jobs, some within minutes of the takeover becoming official. This resulted in considerable unwelcome media coverage, and some firm union retaliation. The General Workers’ Union (GWU) in Malta took immediate legal action to stop the process on the island. This was partially successful, with around forty of the threatened jobs being saved when the matter was settled out of court.

It was particularly unfortunate timing for hundreds of employees to lose their jobs, particularly during a pandemic with fewer alternative opportunities. Needless to say the financial world showed no such sympathy. On the contrary, these massive mergers tend to result in increases in share value, with market sentiment usually supporting such moves.

So it was that Evolution was proud to announce starkly optimistic first quarter financial results for 2021. Revenues more than doubled from the equivalent period in 2019 to more than €235 million, largely as a result of the acquisition of NetEnt. Profits also more than doubled to €132 million.

Evolution CEO Jens von Bahr was particularly impressed by his company’s performance, commenting that “…we can already see good results from this work in the first quarter and I believe that we are well set to continue to capitalize on the growing interest in online casino world-wide.” He was also impressed by the increase in Live Gaming revenues, which improved 60% on the same quarter in 2019.

The Future Of NetEnt

The demise of NetEnt’s live gaming operation is bad news for more than just the hundreds of loyal employees who worked there. It’s not great for the millions of regular players of live streamed casino games either. Although the vast majority of live casino gamers have always played on games streamed from Evolution’s extensive network of studios, the loss of a quality competitor leaves Evolution with even more of a monopoly of the market than before. The competitive incentive to improve its service is no longer there. It’s little wonder that the company’s income and profitability is already on the rise.

The truth is though, that NetEnt’s reputation is built upon its online slot designs, rather than its live gaming. Its millions of fans are more interested in the next incarnations of Gonzo, Finn and NetEnt’s world class game design operation than the fate of a redundant studio in Malta.  So the real question is what effect, if any, the advent of new owners Evolution’s stewardship will have on the company’s slot output?

As ever with corporate takeovers of this kind, there are advantages and disadvantages for the acquired company and its customers and players. On the plus side, the increased financial power and market muscle of the new owner offers potentially larger and more diverse markets to move into. It can also lead to an injection of investment into the newly acquired company, the additional resources sometimes leading to an expansion and improvement in quality and quantity of output.

This is clearly a good thing for a company’s customers, players and fans. It can also work in in their favour when the acquired company is ‘left to do what it does best’, with little interference from its new owners. When companies retain their autonomy and continue to function as an independent entity, things really can work out well for both customers and owners. The talents of the acquired company are after all, what attracted the takeover bid from its new owners in the first place.

On the other hand, there are disadvantages too. It is all too easy for a previously successful outfit to disappear into the black hole of its new owners’ corporate machine, micro-managed into submission. As a result, the acquired company can frequently become yet another forgotten brand within the newly merged organisation’s web of bureaucracy. The skills and originality which led to the success of a start-up brand or company can simply get lost when it becomes a mere division of a massive conglomerate.

This is a real risk in this particular case. Initial indications are not good when a whole NetEnt division is summarily closed virtually overnight to suit its new Evolution overlords. The evidence could lead a neutral observer to suggest a worrying question – was Evolution’s intention with this takeover merely to close down a competitor threatening its core market?

NetEnt – The Way Forward

Given the events of December 2020, the omens don’t look too promising. Evolution’s controversial closure of NetEnt’s Maltese live streaming studio and the announcement of further extensive redundancies caused a storm within the online gaming industry. These actions certainly demonstrated a clear commercial ruthlessness on the part of its new owners.

However, the longer term prospects for NetEnt’s core business – slots – look better. There are certainly grounds for optimism. While Evolution’s destruction of NetEnt’s live gaming operation seems clearly based on protecting its own business interests and market share, the amount of money involved in the acquisition suggests other motives are also in play.

€2 billion is a massive sum to pay just to liquidate a troublesome competitor with a tiny market share. It would certainly be a very expensive takeover if Evolution were simply to let its new acquisition’s talents wither on the vine. It is surely in the company’s interests to nurture NetEnt’s undisputed and unrivalled talent for producing great games.

Instead, it can be seen that the two company’s respective strengths are a good fit. The business speak term is ‘synergy’: Evolution will continue to concentrate on its own live gaming operation, while NetEnt will be able to focus on its core strength – its incomparable slot output.

Seen this way, the takeover can be appreciated as a win / win situation for both companies. Evolution now have a strong foot hold in a related gaming market in which they previously had no influence, while NetEnt can continue to do what they do best, whilst enjoying additional financial security under the corporate umbrella of their new owners. Indeed, early indications suggest that NetEnt’s production schedule has been unaffected, with the usual prolific rate of releases continuing through the early months and years of their new corporate partnership.

The spring and summer of 2021 saw a consistent average rate of release of around two to three games per month, with some top titles such as Parthenon: Quest for Immortality and a new MegawaysTM version of the old NetEnt classic “Dazzle Me” hitting Netent casinos worldwide.

The Dazzle Me re-boot is of particular interest, because it is a fine example of the advantages of the merger with Evolution already bearing fruit. April 2021 saw Evolution splash the cash once again, this time on the innovative Aussie gaming software outfit Big Time Gaming (BTG). This time, the value of the takeover was an initial €220 million, with the total outlay likely to amount to around €450 million.

The deal leaves Evolution as the ultimate owners of three of the most prestigious brands in slot software design: NetEnt, Red Tiger and now BTG. The specific advantage for NetEnt in this new deal is the fact that BTG’s spectacularly successful Megaways TM mechanic is now effectively ‘in-house’. It is therefore available for all new releases, and for upgrading the company’s legacy titles, without the need to pay an additional licencing fee.

Another example of the benefits NetEnt’s new owners can bring to the table is the spectacular new version of the Gonzo franchise: Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. This unique and innovative mash up brings the familiar story of the fictional Spanish conquistador to life in a thrilling live gaming format.

Once again, the game is set in the Inca jungle, but with real live action, live game show hosts and random prize drops and multipliers added to the action. The game takes place in a kind of ‘augmented reality’, with live presenters mingling with the animated “Gonzo”, much like you may have seen in blockbuster movies like “Avatar” and “Iron Man”.

NetEnt Casinos Summary

The good news is that despite the corporate turbulence of recent times, the future for NetEnt remains bright. Many fans of the company’s unique style will be disappointed if its distinctive Scandinavian flavour is diluted, but early indications suggest that the company is set to thrive under the stewardship of its new owners and its market muscle.

Here at netent.net, we will of course be keeping a close eye on developments, but NetEnt’s position at the forefront of innovative slot design seems assured for the foreseeable future. Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt really does take online gaming into another dimension, and seems to signal the way forward for the new commercial partnership.

Along with the acquisition of MegawaysTM inventors BTG, it is a clear demonstration of the ‘synergies’ the new partnership with Evolution is already bringing to the NetEnt locker. Casino operators, fans and online casino players alike: all are surely looking forward to seeing what spectacular new games and formats the future will bring.