NEW ONLINE GAMBLING PLANS IN NEW ZEALAND
12th July, 2011 at 04:29:06
National lottery wants to take 'scratchies' online
The New Zealand government's abhorrence of internet gambling is selective; it appears, as the national lottery presses ahead with plans to exploit the internet in order to boost sales.
According to TVNZ, the national Lottery Commission's statement of intent for the next two years includes selling lotto tickets in supermarkets and a push towards more online gaming - including making Instant Kiwi 'scratchies' available online.
Increasing the time New Zealanders spend gambling is also named as an objective in the statement.
The Problem Gambling Foundation perhaps predictably reacted negatively to the news, with the Foundation's spokesman Graham Aitken claiming that New Zealanders could be placed at greater risk.
"You get online and start buying these things and start losing your rationality and start losing quite big money," he said, adding over 200 people a year now come forward with gambling problems from Lotto, up from between 30-40 five years ago.
NZ Lotteries' chief executive Todd McLeay said nothing is concrete at this stage. "Any move to introduce more products to our online channel, such as instants, would have to meet our high standards of social responsibility and would be subject to Government approval," he said. "At this stage, we are not consulting with the government regarding any additional products being offered online."
But Aitken said the action already taken showed otherwise.
"The fact that they put it out on their statement of intent is more than just a draft," he claimed.
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