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Lotto online – safety first

Lotto online – safety first

Internal Affairs Minister, Rick Barker has responded to Green MP, Sue Bradford's concerns over moves to offer Lotto online with the assurance that the safety features in place are robust and in fact offer greater protection than traditional play.

"Players will be required to register to play online, be permitted to have only one account and will have to set their own personal weekly and monthly spending limits which cannot be exceeded. There will also be more general mandatory spending limits, such as no more than $300 in any month," Mr Barker said.

"These safeguards do not apply to traditional play and there is no reason to believe offering lotto online will dramatically alter player behaviour. Lotto is an iconic kiwi lottery; the proceeds of which are returned directly to the community. Many New Zealanders regularly buy a ticket and will welcome the convenience of being able to buy online.

"Because Lotto is a non continuous form of gambling and there is a significant delay between purchasing a ticket and knowing the result – the risk of problem gambling in very low. The implementation will also be closely monitored by Department of Internal Affairs officials.

"The Member also raised in the House yesterday concerns about any moves to provide other age restricted instant games. I share her concerns about offering these products online and would like to make very clear that the government has not approved this or any such proposal. There are significant challenges presented by offering these kinds of games on line and minimising the associated risks.

"In addition to the safety measures already outlined, Lotto online will allow for the collection of information on player spending habits which has not been possible until now. This information can lead to more effective controls in the future.

"I would encourage the Member to give credit where credit is due and support the rigorous safety features which will govern Lotto online, safety features not already present in the sale of Lotto, which is considered a low risk game.

"Lotto online will be safe alternative to the online games offered by overseas-based gambling operators, and benefits will remain in New Zealand," Mr Barker said.


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