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Internet Lotto Sales A Recipe For New Addictions

Today’s announcement by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission of the introduction of internet Lotto ticket sales has been slammed as “a recipe for more hidden gambling addiction problems”, by a gambling issues advocacy group.

GamblingWatch Co-ordinator Dave Macpherson said the move “flies in the face of community calls for greater host responsibility by gambling suppliers.”

“It also runs directly counter to the Government’s own philosophy of ‘controlling the growth of gambling’, as set out in the Gambling Act, 2003.

Mr Macpherson said internet, or ‘on-line’ gambling included the following problems:

A higher risk of developing gambling addiction problems on the part of regular punters, due to their isolated nature of their participation, and the inability for the Commission to directly monitor the gambling activity;
A high risk of minors being able to access gambling – a risk that is under strong control with face-to-face gambling
Exposure of current non-gamblers to a gambling activity that is easy to hide from their family and communities.

He said that it was “ironic that the Commission is suggesting that internet gambling ‘symbolises the direct and personal relationship with customers that can be offered via the Internet’, as though this was something laudable and healthy!”

Mr Macpherson also pointed out that the United States Government had been recently cracking down on internet gambling companies, arresting and charging the heads of several major European internet gambling enterprises with illegal activities.

“If I was the CEO or Chair of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission, I wouldn’t be travelling via the United States any time soon,” he commented.

“Perhaps the Minister of Internal Affairs, responsible for the Lotteries Commission, might also need to be careful about his travel plans.”



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