PGF Considers Instant-Play Lotto Harmful

Tia Winter | 19 January 2018

New Zealand’s foremost gambling counselling provider, the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF), has in a recent statement described local lotto operators’ email-based advertisements as a potentially harmful form of gambling.

The comment, which came from a spokesperson for the Problem Gambling Foundation, has followed the latest advertising campaign from Lotto New Zealand. The lottery firm, which supplies all of the country’s regulated lotto gambling activities, recently sent emails to many of its online customers, asking them to be some of its first patrons to access MyLotto’s new Instant Play feature.

The lottery games are currently playable from NZ$0.50 to NZ$5 a ticket, and can be accessed both through Lotto NZ’s online channel and through its dedicated mobile app. Players are first offered the chance to play the games free of charge, and then must play for real money in order to win cash prizes of up to NZ$100,000.

Authority Opposes Instant Features

The spokesperson of PGF has explained that these forms of gambling may be significantly more harmful than traditional varieties. Apparently, the new lottery games have raised the suspicions of the gambling addiction support organisation, which feels that the email advertising used to promote them is aimed first and foremost at a younger generation of customers.

In a 1NEWS interview, the spokesperson in question revealed that the ‘instant’ features of the games are the most concerning to the PGF, as it is this form of continuous gambling that can drain bankrolls much faster than traditional lotto games. This, in the Foundation’s eyes, makes it much riskier than other forms of lottery gambling for players who are prone to addiction.

The representative explained that, as a general rule, a shorter period of time between wagering and receiving the result often leads to a higher risk of gambling-related harm in any activity requiring wagers. She reminded viewers that it is also this same short time-span between pushing a button and winning some cash that makes pokies so addictive.

On-demand Access Spells Trouble

In general, Lotto NZ tickets are considered to be a less harmful form of gambling by the PGF, as players must purchase tickets and then wait up to days for their draw’s results. Unfortunately, the new instant-play lotto games are now available online 24 hours a day, and can even be accessed via smartphone, making them even more hazardous.

To compound the issue, the music and sound effects in the new games are very reminiscent of those featured in pokies games, which have long been thought of as the single most addictive form of gambling available to Kiwi punters.

The PGF has furthermore voiced concerns that much younger audiences are being attracted by these games through app and online formats, and has reminded operators that they need to ensure that they take adequate responsibility measures through all of their platforms.

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