Online scratchies may raise gambling harm
Plans to sell scratchies online will likely result in a ‘‘significant increase’’ in gambling harm, the Ministry of Health has warned.
However, regular scratchie user Emlyn Williams, 30, said ‘‘the glory of the scratchie’’ will disappear.
‘‘If you take away scratch, what’s the point.’’
Lotto New Zealand announced last year it would like to sell its Instant Kiwi tickets online through its website and app.
But advice provided to the Government has highlighted the risks of putting the game in the pockets of gamblers.
In a document sent to Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, which was released under the Official Information Act, the Ministry said it was well established that continuous forms of gambling such as Instant Kiwi were more harmful.
In Australia, where gambling was more developed, online scratchies had been banned because of their repetitive nature.
To combat this the Ministry recommended a $100 monthly spend limit be applied, but noted that Lotto was likely to lean towards a $500 limit.
Problem Gambling the Foun- dation spokeswoman Andree Froude said the proposal was extremely concerning.
Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said no specifics about the proposal could be discussed as talks with stakeholders regarding game development were ongoing.
She would not discuss a possible spending limit, but said Lotto was working with the Ministry of Health and the Department of Internal Affairs to ensure safeguards were appropriate.
This is how scratchies could look on your mobile phone if the Lotteries Commission have their way.