On­line scratchies may raise gam­bling harm

Central Leader - - HEALTH & BEAUTY - SHANE COWLISHAW AND ALEXAN­DRA NEL­SON

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.

BE­VAN READ/FAIR­FAX NZ

This is how scratchies could look on your mo­bile phone if the Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion have their way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.