A new daily Lotto game that offers tickets for $1 has been called unnecessary by anti-gambling campaigners.
Lotto New Zealand calls Play 3 “a fun, new game that’s unique from our other games”, but the Problem Gambling Foundation and budgeting services say it is not needed and increases the risk of harm.
Lotto already has three daily games, plus its big draw nights on Saturday and Wednesday.
The new game, which has a top prize of $500, involves picking a 3-digit number and matching it – either exactly, out of order or with two digits the same.
Players pay $1 per ticket, with the number drawn at 6pm each day. The first draw took place last night. There is no age limit, in common with all other Lotto games except its Instant Kiwi scratchcard.
In its briefing to incoming Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne in February, Lotto said it estimated Play 3 would increase revenue – which is close to $1 billion a year – by 1.1 per cent.
It is part of a strategy to grow sales that includes negotiating the sale of tickets at supermarket checkouts.
Problem Gambling Foundation spokeswoman Andree Froude asked whether a new game was justified.
This makes me think that the (taxpayer funded) PGF wants a world where we are not allowed to gamble. No Lotto, no Instant Kiwi, no casinos, no bingo, no horse racing, no sports betting. It would be a world without problem gambling, but also a world without fun.
We should help those who have an addiction, but not take away choice from millions of New Zealanders.