Yes to online bingo

The Herald reports:

Lotto is being urged to drop plans to launch an online Bingo game, with a member of its expert advisory panel saying it could increase gambling harm in Māori and Pasifika communities.

But Maria Bellringer, director of Auckland University of Technology's Gambling and Addictions Research Centre and a member of Lotto's expert advisory panel, wants the company to ditch the idea.

Bellringer said online Bingo is a form of “continuous gambling” where players can immediately reinvest their winnings, unlike a lottery draw where gamblers wait hours or days for the result.

The vast majority of people who gamble are not problem gamblers. They enjoy it. It is a form of entertainment.

Lyman told RNZ New Zealanders were already playing the game on offshore websites and it would be safer for them to play Lotto's version – which would also return some of that money to the community.

“It's a game that's being played by Kiwis through offshore, unregulated sites. That troubles me. think that we could provide that service to those New Zealanders onshore, for a regulated site where there are harm controls,” Lyman said. “We're not trying to create a market here. There is a market already. Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis are playing Bingo offshore.”

That is the key – people are already playing it on overseas sites.

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