Lotto Plans to Launch Online Bingo Platform in New Zealand

The state-owned Lotto has revealed its plans to appoint a company to launch an online bingo platform which should be live in the second half of 2022. Lotto says it wants to hop in the growing demand for online bingo products in the country. Currently, a growing number of Kiwis have shown to head to unregulated bingo sites to buy their tickets.

Lotto NZ says it wants to offer New Zealanders a safe and trusted alternative to these unregulated gambling platforms. Lotto adds that 35 percent of its sales are already made online. Amidst the announcement, citicasters have shown their disapproval. 

NZ’s Online Bingo Platform

Many have opposed this decision of the lottery company. Industry experts state that the launch of an online bingo platform has led to dissatisfaction as the game of chance is considered a gambling activity that represents high risks. 

On the other hand, the state-owned lottery company would have to prove this decision in its favour. The company will invite the reputed casino software developers in the gambling industry by a tender. The most suitable organisation will be chosen to develop and offer the digital bingo game by the middle of 2022. There are already many online casinos in NZ that provide online bingo games, Lotto would have to strive hard to attract the customers.

Online sales is not new for the company as already 30% of the current sales are made online. The PGF (Problem Gambling Foundation) has requested an in-depth plan of how it is going to deal with the facilitation of responsible gaming. PGF has asked about the plans of Lotto NZ to protect especially Pasifika New Zealanders from the problem of addiction to gambling. Representing 8% of the population, the Pacific Peoples are considered the country’s most vulnerable group that need to be closely monitored to avoid they lose control over their wagers. 

Andree Froude, Marketing and Communication Director at PGF states that bingo products are potentially just as addictive as online pokies, disagreeing with Lotto’s own claims that bingo falls into the medium risk category.

She added that bingo is similar to pokies. In pokies games, players are enticed to play more and more, bingo does the same by engaging players for a long time.

The Positive Side

On the other hand, Peter Adams, a professor at the School of the Population Health University of Auckland, has stated that Lotto has taken several steps to reduce the harm of gambling. It has taken the necessary decisions to protect the players.

Gambling can be used to raise funds for the society as well as some communities, he added. The Pasifika community uses this lottery game for raising funds, so the argument remains the same whether they will be affected or not.

Many speculate that the arrival of online bingo could be the reason for growing gambling addicts in the country. At the same time, the launch of online bingo will definitely be favourable to public treasury.

Paula Snowden, Chief Executive at Problem Gambling Foundation, opposes this decision of Lotto. She wants assurance on what responsible gambling features would be taken. How New Zealand players will be protected.

Marie Winfield, Head of Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility at Lotto New Zealand, has assured that the proper responsible gambling steps would be taken and the safe gaming experience would be provided. She also added that over 280k NZ players use foreign online casinos and this is riskier. She claimed that Lotto, with incredible safety measures, would be a reliable alternative to offshore online bingo platforms.

The safety measure may include the age limitation, gameplay time limit, spending limit, and many more. We think it would be better to have a local online bingo platform and this decision of Lotto New Zealand sounds promising.

Gabrielle Hills

I'm Gabrielle Hills and I have more than 3 years of experience in the gambling industry, As a senior editor, I aspire hard to analyze different online gambling clubs and rewards and distinguish the best ones for the players. I would like to show you, how new players begin their journey with online gambling very easily without prior knowledge. Regarding this context, you can find out which online casino bonuses and NZ casinos are worthwhile for novices as well as experienced players. I believe in constructive criticism so readers can approach me anytime to provide their feedback.

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