New Zealand Lotto May Get Boost From Internet Gaming
By Earl
Infotech reports that the decline in ticket sales for Lotto, the national lottery, could receive a boost from online computer games which feature a facility for gambling, according to Ariane Burgess, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission. Mrs. Burgess suggested online gambling to a parliamentary select committee on February 21. She also told the legislators that controls on the use of the online games would ensure that no under-aged players would be able to buy lottery tickets, which would be against the law. The games would come with a personal computer, or be found with an Internet server. Hidden within the game would be a lottery paradigm that could be accessed only by adults.

There is a need to do something about declining Lotto sales. 'People wanted more and bigger jackpots,' Mrs. Burgess also said. 'Five to $6 million to $8 million is not considered enough but perhaps $15 to $20 million is enough.' It is hoped that greater and more convenient access to lottery tickets would boost their sale.

The commission is also considering the sale of Lotto tickets through mobile phone calls, a site on the Internet, through electronic kiosks, or perhaps other means by which to promote Lotto sales. Lotto, Strike, Powerball, Daily Keno, and Instant Kiwi have dwindled in sales since 1999. Another game, Telebingo, has been discontinued.

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