Officials pesimistic about New Zealand online lottery

The New Zealand Lotteries online sales channel will be branded MyLotto and was originally expected to launch in March this year, according to documents released under the Official Information Act.

New Zealand Lotteries has yet to confirm the actual launch date, after which players will be able to buy tickets for Lotto, Powerball, Strike, Keno and Big Wednesday draws online.

A Cabinet paper signed last year backs up a recent assurance by Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker that the Government has not given New Zealand Lotteries much encouragement that it will be allowed to sell an equivalent of ’scratchies’ over the Web.

Internal Affairs officials doubt the sale of Lotto tickets over the internet will be sufficient to arrest a long-term decline in NZ Lotteries’ income unless it is also allowed to sell ’more exciting’ games online.

The Cabinet paper echoes concerns about the future of Lotto, saying that though NZ Lotteries is experiencing strong sales of new and revamped games, “past experience suggests that sales will wane as these games mature and players lose interest”.