The New Zealand Lotteries Commission has seen a huge increase in profits over the course of the past year. In 2011, residents spent $926 million on the local lottery, an 18% increase over 2010’s total.
The lottery commission has taken this as a sign of encouragement and hopes to increase its profits further over the course of 2012. However, the NZ Problem Gambling Foundation does not believe that the commission should take this route. The organization believes that residents should not be encouraged to gamble during a time of economic crisis.
The two entities also disagree on the cause of the massive increase in profits. While the Lotteries Commission believes that its new and improved gaming options have boosted revenue, the Problem Gambling Foundation believes that the recession is behind the phenomenon.
More alarming still, is the fact that these numbers do not include all forms of gambling across New Zealand. Money spent at online casinos and other gaming venues have not been included, meaning that New Zealanders could be spending billions of dollars overall on gambling activities.