A Labour Party proposal to remove the sale of Lotto
tickets from supermarket checkouts has been described by the
Prime Minister as "a bit nanny state".
On Saturday, Labour Party MP Shane Jones told TV3's the
Nation that the availability of Lotto tickets at Countdown
checkouts was not in society's interests and represented a
spread of gambling into the community.
He also called for a review of the Gambling Act, saying $33.5
million jackpots were too high.
"Once the jackpot goes up...what do you buy? Weetbix, orange
or a big fat Wednesday?"
Mr Jones today said the party was discussing the future of
the Gambling Act with the party's Internal Affairs spokesman
"He is our spokesman on that issue, but gambling is a
conscience issue in the Labour party.
Labour leader David Cunliffe said they were considering a
policy of capping Lotto jackpots and the availability of
tickets sold at checkouts if elected.
"We agree with Shane's analysis that the use of Lotto at
checkouts is going to increase the use of gambling and
possibly amongst those who can least afford it.
"It's not for us to tell New Zealanders how to spend their
money, but we will want to include that issue in a review of
gaming policy when we're elected."
Prime Minister John Key said Mr Jones' comments were "a bit
"Lotto's been around for a long time, I'm not saying that
there's been the odd person that shouldn't be buying
something else - a staple in life as opposed to a Lotto
ticket - but in the end don't we have to let people get on
and run their own lives?
"At the end of the day, people have to take personal
responsibility, they have to make their own decisions, there
are certainly people that have addictions to gambling - it
might be a small percentage but nevertheless they're there
and they have some real, serious issues that often cause
chaos within their own family. But typically that's more at
casinos I think than ultimately it really is in terms of
- By Brendan Manning of APNZ