In an article published in May, The Spinoff revealed the sneaky way offshore casinos are trying to entice New Zealanders to gamble on their websites by advertising on our televisions.
You may have seen an advertisement for Jackpot City or Spin Palace (they are basically the same website) as you kick back, relax and watch your favourite show or movie on Three.
If you’re someone in the know, you may be aware that it is illegal for offshore online gambling sites to be promoted in New Zealand, so you might be questioning how these websites are getting around the legality issue.
Well, essentially what they are doing is advertising free-to-play, no-risk virtual gambling, which means you can gamble on these sites using virtual money, and while you may think that sounds harmless, there is a catch.
If you were to watch the ad and scribble down the web address JackpotCity.net you would be taken to a free-to-play online gambling site. But if, like many people, you decide to just Google Jackpot City, you won’t find the .net site anywhere in your search. What actually comes up in a Google search are the .org or .com websites, and if you were to click on these you would find that you may be enticed to gamble with real money.
Following The Spinoff investigation the Minister of Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, promised to take action and close any loopholes that were allowing offshore casinos to advertise on our televisions. She said that “it is clear the current gambling legislation is no longer fit for purpose” and urged MediaWorks to take an ethical stance and do their part.
At this time these advertisements are still appearing on our television screens.
If you are worried about your gambling or someone else's gambling, contact the Problem Gambling Foundation on 0800 664 262 for free and confidential support.
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