Lotto New Zealand was established to provide safe gaming opportunities for New Zealanders to participate in and win while also donating money to local communities throughout the country. Tens of thousands of New Zealanders struggled to log on and discover if they’d won the lottery in October 2021, prompting the Lotto to investigate the website’s performance. Because the situation had gotten so severe, Lotto requested individuals to hold off on checking their tickets until a few days later.
However, this is merely one of numerous examples of what has gone wrong in recent years. The national lottery is expected to continue to struggle into 2022 – continue reading to find out why.
The Current Problems the National Lottery is Facing
On Wednesday, 20th October 2021, around 25,000 Kiwis were billed extra on their lottery tickets as a result of a digital malfunction in the system for Lotto New Zealand’s NZ$42.2 million Powerball drawing, which was the second-highest jackpot ever won in the country’s history. Pre-drawing issues were caused by many visitors on the National Lottery’s “My Lotto” website, which caused problems with the card processing systems maintained by third-party payment partners. As a result of the malfunction, one Auckland resident found himself without money as the weekend approached. NZ$200 had been withdrawn from the account of the individual, whose identity was not revealed, which was four times the amount he had spent.
A change to online play in 2020 was pushed by the pandemic lockdowns, which saw Lotto NZ’s business go from 18 percent of total revenue after 13 years of operation to about 40 percent in nine months. Lotto had to alter its standards for performance and scalability as a result of this development. Additionally, Lotto NZ was forced to rearrange its current networks between its primary and backup datacentres due to the increasing demand for its services. As the prize draw grew in popularity, Lotto NZ’s infrastructure struggled to keep up with the traffic volume and payments being processed.
What the National Lottery Wants Funding For
A computer glitch in the Lotto system resulted in the unintended removal of funds from the accounts of tens of thousands of New Zealanders. Attempts to fill up accounts in the days preceding the historic Wednesday’s draw were met with technical issues by nearly 25,000 clients, according to a statement issued by Lotto. According to the company, their payment partners were experiencing problems with their card processing systems, which caused the outage to last from just before 7pm on Wednesday night to 7.30pm on Thursday night. Earlier in the morning, the app displayed a notification stating that it was “temporarily unavailable” and directing users to my Lotto.co.NZ website instead of the app. Players who attempted to access the site, on the other hand, were met with the notice, “Sorry, we’re currently closed.”
A spokeswoman for the Lotto organization offered an apology to those who were affected.
This is absolutely not the experience we intend to provide.Spokeswoman for the National Lottery organization
In addition, the spokesman confirmed that following the primary draw, it will open its app and website later than usual, at 7.45am, to allow for the processing of a high quantity of tickets, which would be processed.
The Former Minister of Internal Affairs Rejected the Full Budget Requested by the Lotteries Commission
Following a series of outages on the Lottery Commission’s website and mobile app, the New Zealand government has turned down several requests from the lottery commission for additional cash to update the platforms. Over three years:
- the Commission requested money for renovations, but the then Minister only provided half the funding for these efforts.
- The Lotteries Commission has attempted to secure sufficient cash to replace its out-of-date website and mobile application for three years. The then Minister had agreed to fund only a portion of the work.
- Documents obtained by the Herald under the Official Information Act show that Matthew Boyd, chairman of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission, wrote to then Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin in June 2018 requesting money to upgrade the website and app. The website and app have since been restored to operation.
- After submitting a request for funding to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, in June 2018, the Commission was only allocated NZ$8 million, prompting Chairman Matthew Boyd to write to the Minister once more in May 2019.
- During the fiscal year 2020, the Lotteries Commission requested an “uncapped sum,” which was denied, and instead received NZ$20.1 million, which was apparently insufficient to carry out the necessary changes to the digital platforms.
What the Future Holds for the National Lottery
Following decades of reliance on physical retail sales, online lottery tickets in New Zealand are beginning to witness growth in sales in digital formats. Lotteries have recently formed partnerships with casino software businesses such as IGT and Scientific Games in order to modernize the sector as a whole.
The New Zealand Lottery Commission (Lotto NZ) has strengthened its player safety systems by agreeing to use Neccton’s mentor software to monitor and guide players. Ahead of the expiration of the organization’s gaming technology contract in 2024, the organization is prepared to approach the market “in the near future,” according to advance notice of tender.
Lotto NZ has decided to use Neccton’s mentor program, which is a player behavior analysis tool that warns the operator and instantly confronts players who demonstrate troublesome gambling patterns, as part of its commitment to improving its responsible gaming activities. After demonstrating how it might best serve Lotto NZ’s players, Neccton, an Austrian company, won a competitive procurement procedure to begin working with the lottery operator in New Zealand.
The mentor software uses an artificial intelligence-based solution to analyze player behavior in real-time to avoid the development of harmful gambling behaviors. It also recognizes potentially problematic gambling behavior and seeks to assist both players and operators identify potential problems. The agreement will require that lottery participant receive notifications when their deposit frequency increases dramatically and personalized feedback to protect them from the harm caused by excessive gaming.