One News: Is Lotto a gateway to more harmful gambling? Public health official calls for restrictions

With the jackpot for tonight's draw at $42 million, there are adverts everywhere you look selling the life-changing prize.

But it's raised the question: Is Lotto a gateway to more harmful gambling?

Hāpai Te Hauora Māori public health chief executive Selah Hart told TVNZ1's Breakfast today Lotto is a form of gambling that has been normalised in New Zealand.

She recalled growing up checking her grandfather's Lotto ticket at his feet on Saturday evenings, but now the draw is twice a week and has moved online.

Ms Hart is calling for updated restrictions to the Gambling Act and raised questions about where the billions of dollars Kiwis invest is going.

Nearly $1.8 billion is spend on Lotto every year - that's roughly $2200 a minute, 24 hours a day.

"It's normalised, it's part of Kiwi culture," Ms Hart said.

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Watch the full interview here