Problem Gambling Foundation says it's 'a shame' Kiwi music giants Six60 being used on scratchie tickets

Kiwi band Six60 is featured on a new Instant Kiwi scratchie, and while they say the intent is to raise money for worthy charities, critics say they may also be encouraging problem gambling.

An Instant Kiwi scratchie released by the Lotteries Commission in collaboration with Kiwi band Six60. Source: Supplied

The band, as well as the Lotteries Commission, revealed the new $3 tickets yesterday, which feature a picture of the band and a maximum prize of $60,000.

Posting on Facebook, Six60 said they were "excited to announce our new Instant Kiwi scratchie".

"Three lucky fans will win $60k and all the profits will go to help incredible Kiwi charity causes like the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre, Star Jam NZ and Heart Kids NZ."

In a statement to 1 NEWS today, band members said they knew going in that their involvement could cause a stir. 

"When we were approached by Lotto NZ to do a scratchy we were aware of the possibility of criticism, but we felt like supporting great Kiwi causes like the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre, Star Jam NZ and Heart Kids NZ was worth it," the band said. 

According to Lotto NZ, 23 per cent of the cost of a lottery product in New Zealand goes to charity or community products through the Lottery Grants Board.

More than half - 55 per cent - goes into the prize pool, five per cent goes to operating costs, five per cent to the retailer and 12 per cent goes to the government as tax.

Six60 fans reminded to turn on Bluetooth before concert

Some of the reaction to the band's new endeavour was positive, with some commenters praising their choice of charities.

However, others were quick to slam them for "selling out" and "supporting gambling".

"This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen a band do - prey on the poor and gambling addicts," one person wrote.

New Zealand comedian Guy Williams was among those critical of the tickets, tweeting that "this is a targeted gambling campaign aimed at young people".

Andree Froude of the Problem Gambling Foundation called the scratchies "really disappointing".

"This normalises gambling and targets young people who form a big part of Six60's fan base," she said.

"Although Six60 are supporting really worthwhile causes, that doesn’t make it right.

"We need to think about where the money is coming from, rather than where it is going - and it is the vulnerable that are impacted the most.

"While we are not an anti-gambling organisation, we are anti the harm caused by gambling, so it is a shame that Six60 have chosen to associate themselves and their brand with scratchies."

When contacted by 1 NEWS, Lotto NZ said the band was enjoyed by a "broad adult audience".

"At all times Lotto NZ is committed to minimising any risk of problem or underage gambling associated with our games, and this ticket is no different," head of communications and corporate social responsibility Marie Winfield said. 

"When developing any new Instant Kiwi ticket, Lotto NZ follows a robust established process to ensure all tickets are designed in accordance with both internal and industry standards of best practice. 

"This includes strict guidelines regarding advertising placement, with all Instant Kiwi advertising targeting only those over the age of 25."

Winfield says the band was compensated "for use of their intellectual property" and they chose to donate it to charity.

Lotto NZ's 2020 Annual Report shows that $313 million was transferred to the Lottery Grants Board for distribution to causes in the 2019/20 year, and overall, sales of lottery products totalled $1.38 billion.