Lotto NZ's use of Chinese New Year traditions to promote its newly formatted scratch tickets is drawing criticism from Māori and Asian services.

Kelly Feng of Asian Family Services describes the new augmented reality app for gambling.

“The Lucky Fortune and also the lantern can have a cultural component. The year of the dog and the colour. The red colour is the lucky colour for this year, Chinese New Year as well.”

Both Asian Family Services and Ants Hawke of Hāpai Te Hauora say that Lotto NZ is culturally misappropriating the Chinese culture through targeting not only migrants in NZ but Māori as well.

“Firstly they're cashing in on a celebration that is meant to be about family and cultural connection and they have found a way to monetise that and hit us where we are most probably vulnerable which is in our pockets.”

Feng also adds the app is a temptation for a lot of people who use apps regularly.

“A lot of young people play similar games like Pokemon it's exactly similar you touch the lantern and it pops. It gives people the instant reward. The money they earn or the feeling of excitement will give them to encourage to play more.”

Hawke says he's disappointed in Lotto NZ.

“If they tried to launch a campaign that was designed Matariki, but for tangata whenua when an agency like Lotto has the Chinese population down in NZ, it's only appropriate that tangata whenua stand up and support them to be recognised for the harm that these cultural icons are going to have on their communities.”

Augmented Reality app was created to offer a new, fun way to bring one of the games to life and all tickets must be bought in-store.

The Lucky Fortune ticket coincides with Chinese New Year, which is an occasion celebrated more and more by all New Zealanders.

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