On a Roll: A History of Gambling and Lotteries in NZ Book Review

A History of Gambling and Lotteries in NZ
David Grant set out to write a volume on lotteries, but he ended up with an account that tackles the broader recreational gaming as a subject matter. It is very tempting to look at his document as a comprehensive survey of the industry as a whole, but a seasoned eye would argue that there is no way Grant could have predicted the avalanche of changes we see today. This is a frank and blunt account of what New Zealand has always seen gambling as. There are strong hints of the ripple effect of a subculture that, while not exactly mainstream, has stood the test of time.The sands of time

Grant sees gambling as an art that, even before its rise to the top, was always ahead of its time. He sketches the vivid imagery of a past where New Zealanders went about their arcane lifestyles before the Brits came along. When the foreigners landed in the colony, they brought this British ideal with them, and the locals saw it as the perfect opportunity to learn the ways of the world. The continued proliferation of gambling and its attendant tendencies led to the rise of a subculture that existed in the settlements, aided in no small measure by the Kiwi reverence for anything from the book of creatives.


A war within a war

Up to around 1910, New Zealanders were catching on to the good old game of gambling, but a snag was on the way. Within that year, legal gambling was restricted, horseracing became the subject of regulatory discourse, and bookmakers were banned. However, it took a rather surprising event for the perceptions to spin on their head years down the line; soldiers went to war and gambled hard. And since these were heroes in the eyes of the public, it became a universally accepted truth that the powers that be could no longer shape and dominate the lives the people wanted to live. After that, the chips started falling into place. Kiwis were convinced that gambling was an art to be revered and enjoyed, and they eventually came of age. This kind of education has continued until today, where casinos are a fandom and gambling online is a pastime for those who dare to dream.

Today, NZ continues to tentatively test the limits of gambling. They spend NZ$2 billion a year on a range of online casino and related games and will go out of their way to look for gambling information in respected places like Casinoreviews.net.nz.

The book can be purchased either on Amazon or VUP.