In New Zealand, the local government has given supermarkets permission to sell lottery tickets at their checkout counter earlier this year. Now, the same permission may be granted at grocery stores in New South Wales, as Tatts Group may be in talks with the retail industry to make this happen.
Newsagents across the state are worried that Tatts Group has been negotiating with Coles and Woolworths. It is thought that the lottery provider will sell lottery tickets through popular supermarket chains to boost its profits, which may put newsagents out of business. So, the Newsagents Association of NSW and ACT (NANA) is taking action.
This week, NANA called for an emergency meeting with NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance. The organisation has requested intervention from the local government, which would stop Tatts from selling their tickets through the supermarkets. There are currently 1300 newsagents in NSW, and 1200 sell lottery tickets. An additional 300 other small businesses also conduct lottery sales.
Representatives from NANA have argued that allowing supermarkets to sell lottery tickets would have a huge negative impact on newsagents. Many newsagents receive 90% of their business from lottery ticket sales, and supermarket could cut into their profits. It may lead to 600 newsagents and small businesses being forced to shut down. According to News.com.au, NANA has received support from responsible gambling advocates.
Kirsten Shannon of the Gambling Treatment Clinic believes that it is important to examine the type of effect that supermarket lottery sales may have on problem gambling rates. “The less we make gambling available the better,” she says. “Whether making lottery tickets more available will have the same effect is hard to say. It’s a very different profile.
But these questions need to be thought about.” Coles and Woolworths have kept quiet about any potential deals. We, we will just have to see whether or not Tatts will go through with selling lottery tickets through supermarkets.