The American company,Wawa, has announced their intention to install automated lottery ticket vending machines in their New Jersey convenience stores and gas stations. The machines may make ticket purchases quicker and easier, but many proprietors of smaller stores are worried about the effect this will have on their businesses.
Vasant Patel owns, who owns the Woodbury Variety and Deli on Broad Street in Woodbury, admits he made just under $500 a day from ticket sales last month when the (US) Mega Millions' mammoth $550 million jackpot encouraged an increased interest in the game. But it isn't just the possibility of losing out on ticket sales that worries Patel. Many customers who visit his shop specially to buy lottery tickets often buy other merchandise while they are there. "I might have to change my game plan on how I operate my business," Vasant Patel said. "Wawa, compared to me, is a big elephant."
Raj Patel, who manages the Woodstown News Agency, has voiced similar worries. His business is struggling at the moment and a reduction in ticket sales could force him to close his doors for good. "Wawa, they’ve got a lot," Raj Patel said. "You can go in there to buy smokes and everything, and they won’t come here."
Wawa's machines have already proved popular in several other states, and the company has already started moving them into their New Jersey locations. If all goes according to plan they will be up and running in all 210 properties within the next few months.