Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Australian Newsagents Concerned about Lottery's Plans to Expand Ticket Sales

Newsagents in Maitland, Australia, say they fear the lottery's decision to start selling tickets via larger retailers such as Woolworths could be damaging to their sales.

Fears arose last Thursday when Woolworths boss Grant O'Brien admitted the Australian Lottery organizers, TattsLotto, had approached him to discuss the selling lottery tickets via Woolworths stores.

A number of newsagents from the Maitland area have already contacted the New South Wales government and asked it to intervene and prevent the plans from going ahead.

Worried newsagents have also contacted their local MP, Robyn Parker, in the hopes that she may be able to help them in their campaign.

The owners of one newsagency have been trying to get the support of their customers and have already collected over 130 signatures.

Lyn and Lindsay Patfield (Maitland West End Newsagency) have been running their store for 12 years and believe Tatts' present plans, if allowed to go ahead, will affect a 15,000 newsagencies throughout NSW.

"All newsagents need the public to get behind them on this or we will all be in big trouble," Mr. Patfield stated. "We stock a wide range of magazines and various other items, but we rely on TattsLotto sales as a large part of our business."

Mrs. Patfield was equally concerned.

"I think about 40 per cent of newsagencies would close down if this comes about," Mrs. Patfield said. "Some rely on Lotto sales, which make up more than 70 per cent of their business."

Minister for Small Business John Barilaro has already added his support to the campaign.

"This afternoon, I met with the Newsagents Association and gave them an undertaking to work together to get the best deal for small businesses," Mr. Barilaro said.