The most interesting approach I saw was in a CVS store in Los Angeles – a self-serve vending machine offering stratchie and lotto tickets through a touchscreen selection – or a paper coupon entry and have this scanned.
The vending machine takes cash and does not give change. On top is a digital screen promoting games and listing the winning lotto numbers.
I watched as several customers made purchases without difficulty.
While a sign says YOU MUST BE 18 OR ORLDER TO PLAY, I saw no evidence of an age check.
The CVS store where I saw this lottery product vending machine is part of a large national business focused on healthcare. Their approach to retail is what I would expect to see from any of the national retailers in Australia such as Coles, Woolworths and 7-Eleven. I mention as they are the biggest bricks and mortar threat to newsagency lottery sales.
If technology like this vending machine did become available in Australia, it would be interesting to see if newsagents embrace it. For example, if it could be located in a shop window like an ATM, I wonder if many would. Or, if not, would newsagents place it in-store? I suspect newsagents would prefer the personal service of over the counter. This makes sense as it is a perceived point of difference. However, such a point of difference is only valuable if you leverage it.
I have no knowledge about whether vending machines like this will come to Australia. What I do know is that Tatts continues to require small business newsagents to invest more retail space and capital in representing lottery products in their stores – compared to 7-Eleven and Coles Express and compared to what is required of lottery retailers in the US.
The lottery space is in play both in bricks and mortar stores and online. This is what the space and capital you invest is important.