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ALNA responds on Lottoland pitch to newsagents

Mark Fletcher
April 20th, 2018 · 42 Comments

Adam Joy, CEO of ALNA, shared the following with me yesterday and I share it here with his permission.

The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) has taken a considered approach to the public advertisements by Lottoland Australia Pty Limited, which have appeared in newspapers last week, and on radio this week, regarding their commissions proposal aimed at members referring bets and customers from their retail venues to the online betting company.

ALNA remains resolute that Lottoland’s offer to newsagents is nothing more than a desperate PR manoeuvre that uses newsagents as advertising tools for an unethical business that is facing the closure of the loophole that it operates out of. This is backed up by overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from members across the country who support the government’s positive move to ban betting on lottery outcomes to protect Australian consumers.

Nonetheless, in order to protect and inform our members, and our industry more broadly, we have made inquiries with regulators in each jurisdiction you sell lottery tickets in, seeking clarification as to the legality of the offers being made.

In an opinion piece published in The Daily Telegraph on 17 April 2018, the CEO of Lottoland Luke Brill, peddled some desperate claims as it faces closure of the loophole that it operates out of. And since some of these comments are misguided, we thought it important to clarify the facts.

Luke Brill has called newsagents ‘the little guys’. This is wrong. While newsagents are small businesses, our industry is made up of over 4000+ newsagents, employs over 20,000 people, and generates an estimated annual turnover of $6 Billion. We are one of the largest independent retail channels in our community, and approximately 2.5 million Australians shop at their local agency every day.

As the peak body for newsagents in Australia, we wanted to clarify a few comments that were made about our industry. After all, we know newsagents better than this bookmaker, who is desperately trying to leverage our industry.

The ban that Mr Brill referred to is a soon-to-be-passed amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act, meaning the banning of betting on lottery outcomes. The Federal Interactive Gambling Act already makes it illegal to sell a scratchy online and play a poker machine online, and Lottoland’s business offering is another questionable model that is deemed inappropriate online. In other words, the main reason for the impending ban is consumer protection.

Lottoland are an online wagering company and if they want to enter the lottery market, then they should consider a lottery license and completely change their product to one that operates within those much tighter regulations to offer consumer protections. Their business is operating out of a legislative loophole and their approach is tricky and dodgy, and ultimately one that consumers should be concerned about.

In a last ditch attempt at survival, Lottoland has made an offer to newsagents where the newsagent would act as an advertising platform for Lottoland.

The majority of members have told us loud and clear that they do not want to associate with Lottoland. Their reasons are that Lottoland has spent years denigrating newsagents, they do not want to offer products that are not highly regulated and trusted, and it is not a good long-term strategy for their businesses to refer their customers and goodwill to an unregulated space.

Early indications about the Lottoland offer to newsagents also bring into question its legality and regulators are in the process of looking in to this.

Highly regulated products like lotteries tend to not have a huge number of suppliers, and this does not only apply to lotteries. Appropriate industry regulations that protect consumers in each jurisdiction they are licensed in, mean that new entrants can only exist if they fit within strict criteria. It’s actually a good thing for consumers.

The bottom line is, Lottoland needs to understand that the Aussie way is one of fairness. Fairness is paying out an advertised prize amount. Fairness is not taking advantage of newsagents customers. Fairness is not operating a bait-and-switch model. Fairness is not misusing trademarks of other businesses. Fairness is not looking for loopholes. And fairness is not being misleading.


ALNA has been funded by Tatts and or TABCORP for the media and PR work.


ALNA has received no funding either financial or otherwise by either entity individually or combined in their government relations, Public relations, Media or any other campaign to eradicate synthetic lotteries from our industry. ALNA did receive in 2017 a Bronze Sponsorship package to subsidise the Awards for excellence attendance tickets for retailers and provide Prize Money to the winners at the Awards for excellence Lottery retailer of the year in each participating state, there was no profit achieved from this money.


ALNA are supporting a monopoly environment at the detriment of their members and they are stopping members make more money!


ALNA are in fact working to protect their members and here is why

  1. There are clauses in the current contracts that may cause our members to be in breach if they attempt the Lottoland offer.
  2. Early indications about the Lottoland offer to newsagents also bring into question its legality and regulators are in the process of looking in to this, including its lack of license to provide betting services in retail venues.

iii.               Highly regulated products like lotteries tend to not have a huge number of suppliers, and this does not only apply to lotteries. Appropriate industry regulations that protect consumers in each jurisdiction they are licensed in, mean that new entrants can only exist if they fit within strict criteria. It’s actually a good thing for consumers.


ALNA is a mouth piece for Tatts or now TABCORP and is now allowing them to build a monopoly at the expense of our Members.


ALNA has been in deep negotiation with Tatts or now TABCORP on commissions, Omni channel share and Shop fits for the last 12 Months, these negotiations are continuing and have not been finalised. There is more to be achieved in these negotiations but they are completely separate from our support to eradicate synthetic lotteries. We are certainly very clear to Tatts or now TABCORP that there is a large gap between current earnings/conditions and deserved earnings / conditions for our members. Our public submissions and research will support this and any copies you require of these documents can be achieved by merely asking me.


ALNA is technically Insolvent


ALNA is audited every year, and all of our records are lodged with ASIC every year without fail, We hold our Annual general meetings as per the Corporations Act.

Our Audited reports contain an Auditors independence declaration and our reports can be obtained via ASIC. Any copies you require of these documents can be achieved by merely asking me.


Another association is in a position to represent Newsagents.


ALNA is the only Association that has ACCC authorisation to collectively represent newsagents both locally and nationally.

ALNA is the only association representing over 2000 members in our industry.

As always feel free to contact me to discuss anything that may be of concern.


Warm regards


In this correspondence Adam responds to rumours being put about by others. A few weeks ago I mentioned anonymous correspondence I had received and suggested people sending it should publish it themselves. In two cases recently, the correspondence has attacked ALNA. I have not published it here and will not publish it here.

On the issue of Lottoland, I support the work of ALNA on this. They have done an extraordinary amount of good work for newsagents on this.


Category: Lotteries · Newsagent representation

42 responses so far ↓

  • 1 frank // Apr 20, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    What is the relationship between ALNA and VANA of Victoria? thanks.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Apr 20, 2018 at 11:29 AM

    None Frank.


  • 3 John // Apr 20, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    as far as I can see TATTS continues to increase its on line share at our expense.
    why doesn’t alna get us a cut of online sales. we do the work and TATTS makes the profit. if someone else offers us a market, then something is better than nothing.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Apr 20, 2018 at 2:53 PM

    ‘John’ you have no bargaining power to achieve this. Than disappeared back in 1999.

    As I posted a week or so ago, the % of online lottery revenue for Tatts in its 2017 annual report is 14.5%, up from 12.5% two years ago.


  • 5 John // Apr 20, 2018 at 3:45 PM

    there will be no bargaining power if TATTS hold the online monopoly. With competition can bring changes. Do I think Lottoland is any good. I don’t know. Do we get anything out of TATTS. No
    Alna say they have been in talks for a year. zippy doo daa. Talk is cheap. Nothing has changed.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Apr 20, 2018 at 3:51 PM

    ‘John’ what you get out of Tatts is commission. You signed the agreement. if you didn’t like it you should not have signed it. Trying to negotiate additional benefits after you have signed a contract will never work.

    You should declare who you are.


  • 7 John // Apr 20, 2018 at 4:00 PM

    I am me
    I do not believe in never
    you have to keep trying

    as for signing the TATTS contract
    the choice was simple
    do it or don’t do it
    I was not prepared to throw that part of the business away


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Apr 20, 2018 at 4:30 PM

    ‘John’ from your email address you are not ‘John’.

    Sure, by all means, keep trying. The thing is, Tatts owes you nothing. It entered into the agreements in good faith is what it would say.

    My position on Tatts has been consistent. I don’t have it in my shops. Not for seven years. It is not essential to a successful retail business in the newsagency channel.

    Trying to change the terms of a Tatts contract after signing is a waste of time in my view.


  • 9 Jim // Apr 20, 2018 at 6:43 PM

    Why dont you have tatts in your shops? You must hate money? Either that or tatts declined your application?


  • 10 Amanda // Apr 20, 2018 at 10:44 PM

    I think the major problem for all newsagents is the fact ALNA have not achieved anything in regards to better terms. Whether that be with Tatts, Gordon & Gotch, Fairfax or News. ALNA has a record of achieving nothing.

    It’s one thing to knock out a potential competitor. It’s another thing to use that competitor as a negotiating tool to achieve a better outcome.

    The major problem with ALNA is that they do not achieve better outcomes.


  • 11 Ken Wilson // Apr 21, 2018 at 8:12 AM

    ALNA are as hopeless an industry representative as VANA and whoever else portrays that they are looking after Newsagents and Tatts operators. They are the same organisation that went along with the introduction of INTRALOT and thought that paying $10K for a part of the lotteries business we already held (Scratchies) was a fair thing.
    BTW.. their statitistics on Newsagent numbers are outdated, there used to be 4000, now its estimated at 2600 with 5 businesses closing their doors every week.


  • 12 Mark Fletcher // Apr 21, 2018 at 9:24 AM

    Ken, there is no evidence supporting your numbers. The actual current number of newsagency businesses is 3,200 with the anticipated closure number for 2018 to settle at around 400. Last year it was around the same number. In that closure number are businesses that de-identify with the channel but remain in retail with significant cross over to the channel.


  • 13 Mark Fletcher // Apr 21, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    Associations are only as strong as their members and non-members in the channel support them. The easiest thing to do is to criticise them. The much harder road is to engage and support.


  • 14 PAT. E // Apr 21, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Much harder to support !
    Criticism is all they manage to invite.


  • 15 Mark Fletcher // Apr 21, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    The thing is Pat they do what their board determines. The board is made up of newsagents. Newsagents elect the board. What the associations do is a function of what newsagents determine.


  • 16 Factory Worker // Apr 21, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Mark, didn’t you this week say that ALNA were a terrible organisation? Or make a similar comment about it?

    It appears you have since deleted it.


  • 17 Mark Fletcher // Apr 21, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    No, Factory, I did not. What I said in relation to NANA is: In my opinion, NANA is a joke, redundant and of no value to newsagents. It has been thus for years. No comment has been deleted.


  • 18 Factory Worker // Apr 21, 2018 at 1:58 PM

    “The board is made up of newsagents. Newsagents elect the board. What the associations do is a function of what newsagents determine.”

    Ok got it. So newsagents are a joke.


  • 19 Mark Fletcher // Apr 21, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    In the case of NANA, they permit it to be what it is. It lost its way some years ago.


  • 20 HENRY HENDERSON // Apr 21, 2018 at 4:19 PM


    ALNA is technically Insolvent


    ALNA is audited every year, and all of our records are lodged with ASIC every year without fail, We hold our Annual general meetings as per the Corporations Act.

    I believe the “myth” arose from the following fact reported by the auditor of 2016 Financial Statement

    “Notes to the Financial Statements
    For the Year Ended 30 June 2016
    24. Additional Going Concern Disclosure
    The company is party to the Western Union Financial Services international Representation Agreement (the Agreement)
    whereby it is liable for all liabilities as a result of money transfers received through its sub-agents, being member
    newsagents from across Australia. Funds received by sub-agents are invoiced by Western Union to the Company as the
    primary representative who in turn recovers these funds by transferring funds from sub—agents accounts.
    As a result of investigations undertaken during the year ended 30 June, 2009 revealed that the Company had failed to
    recover significant amounts of funds from its sub-agents which it had been liable to pay Western Union. The discrepancy
    in fund recovered related to a number of years prior to the current reporting date. A full reconciliation and recognition in
    the Company’s financial statements had been conducted as at 30 June 2009 of all assets and liabilities relating to the
    Agreement resulted in the recognition of a material current liability which was only partly offset by cash balances and
    amounts receivable from sub-agents. Overall for the year ended 30 June 2009 the company recognised a reduction in
    opening equity of $ 1,505,359.
    During the current financial year, the group managed this issue and met all ongoing commitments to Western Union.
    Notwithstanding this, as at 30 June 2016, the group is disclosing a working capital deficiency of $701,604 (2015:
    $794.917) and overall net liabilities of for the group of $212,344 (2015: $246,175).
    As discussed in the financial report at Notes 1 (b) and 1(s) the directors have judged that the Group is capable of continuing
    as a going concern on the basis of continued support from Western Union in relation to contractual payment terms and
    Opportunities for new business and profits over the period of the agreement which terminates on 7 March 2022.”

    I do not know if this means technical insolvency, my concern is that Mr Joy must at least suspect that this is what gave rise to the “myth” and yet he appeared to cover it up with saying they refer their records to ASIC and they hold annual general meetings. So what? They did both, but I’ll bet most of the membership does not know about it. Mr Joy should come out and be transparent. It appears good progress is being made in remedying the situation so why make it look like a cover-up?


  • 21 Graeme Day // Apr 22, 2018 at 12:14 AM

    20. Henry H.
    If a company comes to a deed of arrangement andthis deed is met in the terms agreed then the company if it meets that “Deed of Arrangement” is trading properly. This is not considered as trading insolvently in any legal sense.


  • 22 Peter // Apr 22, 2018 at 1:18 PM

    Henry what you do clearly say is Western Union and ALNA are clearly in bed together rorting the Industry.

    I know from Personal Experience where my Newsagency was bad mouthed by Western Union and ALNA when I refused to install Western Union as I saw no demand for it. The Local Credit Union then shortly after installed it as seen by the signs on their door would not speak to me and I wondered why. After 2 years I asked the Credit Union about the matter. I was told that i had been extensively and systematically bad extensively bad mouthed by both WU and ALNA. They admitted that while they had WU they had not done one transaction. By the way the Credit Union are now the best of mates.

    Now i see ALNA now developing the same sort of relationship with Tatts.

    Henry clearly understand ALNA does not speak for my business or myself. It is because of reasons like that this NANA was reborn.


  • 23 colin // Apr 22, 2018 at 6:13 PM

    Hey this brings back memories of Bill-Express


  • 24 Peter // Apr 23, 2018 at 7:58 AM


    there is another reason I will not deal with ANF now ALNA and that was the NSW organizer they had 8 or 10 years ago. She was not above bullying new Newsagents at the compulsory school they used to run for and any other Newsagents to Join ANF. She was the Mother of the Main Salesman of Bill Express to Newsagents.


  • 25 Amanda // Apr 23, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    I’m not sure NANA’s response to the Lottoland is as as bad as you think Mark. I’m not on either side of the fence, but as I mentioned before ALNA / ANF have not achieved any positive outcome in negotiating with “industry partners” such as Tatts for atleast 20years. If they had they would be jumping all over this page trying to point out what they had achieved. They have however been instrumental in disastrous outcomes such as Bill Express.

    I’d prefer the industry took an approach similar to NANA, but read for yourself:

    “NANA’s Position on Lottoland’s Offer to Newsagents

    From tomorrow (19 April), you are likely to receive a letter from Lottoland. NANA understands the letter will refer to an offer Lottoland has made to NANA on behalf of its Members and other interested Newsagents across Australia.

    NANA is considering that offer. It is substantially higher than previous offers made to ALNA and to Newsagents in the media. The offer is based on a percentage of sales value, not profit. The percentage rate is higher than the percentages Newsagents and other lotteries outlets receive in commissions from Tatts Group Lotteries for their lotteries products.

    Firstly, NANA is not in anyone’s pocket.

    Secondly, Newsagents have asked NANA to negotiate with Lottoland and other alternate lotteries/wagering products providers to deliver a benefit to them. Lottoland is not the only player in this space.

    NANA says that Lottoland’s approach to the industry in the past been ham-fisted. At the end of the day, it is about income and income that Newsagents and other lotteries outlets are already losing to online lotteries and wagering product sales, irrespective of who the product owner is.

    NANA has not finalised an agreement. NANA is duty bound to consider any alternative that gives Newsagents a fair share.

    NANA has written to the Deputy Prime Minister and Senator Fifield about the proposed amendments to the Interactive Gambling legislation. If the identified issues concerning taxation, State government revenue, consumer education and income for Newsagents and other lotteries outlets are resolved, why shouldn’t Newsagents get an additional income stream, which balances what they are losing to alternate wagering products and to Tatts Group Lotteries’ own online sales activities.

    From day one of the campaign funded and conducted by Tatts Group Lotteries against alternate lotteries/wagering products, NANA has stressed that there will be enormous consequences for Newsagents if Tatts Group Lotteries has no effective competition. Already, Tatts Group Lotteries has an almost monopoly position in every State and Territory except Western Australia. If this position is reinforced by a legislated ban on alternate/wagering products, there will be nothing to prevent Tatts Group Lotteries building on their thrust into online sales. Already their online sales represent a significant proportion of the overall sales of lotteries products.

    Monopolies are not good for small businesses.

    Monopolies are not good for consumers.

    Tatts Group Lotteries do not object to online sales of lotteries products. They do it all the time. They do it through their app and online. They also have a substantial beneficial stake in the online lotteries sales company Jumbo Interactive. This company is licensed by Tatts Group Lotteries and competes online against Newsagents and other lotteries outlets.

    Throughout the campaign orchestrated and funded by Tatts Group Lotteries, a campaign on which they have spent more than $5 MILLION, they portrayed the resistance they have created as being initiated and managed on a grass roots level by Newsagents and other lotteries outlets. Make no mistake, the campaign was and is funded and orchestrated by Tatts Group Lotteries. Some Newsagent and Lotteries associations have tied themselves to the campaign and appear to act as mouthpieces for Tatts Group Lotteries. One must ask the questions “How do they afford their extensive media and public relations campaign when they could be technically insolvent. Who is picking up the tab for their media and PR agency and keeping them afloat?”

    NANA has been approached to represent the interests of significant blocks of Newsagents outside of NSW and ACT. Why? Because Newsagents are sick and tired of being used as cannon fodder by the likes of Tatts Group Lotteries and associations that act as their mouthpiece. NANA is working with those Newsagents to work out what will be best for them.

    There is a long way to go in this saga. NANA has existed for more than 125 years and is here for the long haul. NANA is committed to continuing to work in the best interests of its Members. Dismissing any genuine offer from any organisation to work with Newsagents closes the gate and will potentially cost Newsagents income.

    NANA will continue to negotiate with Lottoland and other organisations for the benefit of its Members.

    If an agreement cannot be reached that is good for Newsagents, then nothing will change.

    We will keep you updated as things develop.”


  • 26 Glenn // Apr 23, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Reading these comments reminds me of why our industry is treated with contempt. So many negative comments against our representative associations based on things that happened in another era (Bill Express for example). That is all water long since under the bridge, and whilst those are so busy looking behind them at the wrongs of the past, opportunities for the future will be missed.

    The finger pointing and claims of who is in who’s pockets would almost be comical if it were not painting us all in such a bad light.

    At some point we need to reset and come together as a united group. Until that happens we can expect little change to our current plight.


  • 27 Susan // Apr 23, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    About time somebody like Glenn has spoken


  • 28 Mark Fletcher // Apr 23, 2018 at 4:13 PM

    Sheesh, Peter, you clutch to a grudge for a long time.

    Amanda, there is no negotiating with Tatts. You all signed agreements. Why would / should Tatts vary those agreements when you signed them?

    NANA is irrelevant. One state. Small. Chasing a party that is in all sorts of regulatory bother.

    Unless newsagents get behind one body and act with discipline no progress will be made on any of these issues.


  • 29 Peter // Apr 24, 2018 at 7:19 AM

    Mark I believed what you said about one body and fully supported NANA rolling into ANF as occurred. ANF and now ALNA’s subsequent behavior brought about a rebirth of NANA.

    I also here too many horror stories about WU.


  • 30 Mark Fletcher // Apr 24, 2018 at 7:25 AM

    Peter I am not aware of anything done to warrant a rebirth of NANA. NANA has no viable future. No state based association does.


  • 31 Susan // Apr 24, 2018 at 7:44 AM

    There was no rebirth of Nana. It never went away like it should have for NSW to get better results


  • 32 Dean // Apr 24, 2018 at 9:01 AM

    If it was about what is best for newsagents, why include the parting shot:

    One must ask the questions “How do they afford their extensive media and public relations campaign when they could be technically insolvent. Who is picking up the tab for their media and PR agency and keeping them afloat?”

    If they are going to make these claims, which by the way, show us the evidence. Don’t hide in the shadows and take pot shots – put your and reputation out there. Remember truth is a defence against defamation.

    Anyway, it is not only about lotto land, but the number of copy cats that will appear if the legislation is put forward. Copy cats who will have no requirement to pay newsagents anything.

    Secondly remember under this proposal as well, NANA doesn’t have authorisation to negotiate collectively, so each contract will have to be done individually – is NANA going to pay the legal fees to make sure every single contract is the same.


  • 33 Amanda // Apr 24, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Hang on there people.

    What have ALNA achieved for Newsagents? Really, somebody tell me something… please.


  • 34 Mark Fletcher // Apr 24, 2018 at 2:14 PM

    Amanda sure you can run that line. You can also run it for NANA. The thing is ALNA is the only body representing the channel nationally. They have ACCC authorisation. They got Tatts engaged and spending money against Lottoland. While they have made missteps, they are the only representation hope nationally for newsagents, especially independent newsagents, now.


  • 35 Glenn // Apr 24, 2018 at 2:52 PM

    Hey Amanda,

    I can tell you something ALNA have done for us. As part of the Lotterywest rebranding exercise every Lotterywest retailer was up for many thousands of dollars to change to the new corporate image. My initial quote was $36,000 with a Lotterywest contribution of approximately $9,000.

    As a single united group, something you appear to advocate against, retailers in Western Australia through ALNA challenged the process and the costs. This saw the rollout halted whilst the true impact on retailers was established. ALNA was instrumental in managing and driving this process.

    The end result was that Lotterywest paid for the entire cost of our Lotterywest fitout and all the technology associated with it, and not only our fitout but every retailer in Western Australia.

    That’s around $8 Million dollars saved to our industry in Western Australia alone as a direct result of ALNA’s intervention and advocacy on this one issue.

    In my view they have earned their stripes and deserve our support. These alternate agendas are damaging our entire industry, and the sooner they go away the better off we will all be.


  • 36 Paul S // Apr 24, 2018 at 3:17 PM


    I’ve got to ask then why they didn’t also do that in the other states as well ? Is it because it was Tatts they were up against in the other states and they didn’t want to jeopardise any relationships ?


  • 37 Mark Fletcher // Apr 24, 2018 at 3:19 PM

    Paul, Lotterywest being state owned presented alternatives as to how the issues specific to WA could be dealt with, through the politicians. WA is unique and ALNA leveraged that well.


  • 38 Susan // Apr 24, 2018 at 5:00 PM

    Amanda you should maybe take the time and go to the Alna website. Alna don’t seem to bang there chests when they achieve something. In nsw alone they got the state government to pay 10000 dollars towards lottery shop fits.


  • 39 Amanda // Apr 24, 2018 at 8:37 PM

    Glenn, (like Paul S), I too have to ask why they didn’t achieve the same results in other states. It’s a fantastic result for WA agents, but stores across the eastern seaboard are screaming out why not here too!

    So perhaps the political influence was more influential than the influence of the association. If not, why not make it a deal that was not state based but a national agreement with Tatts?


  • 40 Amanda // Apr 24, 2018 at 8:42 PM

    And Glenn I don’t and never have advocated against a united newsagency group. I am simply over supporting associations who do not achieve anything.

    Congratulations the result you speak of was achieved in WA, but seriously why has it not been achieved in SA, QLD, VIC or NSW?????


  • 41 Amanda // Apr 24, 2018 at 8:45 PM

    Mark, in regards to Tatts spending money against Lottoland… it was in their own interests. Lottoland was a major threat to their own online gambling platforms.


  • 42 Mark Fletcher // Apr 24, 2018 at 11:44 PM

    Amanda while asking questions like you have is okay, it achieves nothing. ALNA is all newsagents / lottery agents have. The only is to engage, encourage and participate. NANA is a small state based group with no hope of being national.


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