Australian Newsagency Blog

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VANA in conflict with ALNA as a result of commercial arrangement with MyLotto24

Mark Fletcher
May 4th, 2018 · 21 Comments

In a move set to further consume politicians and regulators and divide the newsagency channel, VANA, the association representing some Victorian newsagency businesses has endorsed MyLotto24, a business that invites punters to bet on the of lottery draws.

What are the directors of VANA thinking? Not thinking at all in my opinion. I get that they are excited y the percentage of commission from deposits newsagents take and the trail commission for online deposits from accounts they introduce and commission VANA will make if a commission has been negotiated. However, the future of most Aussie newsagency businesses is not agency business. The days of the agency are over.

The article published today by Fairfax raises a few concerns including this quote by Chris Samartzis, the VANA spokesperson, speaking about the ban to be considered in federal parliament:

“The unintended consequences of a blanket ban will only serve to erect a monopoly with zero competition in the market place.”

The monopoly was erected more than 100 years ago when states established their own lottery businesses.

There are other issues with the inadequately researched article by Fairfax such as the mention of 1,200 outlets but I’ll leave them for another day.

The Australian newsagency channel was healing. Actions in recent days by NANA and VANA have taken representation of newsagents back years. I question whether a unified approach is possible from this.

ALNA has run a strong national campaign on this matter and offered strong representation on other national issues, issues  beyond lotteries. It is unfortunate two small state groups try and grab attention from important issues of national importance for all newsagents.


Category: Ethics · Lotteries · Newsagent representation

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 PAT. E // May 4, 2018 at 8:25 AM

    Sneaky,just came across snippet in Telegraph
    first I heard of it.
    Nparcel ? Wasnt that a NANA initiative ?
    Should get the good people of lottoland howling.


  • 2 Colin // May 4, 2018 at 7:52 PM

    Here we go again another mob fragmenting our industry another online synthetic betting scheme no thank you as i stated previously there are too many egos too many cooks in the kitchen we are being fragmented and broken up. We as an industry do not realize the power we could have by being united . Imagine that every politician would like to have our combined power by having our customers supporting us just by giving them good service.And this power is nationally and not state by state like our industry representatives who cannot agree on anything.


  • 3 Ken Wilson // May 4, 2018 at 8:04 PM

    Stop imagining Colin.. Politicians don’t do anything, industry representatives couldn’t and can’t achieve anything because you can’t get a bunch of independant retailers together to do anything…. The only people benefiting out of an industry association are the ones receiving a mediocre weekly salary pretending to be a united body..


  • 4 Graeme Day // May 4, 2018 at 8:18 PM

    Unity is like a perception of what you see is what you get.
    Colin says that ‘we are being fragmented and broken up’ that is a perspective. neswXpress, Nextra, Newspower and Lucky Charm also offer different services which instigate emotional responses creating different loyalties.
    It’s competition Colin, it’s what deregulation is all about. It’s welcolmed by all until it affects -ME.
    Then it’s fragmentation, disloyalty and lacks unity.
    The real issue will be decided from what is on offer is from the newsagent.
    The thing is whether the offer is good or not and that’s the benefit of discussion here or anywhere else. it isn’t about whose side anyone is on.
    The best outcome will come from debate not closing the option by picking one’s own loyalty.


  • 5 Dean@Subi // May 4, 2018 at 10:47 PM

    A single Australian state can not generate enough lotto sales to enable a prize pool the general public would consider worth winning. That’s why each of the states created the Australian Lotto Bloc which allows us to have the $20 million Superdraws and much bigger Oz and Powerball jackpots. We all know the bigger the jackpot the better our sales.

    While we hate the fact Tattersalls and Lotterywest are promoting online sales, at least the money is going into the prize pool for which we are selling tickets for. Not to mention the fact that Tattersalls pay a substantial licence fee to state governments and Lotterywest give grants to the WA community.

    By allowing the Australian public to purchase from Lottoland, MyLott24 etc there will be less people buying “OUR” Lotto. We will see prize pools diminish and our customer base will diminish also.

    Yes, Tattersalls/Lotterywest online sales are hurting us. However, ALNA is our national body and it is they that will work for us and negotiate the best deals.

    I am in WA, I don’t believe what NANA and VANA are doing is in the best interest of the Newsagency/Lotto industry. I would like to know if NSW and Vic retailers are supportive of what they are doing.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // May 5, 2018 at 9:56 AM

    Dean welcome to the conversation and thanks for a terrific contribution.


  • 7 Al // May 5, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    Too much competition is actually detrimental to the lotto industry as it either creates smaller prize pools since revenues are distributed to each operator like Dean has said before or we will have a huge gambling problem if all prize pools are maintained. Just think about Intralot and how that had worked out for everyone. In this highly regulated industry we need a unified, independent and competent body to represent all retailers, the key is to select the right operator be it’s Tatts or someone else. The operator’ license should be under regular reviews during the term with the fair treatment of its retailers as a key review criteria. Well wishful thinkings I guess.


  • 8 Graeme Day // May 5, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Your last sentence is most important. It sums up a good post one of reason. The other point is supportive is one thing however, do they understand what you have just written about the shrinking pool etc. which is more important?
    We may have to wait and see what the details are.


  • 9 Mark R // May 6, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    My concern is that both VANA and NANA are claiming they are doing this for their members and this is what their members want, is it ??

    Have NANA and VANA actually spoken to their members, I have seen this before where industry associations have claimed they are working in the members best interest and their members have asked for this .

    Management of some organisations can be pretty loose with the truth , just to achieve the outcome that THEY desire .

    Graeme competition is fine but in this situation we have associations who are claiming to be acting in their members best interests , are they ?

    Those associations need to come clean and reveal ,what their motives are and what is their commercial involvement in this debacle .


  • 10 Graeme Day // May 6, 2018 at 12:01 PM

    I agree with your sentiments however the members are not children surely they can decide if something is put to them for evaluation. Nothing is compulsory.
    Debate here is a good way for thought to be explKHKGored for many will learn from what each contributes.


  • 11 Mark Fletcher // May 6, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    I think on this specific issue, right now, a national approach is needed. Splintering plays into the hands of Lottoland and MyLotto. These two play their offer as disruptive. It is in some respects but it is not overall.

    ALNA has been focussed on the Lottoland challenge since they launched. They have done this for their members and not because of cash from Tatts. To have NANA and VANA join the party late, and probably because of money they could make, in disappointing. Further, it plays into what Lottoland and MyLotto want.

    I am no fan of Tatts and regulars here would know that. However, they have the licence. That matters in my view.

    This is the moment newsagents need a single national voice. Otherwise, they will not be noticed.


  • 12 Dean Young // May 7, 2018 at 10:24 AM

    There is always a lot of criticism about what ALNA actually do and achieve, and i will admit to often being one of them. In this case, it appears they have taken a lot of action and established good political contacts and networks. This should also be able to be leveraged in the future for more action. (i hope) In ALNA’s case we can only go of what is happening at the moment and leave the past there, so I am content with the action taking place. That is what i would want from an association, action and not jumping on a makepiece solution right at the end. We can not as an industry afford to be splintered. It will make it easy for any larger company to keep on pushing us around.


  • 13 Mark R // May 7, 2018 at 12:14 PM

    Graeme ,members are not children a stupid and condescending comment by you .

    Iam not concerned with members being able to decide on which offer is best ,my concern is the mixed messages being given from industry associations .

    If NANA and VANA were not involved Lotto Land and My Lotto 24 would not have a platform


  • 14 Graeme Day // May 7, 2018 at 3:03 PM

    Mark R
    At no time have I supported one group over another. I leave that to members. You seem to know what’s best for all newsagents and go off your lolly with a personal attack when it was meant as a comment for discussion.
    lotto Land and My Lotto 24 are not my preferred option in anyway however it’s not up to me it’s up to the newsagent of whom you know what’s best for them and an industry in a mess.
    The on line lottery debacle needs sorting and this includes all online competitors some of which is under Govt. scrutiny others not yet addressed.
    How would you fix it Mark R is the question I pose? Do you know the answer to your question of acting in the best interests of members? are they not doing this?
    Please tell, I am, sure the newsagents that are unaware will appreciate any light on the subject.
    Of course they are not children and that’s my point you were making them out to be not adult enough to even read the papers they sell.
    ‘Have they been told” is the key surely as adults they don’t need to be told they would seek if they wanted to know otherwise they wouldn’t bother just like everything else they sell.


  • 15 Mark R // May 7, 2018 at 5:28 PM

    Graeme I stand by my comments .

    Your comment re: “have they been told” on highlights your failure to understand what this thread is about.

    This is not about us choosing the best “offer” as you state . This is not about fair competition.

    Your statement “It’s competition Colin, it’s what deregulation is all about. It’s welcomed by all until it affects ME” .

    Competition and deregulation is not the issue , it’s the failure of state associations to work cohesively with the national body that is the issue.


  • 16 Mark Fletcher // May 7, 2018 at 7:19 PM

    The only option for newsagents on an the issues in this thread is to act nationally. To do this, a small group of folks in Victoria and NSW need to put aside their petty differences. The only choice is to embrace the ALNA approach. It has national political backing. It respects the lottery situation that is many decades old, a situation that is legal and government endorsed.

    There is no opportunity to consider the Lottoland or Mylotto24 pitches in my opinion.
    Every second spent arguing about this is time lost of bigger and more important matters.


  • 17 Graeme Day // May 7, 2018 at 8:03 PM

    I agree that time arguing this is a waste my point is to let the legal and government situations sort it out.

    I identified that there is more important issues in the channel than this however point scoring has been an obsession it lives in parity with siege mentallity.
    The industry has reached a stage that is no industry and the need to be a retailer and no longer a shop keeper has been long coming necessity, arriving ever so slowly.
    One can avoid reality, however one cannot avoid the consequemces of reality.
    Newsagents need to adapt or frankly die.
    I have stated this for over 30 years and and you have done so as well.
    I like to think that Associations are open to what’s “out there” rather than fight for thier own interest. No harm in that for the newsagent makes up thier own mind.
    We also need to understand that the multitude of newsagents are H&W working their butt off to recapture an investment that has shifted It’s their superannuation. For the others that can change and make money by transitioning is not the majority.
    This is why the Secondary Distribution Project affects them more than anything else.
    It causes them to grasp for things to “add on” as they fear the ” takeaway”
    They can’t be newsXpress, Nextra, Newspower or Lucky Charm they are local and now exposed financially.
    They too have a voice.
    My background is Retail, Retail and Retail-love it.
    however this isn’t about me it’s about those looking for something other than the conversion offered in retail

    Finaly let’s look at the bigger problems and the future ;like you are doing but not let’s forget those that can’t do what others can.


  • 18 Mark Fletcher // May 7, 2018 at 8:07 PM

    Graeme I think anyone can do what others can.

    On this issue, as I said, there is only the ALNA national approach in my view. One reason for saying that is to free the attention to move in to what matters.


  • 19 Graeme Day // May 7, 2018 at 8:24 PM

    Well said. a non issue as I stated originally.
    Great to move on.


  • 20 Amanda // May 8, 2018 at 10:40 PM

    Mark is there an issue between you and VANA? It seems like there is some bad blood there.


  • 21 Mark Fletcher // May 9, 2018 at 3:23 AM

    No Amanda. The days of state based associations ended years ago. Further, on this issue, they are wrong to back a business operating in an area to be legislated against and a business that is in conflict with one of the biggest suppliers to the channel.

    Anyone backing NANA and VANA on their respective commercial arrangements has no interest in a unified channel.


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