Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

News Corp. papers continue pressure on Tatts and small business newsagents with Lottoland report

Mark Fletcher
May 26th, 2018 · 1 Comment

The Weekend Australian today runs what to me reads like another Lottoland press release, continuing the News Corp. support for Lottoland.

Dirt campaign, really? What Tatts did is provide newsagents with resources to use if they wished, resources that reflected what Lottoland offers in terms of products. Tatts did this at the urging of lottery retailers. Click here to see part of the Tatts campaign. This is hardly dirt.

In the article, there is also mention of the Lottoland focus on ALNA, the body representing newsagents nationally in the fight against the Lottoland betting business.

Mr Brill earlier this month said he believed the government had been misled into believing that ALNA represented the views of 4000 newsagents nationally, when its membership was 707 paid members.

ASIC documents, he said, raised questions about ALNA’s ability to operate as a going concern, let alone to represent the interests of its members.

“Rather than address the shocking state of its financial affairs, ALNA has inexplicably taken part in a $5m lobbying campaign to convince the government to ban online lottery betting, which will leave newsagents at the mercy of a Tabcorp monopoly,” the Lottoland chief said.

All the money in the lobbying campaign was spent prior to the $11 billion merger between Tatts and Tabcorp, which was completed late last year.

In a letter to NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole, also obtained by The Australian, Mr Brill says Tatts had funded a $5m national campaign to eradicate Lottoland as a competitor and to preserve its market power.

Lottoland is the company that launched chef in Australia attacking newsagents, all newsagents, mocking us, belittling us, all to sell what was pitched as a lottery product when, in fact, it was a betting product.

While I can no longer find the first ad they aired as it is no longer on YouTube, this one is still available:

They ran their ads mocking newsagents relentlessly. We were their first and prime target for more than a year. Back then there was no talk of wanting fairness for Australians or offering of support for newsagents. No, they only did that when federal parliament got closer to banning their model.

I complained to the advertising standards council and ACMA about their ads, without success. It think there was a standards issue with their actions. There was success by others against Lottoland on standards.

The report in today’s paper reads like it was written by the Lottoland PR people as it lacks genuine reporting and it lacks balance in my opinion.

The NSW Public Lotteries Act says a licensee has to be of “good repute, having regard to … honesty and integrity”.

Disciplinary action can include sanctions and suspension of licences. Tatts subsidiary NSW Lotteries Corp holds three licences in NSW.

Lottoland, which takes bets on overseas lotteries, offered news and lottery agents across Australia a profit-sharing arrangement, under which newsagents would receive 20 per cent of profits generated from every bet on overseas lotteries that they referred to Lottoland.

Where is the question of integrity and honesty in terms of Lottoland and what they have done to the newsagent channel. For most of their time in Australia they waged a successful campaign turning traffic away from newsagency businesses. Where is News Corp. on this? Why is this not a story?

Non Australian tax paying Overseas betting agency wages war on small business family newsagents.

Where is that headline in the News Corp. newspapers?

The Lottoland PR machine is good. It has the right connections and it has apparent easy access within News Corp., which itself could benefit from investigation. It is being aided and abetted by state based VANA and NANA support. As I noted yesterday, this maintains a decades-long split in our channel.

While federal politicians go through the legislative process, lottery retailers need to be focussed on their over the counter pitch.

My view that newsagents have nothing to gain from a relationship with Lottoland has not changed.

But back to business. On October 11, 2016 I suggested on this blog ways lottery retailers could, through their actions, push back on Lottoland. here they are again as I think actions over the counter are what are needed still:

  1. Ensure your lottery customers receive excellent customer service every time. Excellent customer service is:
  2. Always smile.
  3. Never sit behind the counter.
  4. Never charge a credit or debit card surcharge.
  5. Always have the youngest person working at the lottery counter.
  6. Provide free breath mints at the counter for staff.
  7. Provide hand sanitiser for staff and customers to access at the counter.
  8. If anyone behind the counter wears reading glasses, take them off when talking with customers – do not leave them on and look over them.
  9. Blokes should not wear cardigans or jumpers such as what we see in the Lottoland ad.
  10. Be cheerful when paying out a prize on tickets purchased elsewhere.
  11. Be cheerful when people say the same thing over and over. The alternative is having no one in your shop at all.
  12. If you sell candy of any sort, every so often offer a free tasting. Look for more ways to add value to the shopper visit.
  13. In winter offer free soup at lunchtime.
  14. In summer offer access to cups and filtered water.
  15. If you are on the high street, have a bowl of water for dogs.
  16. Celebrate all wins in-store on your noticeboard as well as on your business Facebook page.
  17. Run a second chance draw and actively encourage every customer to engage with this. Be generous with the prize.
  18. As an alternative for a second chance draw, host a BBQ event in the shop for the prize draw. Di this once a year, quarterly or six monthly with the prize commensurate with the frequency and business size. For example, in a shop with $250,000 in lottery commission, second chance draw prizes should value at least $10,000 a year. In fact, if it were my business, I’d be more likely to go with $24,000, $2,000 a month. Yes, you have to be that bold I think.
  19. Establish a community noticeboard and welcome free notices. Somewhere on the board have a subtle sign: Your support of this business helps us support your community.
  20. Share links to news reports about data security breaches by hackers with comments like: shopping in-store is safer or Our shop is a hacker free zone. Print the stories and place them on your community noticeboard.
  21. List every local community group you support on the noticeboard with a certificate.
  22. Thank community groups you support with a note on Facebook like: We are grateful for the opportunity to support the work of xxx community group.
  23. Ensure your staff understand what Lottoland is and isn’t and are able to explain why purchasing lottery products from your business is better for them and the community.
  24. From out the front of your shop make sure it looks appealing to passers-by.
  25. As people step into the shop make sure the pitch is fresh and enjoyable. Get rid of anything that looks or feels like an old-style newsagency.

All newsagents selling lottery products need to urgently ensure their businesses look nothing like the Lottoland depiction. You have to distance yourselves from the Lottoland depiction.

This work is urgent. No one will do it for you. Tatts appears asleep at the wheel on Lottoland. Or, as I suspect, they like the idea of educating people to move online.


Category: Competition · Ethics · Newsagency management · newsagency marketing · Social responsibility

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jason // May 27, 2018 at 6:44 PM

    The NSW Public Lotteries Act says a licensee has to be of “good repute, having regard to … honesty and integrity” Where is the question of integrity and honesty in terms of Lottoland”

    The NSW act isn’t relevant to Lottoland, they are licenced in the NT aren’t they… Is there a similar requirement in the NT act?

    The ad was funny, it got people’s attention and there’s nothing in the standards that says that ads can’t poke fun at competitors – especially when it resonates with the target customers


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