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VANA claims responsibility for Tatts possible movement on remuneration

Mark Fletcher
June 1st, 2018 · 6 Comments

Several newsagents forwarded me n email sent to them by VANA yesterday in which the Victorian association claims the Tatts move is a result of their efforts.

Not one newsagent who contacted me was complimentary of the VANA email.

Dear Retailer,

Recently you would have received communication from Tatts outlining the possibility of “a comprehensive and holistic review of the remuneration” received by retailers.

We are thrilled that our lobbying efforts, at state and federal levels, has outlined the detriments of monopolistic behaviours and has allowed Tatts to focus on redressing the remuneration model. Without a doubt, the unintended consequences, if the Interactive Gambling Legislation Bill is passed, will further entrench a monopoly in the lotteries space.

Keep in mind, Tatts decided almost 2 months ago that there would be no commission growth after months of deliberations in Victoria.

It is obvious from this concession by Tatts that none of this would have been possible if we did not take a strong and unified stance. Showing leadership and purpose for a more equitable remuneration/revenue share model which has now elicited from Tatts a welcomed response. It is only through having a complementary product in the lotteries space that will redress the power imbalance currently at play and provide the competitive tension that is needed.

Unlike others, we did not seek to be compromised as a committed and dutiful representative body, who fears no one and battles for our small business sector. Why would you expect anything less?

By aligning with overseas entrants, whose product does not compete with Tatts and whose customer base is made up of novelty punters, we were able to create competitive tension in the market, which ultimately has led to Tatts recognising the value of a “shared future”.

If there is no intent to change the model, then the only future that we could see evolving was one where their online sales would grow towards 25% putting undue pressure on the channel in a stressed retail environment.

It’s important to also note that revenue which comes in from lotteries goes into consolidated government revenue. From here, it is the government who ultimately decides where to spend lotteries revenue. It is the government that builds hospitals and schools, not lottery organisations. When these organisations donate to charities then we applaud them all the way and we applaud Tatts for making these valuable contributions to our communities.

It should also be noted that VANA has ACCC accreditation and can, on behalf of its members and the wider industry seek ACCC involvement if need be. We also support a tax framework that taxes betting on overseas lotteries and the obvious consumer protections around this. We believe the point of consumption tax being introduced will redress any shortfalls.

There has been talk of “Trust”, well it’s ironic that words such as this and a “shared future” are now part of their vernacular. We would argue that the competitive pressure from VANA and our sister organisation in NSW / ACT NANA, has been able to bring about the stated possible concessions which we hope will construct a future online revenue share model.

As your representative body, we will never give up the fight and we will only trust those whose actions align with our members/industry interests. Representative bodies must always put their members’ interests before those which inadvertently align with a strategy to erode physical lottery sales.

Deliberations with the Victorian State Government have added to the narrative, where our industries pain points are taken into account by Tatts. We applaud the recent notice from Tatts and can see a genuine purpose from them to address the imbalance as their online lottery sales grow.

We received a letter from Minister Kairouz outlining her government’s recognition of our concerns pursuant to schedule 4 of the license. She has further added that it is her expectation that Tatts will review comprehensively the remuneration available to distributors.

VANA is not only encouraged but thankful for the Minister’s input and efforts to ensure our industry is treated equitably with respect.

Newsagents / Lottery agents need strong leadership to fight on their behalf, not roll over when tough decisions need to be made.

VANA is confident that as we work through these issues with Tabcorp/Tatts, there will be positive outcomes not only for the franchisor but also for the franchisee retailer.


Category: Newsagent representation · Ugh!

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jim // Jun 1, 2018 at 8:30 AM

    They can take some credit i think. The other main industry representative did not seem interested at least publicly in leveraging the lottoland arrival.


  • 2 Gary // Jun 1, 2018 at 10:35 AM

    I’m in Qld and received the email from VANA yesterday. Before reading this email I was of the opinion that VANA and NANA were way out of line aligning with Lottoland. Now that I understand the strategy and politics involved I fully support what they are doing.
    As all newsagents know, competition is a bitch. Amazing what a little competitive pressure can do. Only two months ago Tatts had no interest talking about a increase in commission. Then, suddenly, we’re partners and deserve to be treated as such. Is this a coincidence? Maybe, but VANA makes a good argument that this is not so. I agree with VANA. But I’m sure this will be a topic of an interesting debate.
    If this turn around is attributed to the efforts VANA and NANA then hats to them.


  • 3 Graeme Day // Jun 1, 2018 at 11:38 AM

    I agree Gary, I made the same point in earlier posts Competition has to be encouraged otherwise we will be slaves to our should be partners.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Jun 2, 2018 at 7:20 AM

    Gary, my take is that VANA and NANA did what they did for commercial reasons and not to bring tatts to the table. My understanding is that ALNA is the inky body that has consistently lobbied Tatts Group, state governments and the federal government on these and other matters. Further, only ALNA has the ACCC authorisation for collective bargaining on this.

    I see the VANA email as an effort to claim a stake in an outcome that it in no way participated in achieving. VANA’s other recent actions show them closely wedded to and supporting success for Lottoland and MYLotto24.


  • 5 Gary // Jun 2, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Thanks Mark, you’ve obviously got your finger on the pulse tighter than anyone. I can only go on the info presented as VANA has done so in the email. Your input gives me a clearer picture.
    Having said that someone or something has suddenly jolted Tatts off their perch and are now ready to talk. Its interesting that ALNA are talking the credit for this. I guess that’s why VANA emailed all ALNA members. They were pissed with ALNA taking the credit for Tatts turnaround. The timing of the turnaround seems to suggest the VANA “commercial reason” may have played a part in this. We’ll probably never know.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Jun 2, 2018 at 3:24 PM

    Gary I have not seen any communication from ALNA taking credit. May have missed it. My understanding is that the decision by Tatts has come from a long process any not any jolt as such. Remember, Tatts has only recently been taken over, resulting in management changes. This, of itself, have been a factor in the company revisiting some of its policies, as is natural when there are significant changes from the Board level down.

    More broadly on lotteries, it is crucial newsagents structure their businesses for survival and growth without Tatts.


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