Australian Newsagency Blog

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

How can Tatts rescue its relationship with newsagents?

Mark Fletcher
October 4th, 2018 · 9 Comments

Tatts needs to do something pretty amazing to rebuild its relationship with newsagents. The damage done over the last ten or so years, until the takeover by Tabcorp, was significant.

Urgent action by the management people a Tatts is needed to get newsagents and other small business lottery retailers back on side.

Here are a few simple steps that Tatts could take that would, in my view, immediately improve the situation and, most likely, improve revenue:

  1. Move focus to sales with same store year on year sales being the only metric for measurement of performance.
  2. Stop assessment visits. Stop penalising retailers for infractions such as other products on the counter and other ‘infractions’ that are yet to be shown to be detrimental to sales.
  3. Introduce a modest financial reward for year on year growth.
  4. Encourage leveraging the Tatts space in-store for other products.
  5. Make it easier for shoppers to find their local retailer on all Tatts digital touch points.

This is not a big list. It would not cost anything to implement. Tatts could even trial it nationally to June 30, 2019 and see how it performs.

By making it a trial, Tatts encourages buy-in from  the whole retail channel so the moves are a win at the local business level and a win for Tatts.

I doubt any of the five items on the list would have a detrimental impact on sales. In fact, I think they could have a positive impact. All it would taker is a management decision by Tatts to trial this list or something similar. It would a good next step to resetting the relationship, respecting the retail channel and showing that the relationship has moved on to new times.

Revenue is what matters to Tatts and to retailers. The current approach is handled at the store level in such a way that it can be a disincentive. It also lacks respect. The approach I suggest respects the local business owners and acknowledged a shared objective.


Category: Ethics · Lotteries · Social responsibility

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Colin // Oct 4, 2018 at 8:57 AM

    I doubt Tatts will change its spots whilst it remains judge and jury on its operations. I would prefer a big bang approach.

    – license lottery outlets and place authority to issue with independent regulator

    – allow outlets to sell lottery products for any approved supplier. Ban exclusive agreements.

    – tax on line sales so that commission savings are funnelled to prizes or govt return, not operator profit

    – give local lottery organisations access to selling through licensed outlets

    I dream


  • 2 Mark Fa // Oct 4, 2018 at 12:10 PM

    Were you letting your real thoughts sneak through in this post Mark or was it just a slip of the keyboard?


  • 3 Peter // Oct 4, 2018 at 4:11 PM

    There another issue here and it is responsible gambling. Like the sale of of alcohol and increasing so, tobacco which is face to face with responsible adults trained for signs to stop serving to prevent excess or other undesirable results (dont tell my barman I wrote this).


  • 4 Michael // Oct 4, 2018 at 4:13 PM

    One massive point i would like to raise is the increase in Eftpos purchases in stores and the lack of changes and infact harder cash draws that payouts in lotteries cause.

    As well all know with the increase in technology daily, Eftpos purchases are becoming more prevalent in all our businesses. We already take the hit on the fee’s from the facility however one concept may become important soon…

    At what point does a newsagency stop having enough cash on hand to cover payouts, especially after a superdraw. We personally have been known to record negative figures the day after a superdraw and need to raid the previous days bank for payouts.

    I feel Tatt’s needs a way for us to be able to survive this. Right now we are obligated to pay any ticket that validates in our terminals. If i am no longer taking cash and there is an increase in smaller payouts (As is the way they are turning their lotto draws into, more smaller prizes and less major winners) at what point do we stop having the cash flow for this to be an acceptable model.

    I know it is a touch off topic but it is something i feel Tatt’s will need to look into for agents over the next few years.


  • 5 Peter // Oct 4, 2018 at 5:00 PM


    I have had to go to the bank to obtain payout cash and I also have negative lotto days, more out then in.

    Another side to electronic transactions and in this case free EFT. I have now not written a check in 4 years. People now pay direct by EFT and this is fast becoming one of my biggest source of money, once again free.

    EFTPOS is over priced and bank owned. I was once told we owe banks the right to live in a style which they believe is necessary (Royal Commission). However when Lotto was sold in NSW the ban on customers using credit card was lifted, which leads bank to responsible gambling.


  • 6 Paul S // Oct 5, 2018 at 10:50 AM

    Don’t forget you actually don’t have to pay the customer in cash. You can make the payment to them by EFTPOS credit, cheque, direct deposit, etc.


  • 7 Subaru // Oct 5, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    Tabcorb need to understand that the most important thing is the customer experience.
    They need to allow us to serve OUR customers efficiently.

    Getting rid of scan on sale for scratchies would be a giant step forward.
    We have up to 15 books open across 2 dispensers. When a customer wants “one from each book”, how long do management think it takes us to scan every single scratchie through the machine? Especially if another staff member is selling lotto to a different customer at the same time.

    And then what about the rest of the customers in the queue behind these people who want a magazine or a paper or stationery? Are they supposed to miss their train or bus while waiting? Nope, they dump their items and leave the store empty handed, and we miss out on a sale.


  • 8 Subaru // Oct 5, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    Also, when someone is sent to us to do a Tatts survey, I beleive they should be a Tatts employee with a Tatts ID card. Im not going to discuss any Tatts business with anyone I can’t identify as a Tatts employee.
    A letter within an iPad is not what i call suffienct identification, either. Anyone could have picked up that iPad in the street. Tatts should appreciate us not disclosing any info or proceedures to people that we cannot identify as having appropriate clearance to obtain it.

    I’m also not happy about them sending out staff to check up on us that have no knowledge of what we actually do.
    Our area rep could do a quick visual inspection upon arrival, question any concerns, and listen to our reasons for these apparent discretions.
    Eg Having unrelated stuff on “their area of the counter” that could be an add on sale to a lottery product.

    They expect us to upsell THEIR product, so why shouldn’t we have something like a card stand nearby for a customer that wants to buy lotto as a gift for someone. Buy Lotto, buy card, put lotto inside card, put card inside envelope, give gift. 2 sales for the price of one


  • 9 Jonathan Wilson // Oct 6, 2018 at 9:08 AM

    As long as Tatts continues to make more profit from an online purchase than from one in a retail outlet, they will continue to put online first.


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