NEWSAGENTS across the state can continue to sell lottery tickets exclusively after the NSW Government and Tabcorp extended their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
In 2015, the NSW Government signed a MoU with Tatts Group, now known as Tabcorp, which stated the Tatts Group would not expand the network of franchises into supermarket chains for three years from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2018.
The MoU also stated that the government would provide support to the existing network of franchises to update, which came in the form of the $15 million Newsagents Assistance Fund.
Last month, the NSW Government extend the MoU with Tabcorp Holdings Limited (NSW Lotteries) until March 31, 2021.
Newsagent Lachlan Sullivan of Westpoint News, Toys and Gifts said the decision was good for small business.
“Retail is tough enough without having to compete against the big corporations,” he said.
For newsagents, the sale of lottery tickets has been a point of difference from other retailers that sell many of the same products, such as magazines and stationary.
“Small business everywhere is under pressure from online and big business and it’s a challenge for small businesses to keep punching above their weight,” Mr Sullivan said. “It is a positive move from the government and I hope one day they will stop it from going ahead.”
While the MoU has been extended, newsagents are encouraged to diversify their businesses, products and services during that time.
Mr Sullivan said it can be difficult for newsagents to diversify in some locations, with those in small towns likely to struggle the most.
He said it would be best for all involved to allow newsagents to continue to sell lottery tickets exclusively, as it supports small business and would likely be more economical for supermarkets.
“With lotto computer systems, you do need people who know what they are doing and I don’t see lotto terminals being on every checkout because it is expensive, so it would end up being a kiosk like every other newsagency,” Mr Sullivan said.