The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) has welcomed the Australian Competition Tribunal’s approval of the proposed merger of Tabcorp Holdings and Tatts Group.
ALNA CEO Adam Joy says a merged business is likely to prove a “synergistic and mutually beneficial commercial partner” for the lottery and newsagents industry.
“A combined business would be better placed to bring fresh and innovative opportunities to the market and reinvigorate lottery products,” he said.
“As the national industry body representing Australian lottery and newsagents, ALNA considers that the merged entity’s greater scale, resources, commitment to investment, national footprint and enhanced operational strength would help to realise and deliver considerable mutual benefits to our members and their customers.”
While the proposed merger brings many benefits to newsagents and lottery retailers, ALNA says uncertainty while a final decision is pending is causing significant implications for new lottery shop fit-outs.
“A large number of our members are in the process of new lottery shop-fits, the largest investment they will undertake in many years,” ALNA National Manager Policy and Government Relations Ben Kearney said. “Until a potential merger is finalised, we would like to see shop-fits put on hold until a strategy from a merged entity is in place.”
Australia has more than 5,000 independent, family-owned newsagents, with the industry employing more than 20,000 people and turning over $6 billion a year. About 2.3 million people visit newsagents every day across the country.
Lottery products make up about 10-25 per cent of the direct revenue of ALNA’s members that offer them – and in the many cases of lottery-only kiosks, significantly more than this. Lottery products also attract considerable foot traffic, giving retailers the opportunity to generate further revenue through the sale of other products.