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Supermarkets & Lotteries

We still often hear, “don’t buy a newsagency, lotto is going to Woolworths or Coles”.

Whilst anything may be possible, the likelihood of this is slim.

We will address this issue below to help a prospective buyer understand the circumstances, and make their own judgement on how likely this perception may be.

Firstly, Tatts have to comply with different rules, state by state. So what may happen in NSW is different to what may happen in QLD or other states. In NSW & VIC, Tatts are a full franchise system, in QLD, they are not.

Secondly, it is very important to understand, Coles & Woolworths are more than just Supermarkets.


Tatts have trialled lotteries in some southern Coles Express outlets (petrol stations not supermarkets). It would appear that trial has opened doors to using that network for future Tatts outlets.

Supermarkets on the other hand, are clearly winding back on Customer service, evident by the significant increase in self-serve checkouts, replacing what was previously all traditional full service checkouts, allowing them to cut back on staff/labour costs.

Lotteries are a low margin commission.  The supermarkets, in years past, used to accept Bill Payments, another very low margin return; and they abandoned that as being too labour intensive for the return. So, how likely are the supermarkets going to now consider adopting another low margin, all labour based income, when they are clearly trying to minimise labour costs ?

Now consider Tatts “new outlet policy”. Here are the links to QLD and NSW, new lotto license applications requirement. You may note, Tatts refer to NSW as “How to become a Franchisee” and QLD instead refer to “How to become a Retailer

Tatts have consistently demonstrated, they require any New licence granted, must add incremental sales, not simply take away from existing outlets. So in essence, a New license holder, must convince Tatts they can add to the network, without diluting the sales of existing outlets. With that in mind, where a Tatts outlet exists (newsagent or other) and is servicing a demographic, there is no need to introduce a New outlet. We are aware of many rejected applications from other potential operators, where Tatts have cited that the area is already looked after.

However, where there is a growing demographic (eg new housing, or developing outer suburb), Tatts may weigh up if a New outlet in that location will help to service that growing demand. Petrol stations may be the only option in a new area, where general shopping options are yet to be established, and hence, logically, the trial in those Coles Express makes sense.

The lotto machinery is expensive, and so again, it is unlikely Tatts will warrant the cost to significantly expand the network, when they already have strong coverage.


In New South Wales (NSW)

Whilst Tatts is a full franchise within a newsagency, it does not mean the newsagency is a franchise, simply one aspect is a franchise.

As a full franchise, a new outlet only needs to comply with Tatts Franchise Requirements, bearing in mind the above comments.

In Queensland (QLD)

It is highly unlikely that the major supermarkets or their operators/owners will get lotteries in QLD.

As documented elsewhere, QLD operates under state based legislation “The Lotteries Act 1997” & as amended.

Below is an excerpt from the Golden Casket transfer of licence application, and as you will see, Tatts highlight the fact that you have to declare to be, by definition, a small business.

This precludes any major supermarket operator from holding a lotteries licence in QLD.

As widely experienced Specialist Newsagency Brokers, we accept that nothing is impossible, but from our understanding, it would take an act of QLD Parliament, to change this small business protection; so how likely is that ????

lottieres act section 79

In Summary

Buying a newsagency is all about making an informed judgement. Sometimes you have to piece together facts to get a better understanding.