An expected merger between two of major lottery industry bodies has finally concluded. Late last week, the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) and the Lottery Retailers Association (LRA) announced a merger to form a single ACCC-authorised entity to represent, lottery retailers, distributors, and newsagents across all of Australia. The ALNA-LRA merger is just the latest in a long line of consolidations to take place within the Australian Lottery industry.
ALNA-LRA Merger Long Time in Planning
Last year, ALNA merged with the Lottery Agents Association of Tasmania. In February, they then merged with Lottery Agents Queensland (LAQ)
According to reports, this merger had been in the planning for a while and was moving forward with mutually beneficial terms for both organisations. For now, both bodies will focus on merging their brands, but some changes are taking place immediately. LRA CEO Gary Carter will move into the role of General Manager of Victoria and into the position of General Managers, Lotteries for the nation.
Carter spoke on the ALNA-LRA merger, stating; “Together we have already negotiated for better remuneration from Tabcorp for our members, we have fought to see lottery betting banned in Australia, and we have provided guidance, support, and advocacy for our member to help them grow their businesses. Both organisations bring together a wealth of expertise and experience, and we look forward to benefiting our members’ businesses as one team.”
ALNA CEO Ben Kearney also spoke on the merger, stating; “Running a small business is tough, but when done well it is hugely rewarding and beneficial to our nation’s economy. Every small business should have someone in their corner, and as a combined force, Australia’s newsagents, distributors, and lottery retailers know that we are proactive and in their corner.
As the national body and the largest representative for Australia’s newsagents, distributors, and lottery retailers, we will be building on the successes and momentum that the Lottery Retailers Association and the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association have experienced in affiliation together.”
Retailers to See Immediate Benefits Due to Merger
Often, these types of mergers merely benefit the companies. However, the results of this merger will also benefit retailers. Both organisations had recently concluded successful negotiations with the Lott. A new model will subsequently go into effect soon for retailers.
Under the new model, Lott retailers can earn increased commissions of up to 10%. In addition, they will be reimbursed for expenses for shop fit-outs. After the fit-outs, they will also incur reduced costs. Finally, retailers will earn a commission on online lottery sales.
The deal is expected to earn retailers an additional $17 million over five years. This will impact approximately 3,800 retailers. Western Australia retailers are not affected by the changes.
There will be a couple of changes for retailers. They will have to go through online point-of-sale training, but that will be provided free of charge. Also, retailers will pay an additional 1% in franchise fees. However, it is expected that the commission increase will make up for the increased costs.
The July 1 rollout will include all areas except for Western Australia and South Australia. Negotiations with SA government officials are ongoing to ensure compliance with local regulations.
Industry Needs Unity
Kearney may have best summed up the ALNA-LRA merger in stating; “Our industry needs unity so we can meet the challenges our members face to improve their profitability and to future-proof the industry. That is what this merger brings. In addition, it capitalises on the complementary strengths of both organisations, to bring greater value and impact to our members who are Australia’s largest independent retail and home delivery group.”
Consolidation has been the name of the game for most gambling industries due to a variety of reasons. These include an increase in governmental regulation and the changing spending habits of gamblers. With one organisation in charge, everyone involved can benefit from streamlined processes designed to help grow the industry.