Newsagents fear clubs selling Lotto

By ED SOUTHORN

THE NSW Newsagents Association is seeking an urgent meeting with NSW Lotteries to complain about approval for the Twin Towns Services Club and Club Banora to sell Lotto tickets.

Twin Towns general manager Rob Smith yesterday confirmed the two clubs had obtained a NSW Lotteries ongoing licence, costing more than $30,000 for each premises, to sell the "full suite" of Lotto products from April 4.

This includes Monday, Wednesday and Saturday Lotto, Oz Lotto and Powerball.

Mr Smith said he was aware of only one other club in NSW - at Nelson Bay ? with a licence to sell Lotto tickets.

He said Twin Towns, which owns Club Banora and already sells newspapers, was simply providing a service to its almost 50,000 members and did not intend to take business from local newsagents.

But Sydney-based NSW Newsagents Association general manager Gary Monks said there were five newsagents in Tweed Heads selling Lotto and therefore no need to increase Lotto outlets.

"I don't know if you need any more agents," he said.

Mr Monks also said selling Lotto tickets in clubs with poker machines and alcohol increased the risk of Lotto players becoming problem gamblers.

"We are concerned at the impact on business, but gambling is also one of our concerns," he said.

Mr Smith said Lotto products were widely available and the clubs industry was tightly controlled and well able to deal with any problem gamblers.

Mr Monks said the association was hoping to meet with NSW Lotteries later this week to discuss the Twin Towns move.

It is understood NSW Lotteries weighs up any impact on market share before awarding new Lotto licences.

A Tweed newsagent said newsagents sited close to Twin Towns and Club Banora could lose some Lotto trade, but other newsagents further away from the clubs might not be impacted.

However, the newsagent said there were concerns the Twin Towns Lotto move could lead to other Tweed clubs selling Lotto tickets, and if that happened local newsagents would be extremely concerned.



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