Two major organizations that have long represented the interests of lottery-associated businesses in Australia are merging. The announcement came as the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) and Lottery Retailers Association (LRA) join forces this month. News of the ALNA and LRA merger was not much of a surprise though.
Instead, it marks a sensible path for the groups, as they had worked together on issues in the past on key issues and similar goals.
A merger of two like-minded organizations will allow members’ voices to exert more influence, better negotiate, and more strongly advocate for the businesses they represent. Many members seem to be on board with the move, and see it as a strengthening of their potential industry impact.
ALNA and LRA Merger: Two Become One
The ALNA and LRA merger will create one industry organization, and ALNA will be its name. The Lottery Retailers Association name will disappear altogether over time.
The staff of both groups are merging, as is management. For example, former LR CEO Gary Carter will take on two positions; Victoria general manager and national lotteries general manager.
Carter said, “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 members to help them grow their businesses.”
Going forward, the ALNA will represent all newsagents, distributors, and lottery retailers nationally.
ALNA CEO Ben Kearney, who will remain in his position, noted, “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.” He then added, “Our industry needs unity so we can meet the challenges our members face to improve their profitability and to future-proof the industry. This is what this merger brings.”
Mergers on Top of Mergers
The ALNA-LRA merger comes just several months after ALNA merged with Lottery Agents Queensland (LAQ). It also comes approximately one year after ALNA merged with the Lottery Agents Association of Tasmania (LAAT).
And in 2015, LRA entered an affiliation agreement with the Australian Newsagents Federation (ANF) to focus on national lottery issues. The new ALNA has already incorporated that partnership.
The ALNA also had numerous strategic relationships in place that will remain pertinent as the larger organization takes shape. The alliances, according to the ALNA, allow the group to “syndicate resources for increased productivity,” to offer the speed and depth of a large organization as well as the efficiency of a small one. Those partners include:
- Small Business Australia
- ACAPMA (Australian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association)
- AACS (Australian Association of Convenience Stores)
- AAR (Alliance of Australian Retailers)
- CAMBA (Convenience and Mixed Business Association)
- Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- MGA Independent Retailers
- ABA (Australian Bankers Association)
- AHA (Australian Hotels Association)
- Associations Forum
Building on Recent Success
The most significant success from the relationship between ALNA and LRA – possibly the final brick in the foundation that led to the merger – was the conclusion of negotiations between the two groups and the Lott.
A lengthy process resulted in a new model for retailers will take effect on July 1, 2019. All Lott retailers will be able to earn more commissions from a revenue increase of at least 10%, as well as reimbursements from the cost of shop fit-outs and reductions in costs going forward. They will also receive commissions on digital lottery sales.
The agreement is said to be worth $17 million over the course of the next five years for more than 3,800 lottery retailers that sell the Lott brands in every state except Western Australia.
Retailers will also see a reduction in fit-out costs, such as the digital point-of-sale screens required to participate. Retainers will then be able to benefit from online sales through commissions and bonuses.
Retailers will still be required to pass site surveys and comply with other requirements. However, they will subsequently receive free online point-of-sale training. They will have to pay a 1% increase in weekly franchise fees, but the commission increase is in place to offset that cost.
In addition to the exception of Western Australia, the initial rollout of the program on July 1 will exclude South Australia. More negotiations are required with representatives of the SA government to ensure the retailers and regulators are in full agreement.
Meanwhile, all other operators will be contacted by ALNA to deliver guides, answer questions, and provide in-person assistance if required.