For immediate release, 28 January 2015
The NSW Council of Churches has urged state politicians to extend a moratorium restricting the sale of lottery tickets to newsagents and convenience stores.
“Regardless of who governs NSW after March 28, in the interests of harm minimisation and public health, the sale of lottery tickets should not be extended to large supermarket chains such as Coles and Woolworths, or to fuel retail outlets,” Council President, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said.
“Lifting the moratorium is bad for small business, and especially for problem gamblers who would face the very real challenge of having to decide whether to spend money on lottery tickets or food for their family,” Dr Clifford said.
The five-year moratorium, due to expire on April 1, was included in legislation for a 40-year lease of NSW Lotteries to the Tatts Group in 2010, giving newsagents time to adjust to expected competition from large retailers.
NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance claimed that lifting the moratorium would lead to greater retail penetration and increase the state’s lottery revenue duties by an estimated $760 million over the next 35 years.
But such a move could see the proprietors of 1500 newsagents and convenience stores in NSW face the prospect of bankruptcy as business generated by lottery customers drifted to supermarkets.
Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678