Retail association RGDATA has addressed the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on the National Lottery’s recent technical problems.
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley addressed the committee to outline the effect the problems which the newly introduced Lottery terminals had on retailers.
Central to her address was that all retailers the association has spoken to experienced problems with the terminals. These have included problems with the operation of the new machines, the scanning system and the machines freezing and needing to be rebooted.
Buckley highlighted how the delays have irritated customers, with the blame going to the retailer. She reported that, “One retailer was told by a customer that if he paid his Internet bills on time, he would not get cut off.”
According to RGDATA, retailers have seen declining sales in lottery tickets since the switchover, particularly in relation to certain scratch cards and the National Lottery TV game show as a number of customers feel there are less prize payouts than before.
A retailer bluntly summed up the problems to the association, “Given the poor service to retailers who are charged with promoting and selling the products, the reputational damage done by the very public IT, issues the customers perception that the prize payouts have diminished […], is it a wonder that our lottery sales figures are in freefall and many regular customers are turning to the bookies?”
However, Joe Tierney, Executive Officer of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) while recognising that there have been problems was sceptical that there has been a significant decrease in ticket sales.
“Are ticket sales down? I don’t think so. The lottery gave us a reading last week that based on their projections for the year, they are .02% up,” he told the committee.
“Certain shops are telling us they’re not selling as many, but the facts coming from the lottery is that the sales are fair,” he added.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.