Retailers Fear Loss of Lottery Income to Online Sales

Thousands of New Jersey retail outlets selling lottery tickets may be missing out on income they previously took for granted.Get more news about 彩票API,you can vist

Retailers are upset that a law signed in July to let lottery players buy tickets in stores via a debit phone app has not taken effect while the New Jersey Lottery in December announced that tickets now can be purchased anywhere in the state on mobile phones.

Jaimin Shah, administrator of the Asian American Retailers Association that represents roughly 2,000 convenience, gas station and liquor stores in the state, said he fears the new ability of players to buy lottery tickets online will hurt his members financially.

“If they’re not coming to the store … they’re not buying anything,’’ said Shah, noting most of his membership sell lottery tickets and face a double whammy of lost commissions and merchandise sales. “I don’t know how the retailers will survive.”

Shah said the phone debit app could help retailers offset part of that anticipated loss of revenue, noting the likely propensity of some to spend more in the stores on merchandise and lottery tickets if they are using a debit app rather than cash. Use of credit cards to buy lottery tickets is prohibited.

Proponents say the phone debit app would work for lottery tickets similar to the scanning of phones that allows individuals to buy coffee and a pastry in a shop. These systems work by allowing electronic fund transfers via an automated network that debits an individual’s checking account to cover tabs.

While the legislation (A-5608) on the debit app called for the measure to take effect Oct. 1, 2019 after Gov. Phil Murphy signed it in early July, there was a stipulation “except that the state Lottery Commission may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for implementation of this act.’’Mary Ann Rivell, a Lottery spokeswoman, said in an email response the Lottery is still drafting regulations to allow for the law’s implementation.

“In addition, Lottery reached out to our sales and marketing vendors, Northstar New Jersey Lottery, and confirmed that IGT (International Game Technology) has been in touch with the company that offers the decoupled debit product for lotteries,’’ said Rivell in the email. “IGT is trying to evaluate a cost-effective business decision for integrating with a decoupled debit provider.’’

Advocates for retailers say nearly 7,500 establishments sell lottery tickets throughout New Jersey.Retailers make an average of roughly $25,000 annually — with some earning far more — in commissions from lottery sales, but stand to see that amount reduced by thousands of dollars by online purchases, their advocates say. Lottery commissions are particularly important to many small mom-and-pop stores, whose businesses could be jeopardized if online sales take away 25% or more of their take, contend retailers and their advocates.