Retailers Say A Shut Down of All Lotto Machines A Distinct Possibility
Today, Dawn Nettles, Publisher of The Lotto Report, announced that she has entered into a Gentlemans Agreement with a number of retailers that will attempt to halt all Lottery sales if the proposed change to add 4 balls to Lotto Texas is approved on April 19 by the Texas Lottery Commission.
Nettles said, The retailers have been calling me with their stories ever since I posted my opinion as to why Lotto sales were sluggish. Yesterday, after getting legal clearance, we agreed that as soon as their customers give them an OK, they will halt lotto sales in their stores. In retrospect, they will simply shut Lotto machines down until amicable terms can be reached between the retailers and the Commission.
According to Nettles, the retailers have been at odds with the Commission for the past couple of years and are angry too. Many retailers would have already quit selling Lottery products but they fear customer retaliation if they pull Lotto from their stores. With me as mediator, we should be able to come together as one and force the Commission to do right by both its players and retailers. It is our position that the Commission should not be permitted to be the sole profiteer from the Lottery. The funds should be distributed amongst the retailers, players, and vendors more evenly, Nettles said.
The retailers believe they will have no problems in reaching a pact among themselves to call for a shut down and will have full cooperation statewide. I, in turn, assured the retailers that I could definitely get the People of Texas to approve the shut down. The Texas Lottery has left me no choice but to find a way to stop them from adding those 4 balls which ultimately makes it tougher for Players to win the game, Nettles said.
The retailers first concern is that the 5% commission has never covered their costs and profits are not worthy of the work involved in selling Lottery products. Other retailer complaints include the Lotterys stolen ticket policy, the insurance or refund policies, and the 8 Liner ticket exchange for lottery tickets. These are just of few of the complaints voiced by the retailers in recent weeks.
In a press release issued by the Texas Lottery Commission last month, the Lottery predicted that Retailers commissions would increase by $8.3 million under the proposed changes. However, retailers scuffed at the proposal stating that with 16,711 retailers across Texas, that is an average increase of only $496 per year per retailer. Hardly worth mentioning, Nettles said. Further, she said, Retailers have made numerous attempts to have their complaints addressed at the Town Hall meetings but to no avail. Retailers are fed up with bureaucracy. I think by having the players come together with the retailers, we can help each other and the Commission will have to listen to us.
Ms. Nettles stresses that the Lottery Commission needs to realize that one of the reasons for sluggish Lotto sales should be attributed to the fact that Lottery signs have been removed and playslip displays have been relocated to the back of the stores. Retailers have been sending Lottery officials messages for a long time but no one seems to hear them, Ms. Nettles said. So adding four balls and angering your players is not the answer.
Six months ago, the Texas Lottery Commission proposed a similar plan to add 4 balls to Lotto Texas but the people came forward with a resounding No to the plan. As a result, Linda Cloud, Executive Director of the Commission, announced she would not mess with Lotto Texas. Players were relieved and lotto sales increased at the time.
While the recent proposal is currently up for Public Comment, the Texas Lottery has issued only one press release. With no advertising placed by the Commission, how can people oppose these changes when they dont even know that they exist? Nettles asked. Players who are aware of the impending proposal have once again rallied and told the Commission NO.
In the last 4 weeks, thousands of signatures, letters and emails have been collected by the opposition. Nettles reports that she recently requested copies of all comments received by the Commission and is receiving 536 pages, printed both sides, of comments. It appears that they are being overwhelmed again, Nettles said.
The Texas Lottery can not survive without players and retailers. We are the backbone. The foundation of my plan has been laid. All we have to do, if the Commission proceeds with its plan to add 4 balls, is to ask the retailers to halt lotto sales. At that point, the retailers will honor our requests. My web site, www.lottoreport.com, will contain all the pertinent links so players will be able to communicate their approval to the retailers, Nettles concluded.
For obvious reasons, Ms. Nettles will not divulge the identities of the retailers at this time.
The Texas Lottery Commission will be holding a Public comment hearing in Austin on Wednesday, April 19 at Lottery Headquarters. Comments on this proposal can be sent to Kimberly Kiplin, Texas Lottery Commission, P. O. Box 16630, Austin, Texas 78761-6630 and Ms. Nettles would like to receive your comments at P. O. Box 495033, Garland, Texas 75049-5033 or on her web site or email firstname.lastname@example.org .