The queue to buy Lotto tickets at a separate supermarket
counter after doing the weekend shopping could disappear as
Countdown introduces ticket sales at the checkout.
After long-running negotiations with the Lotteries
Commission, Countdown has completed a three-month trial in 11
supermarkets of "fastlane", which enables shoppers to buy a
limited range of lottery tickets directly at the checkout.
In a briefing to incoming Internal Affairs Minister Peter
Dunne, the commission notes the trial "met all success
criteria including sales and positive customer experience".
Countdown said: "Feedback was very positive from customers in
relation to not having to queue twice".
Countdown's owner, Progressive Enterprises, started the
service in its supermarkets in 1999 "but the technology just
wasn't up to it at the time", a spokeswoman said.
A Lotteries Commission spokeswoman said that on average,
supermarkets in the pilot programme had an 8 per cent
increase in sales compared with similar supermarkets with
separate Lotto counters.
The Progressive Enterprises spokeswoman said the wider
introduction of the service began in January in stores
throughout New Zealand.
Sixty-four Countdown supermarkets now had in-lane sales and
the number would top 100 of Countdown's 160 supermarkets by
the end of this month.
Checkout sales would be restricted to some tickets, and not
the full Lotto range, and would be in stores which already
had Lotto. While some stores don't allow purchase of lottery
tickets with credit cards, Progressive said all forms of
payment would be accepted for checkout sales.
Tickets available at checkouts would be restricted to those
that don't require customers to select numbers.
A spokeswoman for Countdown's rival Foodstuffs NZ, which runs
New World, Pak'n Save and Four Square stores, said it was
discussing offering the same service but she couldn't
The Problem Gambling Foundation believes direct checkout
sales of Lotto tickets could result in an increase in
Chief executive Graeme Ramsay questioned whether New
Zealanders "really need to have lotteries products rammed
down our throat".
"Having lotteries at every checkout of the supermarket is
significantly different from a separate counter. It just
makes gambling an everyday part of our lives and we shouldn't
be thinking of gambling like that."
- Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald