Retailers’ groups row over problems with Lotto system

War of words as Lotto officials prepare for Oireachtas showdown

The Agent Council said while there had been teething problems with the lottery’s new technology platform, the issues were being exaggerated.

The Agent Council said while there had been teething problems with the lottery’s new technology platform, the issues were being exaggerated.

 

As National Lottery officials gear up for a showdown with the Oireachtas finance committee this week, a dispute has emerged between retailers’ groups over the extent of the problems with the new system.

The Agent Council, a body representing retailers’ groups, said while there had been teething problems with the lottery’s new technology platform, the issues were being exaggerated.

The group’s representative Ronan Frayan said a recent survey by umbrella group RGdata, which is a member of the council, was inaccurate. The survey suggested most retailers had suffered a drop in sales as a result of problems.

“In our view, the results of the RGdata survey are exaggerated,” Mr Frayan, who operates a newsagent on Westland Row, Dublin, said, “and it does not accurately represent the view of all National Lottery agents across Ireland.

“There has been a settling-in period. This has indeed caused inconvenience for our members. However we’re confident the National Lottery is committed to resolving these issues.”

Operator Premier Lotteries Ireland has been in the spotlight over its handling of a technology overhaul, with retailers complaining about the quality of new ticket terminals.

 

Backed findings

RGdata’s director general Tara Buckley said she stood over the findings. “There may be individual retailers who are fortunate enough not to have experienced many problems with the system and who have not experienced a drop in sales of National Lottery products since the changeover,” she said. “However that is not the case for the vast majority who have been in contact with RGdata.

 

“Retailers are telling us that their customers . . . are complaining that the prizes are not as good since the changeover.”

The survey was conducted before last month’s system outage, which knocked out ticket terminals for several hours.

Lotto chiefs are likely to face a grilling from politicians over the performance of the newly privatised franchise at an Oireachtas finance committee hearing tomorrow.