Retailers in favour of increase in lotto prices

Move by Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association comes amid speculation over format changes

The current €3 minimum price, for two lines, makes the Irish franchise one of the most expensive in Europe. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

The current €3 minimum price, for two lines, makes the Irish franchise one of the most expensive in Europe. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

 

One of the main retailer groups has come out in favour of increasing lotto prices amid speculation the new private operator is planning changes to the format.

The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association said the loss in sales accompanied with previous price hikes had been outweighed by increases in sales value.

In its latest weekly e-zine, the association said: “Retailers should not be fearful or concerned with increases in the range of products with new and higher prices, once the introduction of these products does not lead to a drop in the level of players that would negate the increases earned.”

At the Oireachtas Finance Committee last week, National Lottery boss Dermot Griffin repeatedly refused to rule out changes to the pricing structure or a widening the existing 45-number panel, prompting speculation that changes were imminent.

The last time the National Lottery introduced changes to its basic pricing structure and playing format was in 2006 when it upped the price per line from €1 to €1.50 and added three extra numbers.

The current €3 minimum price, for two lines, makes the Irish franchise one of the most expensive in Europe.

Adding more numbers would lessen the probability of winning, but potentially create bigger jackpots generating better sales for retailers, who work off a commission rate of 6 per cent.

The new lottery regulator, Liam Sloyan, told the committee he had had five requests from Premier Lotteries Ireland since last November.