15/07/2014 - 13:01

Gambling on growth

15/07/2014 - 13:01

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Lotterywest is seeking to reinvigorate sales as Sunday trading laws and an ageing customer base dampen revenue growth.

Gambling on growth
Lotterywest chief executive Jan Stewart.

Lotterywest is seeking to reinvigorate sales as Sunday trading laws and an ageing customer base dampen revenue growth.

The organisation has reported a 2 per cent drop in revenue for 2013-14 compared with the previous financial year, with sales of $797 million to the year ending June 30.

Chief executive Jan Stewart told Business News the revenue fall was not surprising, as the 2012-13 revenue of $820 million was an “extraordinarily good year”.

However, she said Lotterywest had hoped for a slightly better result.

“We had an extraordinary year the year before … our sales were up about 7.5 per cent so we knew we were never going to match that,” Ms Stewart said.

“Our budget (for 2013-14) was $801.7 million and (what we achieved) was 0.6 per cent below budget, while we would have liked to have at least met budget we’re not desperately surprised or disappointed that it’s at that level.”

She said the drop in sales could be attributed to the variable nature of the jackpotting games Oz Lotto and Powerball.

“The longer they roll before you get a winner, the greater revenue you get, because each week people get more interested as the prize on offer climbs,” Ms Stewart said.

“We just didn’t have the run of jackpots this year.”

However the stable income from Saturday Lotto – which makes up about 50 per cent of sales – had also plateaued.

“There was a trend of people buying (Saturday Lotto tickets) on Saturday because that was the day that you went shopping, but the last two of three years we’ve seen a real change, which we think is associated with Sunday trading.”

Despite the reduced revenue this past financial year, Lotterywest returned a similar level of funds back to community groups and charities, with about $271 million provided in 2013-14 compared with $274 million the previous year.

Ms Stewart said she wanted to increase sales growth so more could be provided in grants and community organisation funding.

Key to increasing that growth was retaining the attention of the older, loyal lottery players, while Lotterywest was also considering how to engage with younger players.

Ms Stewart said multiple strategies were required to facilitate growth, which Lotterywest would instigate in the coming financial year.

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