Michael Outama, who runs a Londis store and Langley Post Office in a Birmingham suburb, has been there for 29 years. He has had the lottery from day one (1994). But now an independent has opened next door and got both a terminal and Scratchcards straight away. “What is the rule?” he asks.
I asked Camelot and here is the press office’s reply. “In terms of exclusivity we don’t offer it. That’s because our overarching objective is to raise as much money as possible for good cause projects, and so we reserve the right to choose retailers close to each other if we believe that will maximise sales, and returns to good causes.
“Providing a National Lottery terminal, installing it and training a retailer costs a considerable amount - so it wouldn’t make commercial sense for us to select a location that we didn’t believe would result in incremental sales and money for good causes.”
“In general terms, when a National Lottery terminal becomes available, we use our fair and tried-and-tested selection process to identify the best outlets, irrespective of sector or proximity to other stores.
“Among other things, we take into account current and projected sales, footfall, store size, access and potential demand - as well as wider market trends and changes in the retail landscape.
“As a result, our established independent retail partners earned, on average, more than £6,500 in commission last year and helped us to raise more than £1.6bn for good causes - achievements of which they should be rightly proud.”
I wonder how this move will affect Michael’s commission?