Convenience Stores Applaud Senator Avella for Lottery Retailer Initiative

ALBANY, NY (03/10/2017) (readMedia)-- The New York Association of Convenience Stores today applauded State Senator Tony Avella of Queens for spearheading a bipartisan effort to help offset the rising costs of New York Lottery retailers by adjusting their compensation rate for the first time in 50 years.

Backed by a bipartisan group of his Senate colleagues, Senator Avella aims to increase the retailer's commission from the current 6 percent of the face value of tickets sold to 8 percent in order to reflect higher costs associated with selling lottery tickets. He has introduced a bill, S.5108, to achieve that.

"The exponential growth in our operating expenses has far outpaced the incremental growth in our lottery sales," explained NYACS President Jim Calvin, noting that labor costs alone have increased 547 percent since the lottery began in 1967.

"We are grateful to Senator Avella and the many other Senators from all parts of New York who have expressed support for the concept of adjusting the compensation for lottery retailers," said Calvin.

There are 17,700 licensed New York Lottery "agents" statewide, including delis, bodegas, taverns, convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, newsstands, bowling alleys, truck stops, stationery stores, beverage centers, and liquor stores. Together, these small businesses have helped build New York Lottery into a $9.6 billion-a-year enterprise.

"We're proud to be on the front lines of the New York Lottery system, providing adult customers with opportunities to win cash while helping our state generate revenue to support education," said Calvin. "But to keep doing so, we need to make ends meet. As costs continue to escalate due to public policy, adjusting lottery retailer compensation becomes vitally important."