Certain Lotto NZ venues to reopen after Covid-19 closures
Lotto New Zealand counters in dairies and convenience stores are being allowed to reopen after temporarily closing due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, but other stores will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this week, New Zealand’s government downgraded to Alert Level 3 of the coronavirus alert system, enabling some shops and venues to open. The country had been in a state of lockdown since Alert Level 4 was announced on 25 March.
This resulted in the lottery suspending retail sales from 27 March, including Lotto NZ counters in pharmacies, dairies, petrol stations and supermarkets, though customers were still able to purchase tickets online.
Lotto NZ will work with each individual store over the coming days, with the aim of reopening most approved locations by 2 May.
However, all other stores such as supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations will not be able to reopen until Alert Level 2 comes into effect. The New Zealand government expects to downgrade to Alert Level 2 in two weeks’ time.
“By safely re-opening some of our retail stores this week we can continue to generate funding for New Zealand communities, many of which will need it now more than ever,” Lotto NZ chief executive Chris Lyman said.
“We have seen a big increase in customers purchasing their tickets online during the lockdown, which has been fantastic, but sales have decreased which ultimately means less community funding.
“We’re really pleased to be able to re-open Lotto counters in some of our stores this week, giving our customers an option to buy their tickets in open stores if they wish.”
Lyman added that stores will need to implement certain measures to protect both staff and customers during the next phase of the coronavirus alert system, or risk being closed down again.
In addition, Lyman said consumers can wait to claim any prizes from physical tickets until a later date when the Alert Level is lowered again, while players can continue to purchase new tickets online.
“We understand that some people will prefer to wait until the country is at lower alert levels before claiming their prize in-store,” he said. For those customers, we recommend they write their details on the ticket and put the ticket in a safe place – they will need the physical ticket to claim their prize when they are ready.
“It may take a few days for the stores to get their Lotto counters back up and running, and in the meantime, customers can continue to purchase their tickets online at MyLotto.co.nz.
“The most important thing is that we keep everyone safe during this time, which means following the government’s advice on Covid-19. Never has there been such an important time for Kiwis to help other Kiwis.”
Alert Level 3 has also permitted businesses and stakeholders in the country’s thoroughbred and harness racing sectors to return to work. As announced by New Zealand’s Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) last week, staff can now recommence trialling and training – subject to meeting strict protocols and guidance established by each code.