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Stores Offering Lottery Tickets in NJ Fear Competition from Wawa

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Without sales from lottery tickets, small businesses might not survive, owners say.

Independent convenience store owners are concerned over the extended partnership between Wawa Inc. and the New Jersey Lottery and feel their profits are threatened. By the end of the first quarter, the company will be authorized under American gambling laws to offer self-service lottery ticket machines in its 210 stores.

The automated machines in Wawa’s stores offer different types of lottery tickets, including popular options such as Pick 4 and Mega Millions. The company already has 212 lottery machines in Pennsylvania and 67 in Virginia.

Independent businesses struggling

In recent gambling news, independent store owners are complaining that they’re already struggling to make ends meet. Now, with their main competition having the advantage of offering lottery tickets, they fear their businesses might not survive.

“If somebody’s stopping by to just get lottery tickets, he or she might change their mind and decide to get something else. If the customers are going to Wawa to stop for food or gas, now they’re going to go in and buy lottery tickets,” Vasant Patel, owner of the Woodbury Variety and Deli said.

Patel’s store makes between $300 and $500 a day, when there are impending lottery drawings. However, without profits made from selling lottery tickets, he says he might need to come up with a different strategy to keep customers coming back.

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