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Lottery tickets are an integral part of c-store sales, and data from the Arizona Lottery Commission shows that sales have risen over 30% from 2020 to 2021. Lottery game sales reached over $1.4 billion over the past year.

However, the growth of lottery games comes with the risk of inventory issues such as internal theft. Petrosoft’s loss prevention analytics software will help you manage your lottery inventory and keep employee theft at bay. While inventory management is always important for all products, it becomes even more vital for lottery tickets.

Did you know that one stolen $30 lottery ticket could take as much as $1,200 in ticket sales to make up for the loss? That’s, of course, given you assume a typical 5% commission and a 50/50 gross profit split. That one ticket unaccounted for or unpaid can be a substantial hit to your profits.

How Easy is it for a Lottery Ticket to be Stolen?

Here are just three ways employees might try to commit theft with lottery tickets:

  • Price adjustment scams
    The price adjustment scam is when a cashier purchases a lottery ticket by legitimately scanning it but adjusting the listed price of the item to be less expensive, or voiding the sale entirely.
  • Partial or “Micro” scratching
    Before the ticket is purchased, a cashier will very lightly scratch off just enough to determine whether or not the ticket is a winner. Then, the losing microscratched tickets are returned for later sale while the winning tickets are cashed in.
  • Win/Lose swaps
    The cashier determines which tickets are winners, either before or during a legitimate purchase, and cashiers report no win to the customer while pocketing the prize.

How Can You Prevent Lottery Theft?

Lottery theft, although widespread and potentially devastating for c-store profits, can be managed with increased vigilance and help from technology. To cut off lottery theft:

  • Ticket storage and monitoring
    To prevent theft of lottery tickets, it is important to keep your ticket rolls in a safe, locked place when possible. It is essential that employees keep track of which ticket numbers they started and ended their shift on. Cameras should face the area where lottery tickets are sold, cashed and stored when possible.
  • Stay current with audits
    The more recent your last lottery audit, the more likely you are to catch theft and narrow down the perpetrator. Lottery audits should be performed often to notice any patterns of missing tickets quickly and effectively.
  • Invest in a dedicated loss prevention system
    Loss prevention analytics can keep track of everything from which ticket numbers have been sold, which sales have been voided and what shortages your store might be experiencing. An electronic loss prevention system can be invaluable for catching thefts early in a way that isn’t too time-consuming or intensive as working manually.

It can be hard to keep track of every lottery purchase and ensure its legitimacy. That’s why a loss prevention system specifically designed to spot theft is necessary for all lottery retailers. Get a notification and video footage of every no-sale, lottery pay-out and price change so that you can have the peace of mind that your store’s lottery inventory is in good hands.

Petrosoft’s loss prevention analytics system goes above and beyond to supplement inventory management so that you have every tool at your disposal to counteract lottery theft.

Interested in learning more about how Loss Prevention Analytics can help you keep track of lottery ticket inventory?

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The Arizona Lottery Commission publishes a yearly report that allows those in the c-store industry to better understand the c-store landscape and competition. For example, we can estimate that about 45.6% of c-stores are independent in Arizona, given the below statistics. Their yearly report is full of interesting statistics and we’ve shared a few.

Arizona Lottery Commission Statistics

As taken from the fiscal year (FY) ended June 2021 report:

  • 2,001 c-stores in Arizona sell lottery tickets, 1,088 chain stores and 913 independents
  • 62.8% of all lottery locations are c-stores
  • 65% of lottery ticket revenue is generated at a c-store ($923 million) and 37% at supermarkets
  • The average c-store chain earns $37,550 in commissions per store while independents earn $20,985 per store

Leading C-store Chains Selling Lottery Tickets in Arizona

ChainAcctsSales (FY2021)Per StoreCommissionsPer Store
Circle K611$313,692,293$513,408$20,389,999$33,372
Fry’s Gas96$26,050,757$271,362$1,693,299$17,639
Fast Market24$12,278,955$511,623$798,132$33,256
Quik Mart19$11,928,331$627,807$775,342$40,807
4 Sons21$10,981,308$522,919$713,785$33,990
Safeway Gas32$9,770,888$305,340$635,108$19,847
Jackson’s Food Stores11$6,295,306$572,301$409,195$37,200
Pilot Travel Centers19$5,447,815$286,727$354,108$18,637
Good 2 Go17$5,004,939$294,408$325,321$19,137
Convenience Total1,236 $668,846,079 $43,474,995

You can see more statistics, including leading supermarkets, by viewing the original report. (PDF)


Interested in learning more about how Loss Prevention Analytics can help you keep track of lottery ticket inventory?

I’m Interested