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NSW Lotteries fail to publish Disclosure Document on time

11/10/2021

NSW Lotteries fail to publish Disclosure Document on time

The Franchising Code requires franchisors to make a Disclosure Document available to potential and existing franchisees . Compliance with the Code is mandatory. Quite specific requirements are placed on franchisors by the Franchising Code.  
NANA regularly reviews the Disclosure Document released each year by New South Wales Lotteries Corporation Pty Ltd. The Disclosure Document is required to be available within 4 months of the end of the financial year, subject to certain conditions. New South Wales Lotteries Corporation Pty Ltd were due to have the Disclosure Document available from 1 November 2021.
NANA has raised the availability of the Disclosure Document with New South Wales Lotteries Corporation Pty Ltd and Tabcorp Holdings Ltd several times. Late in the afternoon of Monday this week NANA was advised by New South Wales Lotteries Corporation Pty Ltd and Tabcorp Holdings Ltd that “Retailers web has been updated with the new documents.” Unfortunately, the Disclosure Document does not appear on Retailers Web as a document which franchisees can download or view.

Why is this important?
First, compliance with the requirements of the Franchising Code is mandatory. New South Wales Lotteries Corporation Pty Ltd and Tabcorp Holdings Ltd are not above the law.
Second, this appears to be yet another instance of the franchisor behaving in a “do as I say, not as I do” manner.
Third, New South Wales Lotteries Corporation Pty Ltd and Tabcorp Holdings Ltd rigorously administer a compliance regime which potentially reduces the income of franchisees, sometimes for what are relatively minor matters. It appears that the same standards do not apply when it comes to the franchisor and in this instance how it fails to meet legal requirements which according to the ACCC are mandatory.

For what it is worth NANA has advised Minster Dominello, Liquor & Gaming NSW and the ACCC that New South Wales Lotteries Corporation Pty Ltd appears not to have observed the mandatory requirements of the Franchising Code.

NANA will see what the regulators are prepared to do and will keep Members advised.

*as at 2.20pm AEST on Wednesday 10 November 2021 the Disclosure Document due for publishing as of 1 November 2021 is not available for download on Retailers Web.