March 16, 2023
min read

The 9 Forms of Lottery Theft and How to Stop Them

Lottery products are popular in retail stores, but they also present a unique challenge for store owners - theft. While the lottery brings in significant foot traffic, theft can quickly eat into profits. In this blog post, we'll explore nine common forms of lottery theft and provide suggestions on how to prevent them using effective tracking systems and security cameras.

A crucial aspect of preventing lottery theft is having a good lottery tracking system that makes it easy to pinpoint the exact time of the theft, creating a short investigation window. Coupled with security camera footage, this makes investigating and resolving theft cases much more efficient and effective. Now, let's get to the 9 types of theft.

  1. Stealing from backstock: The backstock is a prime target for theft, as it often contains dozens of scratcher packs. Thieves can steal unopened packs, activate them, and turn them into cash. Partial packs can also be taken without activation. To prevent this, store owners should keep the backstock securely locked, limit access to authorized personnel, and regularly match the packs in backstock to delivery receipts.
  2. Employees playing while they work: Employees may play scratchers during their work shift and pay for the tickets with their winnings. If they don't win or choose not to pay, this becomes theft. Implementing policies prohibiting employees from playing during work hours, monitoring employee behavior, and using security cameras can help prevent this type of theft.
  3. Voiding tickets: Employees can sometimes void a lottery ticket after ringing it up. This may happen if the customer changes their mind or does not have the cash to complete the purchase. However, these voided tickets can be stolen if not returned to the display case. Whether you use an automated solution like LottoShield, or track your lottery manually, be sure to check your voids and make sure they are not followed by shortages.
  4. Price overrides: Employees may override the price of a lottery purchase and pocket the difference in cash. Ensuring proper training on pricing policies, and configure your price-book to prohibit price overrides in the lottery category, if possible.
  5. Not ringing up an online lotto sale or payout: If a customer purchases a lotto ticket or receives a payout, the employee may not ring it up and pocket the cash instead. Monitor your daily lotto sales and payouts to catch discrepancies that would arise from this type of theft.
  6. Vending machine theft: Managers or employees can take cash or tickets while opening and restocking the vending machine. Implement clear cash handling procedures, regularly audit vending machine transactions, and match the cash removed with the print-out from the machine.
  7. Stealing from the back of a pack while restocking the display case: Employees or managers can take tickets from the back of a pack when activating and placing them in the bins. When this happens, immediately check the camera footage during the activation time of the pack to see which employee was responsible for placing the pack.
  8. Swapping winning tickets: Employees may swap customers' winning tickets with non-winning tickets and claim the prize for themselves. A properly placed self-serve terminal can help deter this type of theft by allowing customers to check their tickets prior to handing them to the clerk.
  9. Colluding with customers: Employees might conspire with customers to share winnings or facilitate theft. Creating a strong culture of integrity, fostering open communication between management and employees, and utilizing security cameras can help prevent collusion.

Conclusion: Preventing lottery theft in retail stores requires vigilance, proper training, and regular monitoring of employee behavior. A good lottery tracking system paired with security cameras makes it easier to investigate theft cases and resolve them quickly. By understanding the various forms of lottery theft and implementing the necessary preventative measures, store owners can protect their profits and maintain the trust of their customers.