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Camelot announces highest-ever first-half lottery sales

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Camelot UK Lotteries has announced its highest-ever first-half National Lottery ticket sales, at £3,961.4m for the first six months from April 1 to September 25; an increase of 2.7% on last year.

The growth was driven by a strong draw-based games performance – particularly on Lotto, which is now in its third successive year of growth – as well as a steady retail recovery.

Also boosting the performance was the National Lottery brand’s connection to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Camelot grew total in-store sales to £2,337.5m – up £102.7m (+4.5%). As a result, first-half retailer commission increased to £133m – up £6.5m (+5.1%) and the equivalent of around £3,000 per store.

Retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel and Camelot works closely with around 44,000 retailers across the UK, with independent outlets making up the majority.

Its in-store National Lottery standards programme for independent retailers has continued to prove enormously successful, with £288,000 in cash rewards – over and above their retail commission – awarded to independent shopkeepers in the first half of the year. Additionally, retailer satisfaction scores continue to track at their highest-ever level.

The amount generated for Good Causes from ticket sales grew by 6.5%, driven by strong draw games growth, while unclaimed prizes which are handed over to Good Causes were down 59.1% year on year.

As a result, a total of £884.5m was generated for Good Causes during the first half, up from £863.7m last year. Returns to Good Causes since The National Lottery’s launch in 1994 have now exceeded £45bn.

“I’m delighted to announce another record sales performance for The National Lottery,” said Sir Hugh Robertson, chairman, Camelot. “Crucially, this meant that we were able to deliver growth in returns to Good Causes, prizes paid to players, and Lottery Duty to the Treasury.

“Our profit was once again aligned with returns to Good Causes at the half-year stage and will be around 1% of sales for the full year in accordance with our licence. An incredible £45bn has now been raised for National Lottery Good Causes – 65% more than the most optimistic Treasury forecasts at the time of launch.”

A key strand of activity over the half year was The National Lottery’s largest-ever brand campaign for Tokyo 2020 – a summer-long programme that reminded players that, every time they play a National Lottery game, they directly support Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes.

Camelot then went further to make the connection between ‘play and purpose’ by devising and staging two National Lottery Homecoming events at Wembley Arena.

These were broadcast at primetime on BBC One and Channel 4 and gave thousands of National Lottery players a chance to welcome home their Olympic and Paralympic heroes with a stellar line-up of live entertainment.

As a result, National Lottery brand positivity once again rose to the high levels seen during the initial National Lottery Community Fund Covid-19 funding commitment made in the first lockdown.

Nigel Railton, CEO, Camelot, said: “With National Lottery sales up across the board and very high levels of public participation, we’ve once again proved that our strategy of offering great consumer choice in a safe and convenient way continues to deliver vital contributions to Good Causes across the UK.

“The National Lottery’s continued strong performance is testament to the resilient, responsive business model that we have put in place since our 2017 strategic review.

“Lotto is a great barometer for the overall health of The National Lottery so I’m really proud that, as a result of the series of Lotto enhancements we’ve made, we continue to be one of the only major operators in the world to be growing sales of our flagship game.

“That – paired with a steady retail recovery and our summer-long campaign celebrating the contribution of National Lottery players in helping propel our Olympians and Paralympians to success – all added up to a record first-half performance.”

Over the first six months of the year, The National Lottery awarded £2,274.5m in prize money to players – up £30.6m – and created 184 new millionaires.

With approximately 1% of sales retained as profit by Camelot under the terms of its licence, and 4% spent on operating costs during the period, The National Lottery continued to return around 95% of all sales revenue to winners and society.


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