The operator has reported a drop in sales as players “tighten their belts”.
UK.- Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery, has reported that the cost of living crisis has started to impact on sales. It has seen signs that players had “tightened their belts” over the last year, leading to a drop in both lottery ticket and instant win sales.
National Lottery sales fell by 3 per cent to £8.1bn for the year ending March 31. Most of the decline was in National Lottery instants, sales of which fell by 7 per cent year-on-year (£240m) to £3.4bn. Sales of tickets for draws have held up better but still fell by £43.2m to £4.6bn, though this may be due to fewer big Euromillions jackpots.
The operator noted that competition for players’ spare cash had increased due to the rise in the cost of household bills, while the end of Covid-19 countermeasures had opened up more options for the use of disposable income. Camelot noted that despite the drop in sales, funds for good causes increased by more than £24m to £1.9bn.
Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton said: “Achieving National Lottery sales of over £8bn two years in a row while maintaining very high levels of public participation – despite the challenging and changing external environment – proves that our strategy of offering great consumer choice in a safe and convenient way continues to be hugely successful.”
“In the year ahead, we’ll continue to invest and innovate to respond to the changing consumer environment.”
Camelot is currently fighting a legal battle against the Gambling Commission’s decision to award the next National Lottery licence to Allwyn. The Czech lottery giant is due to take over the running of the lottery from 2024, replacing Camelot after three decades.
The Gambling Commission is seeking to overturn a legal constraint preventing it from entering an enabling agreement with the Czech operator to begin the transfer process.
The Gambling Commission’s John Tanner, who was senior responsible officer for the National Lottery tender, told the High Court of England and Wales that the regulator feared proceedings may leave “insufficient implementation time” for Allwyn to take over the contract.
Meanwhile, Allwyn Group has finished its global rebranding from its former name, Sazka.