The outgoing National Lottery operator has reported sales of £4.1bn for the six months to September 24.
UK.- Camelot UK has reported its highest half-year sales in its almost 30 years at the helm of the UK National Lottery. The operator, which incoming licensee Allwyn agreed to acquire this week, reported first-half sales of £4.1bn, up 2.6 per cent year-on-year.
It said that a 13 per cent increase in online sales had offset a decline in in-store ticket and scratchcard demand due to “difficult” trading on the high street. Mobile sales reached a record £1.4bn as players signed up for a series of big EuroMillions rollover draws in the spring and summer. More than 15,000 players a minute signed into the National Lottery app and website ahead of the £184m jackpot draw in May.
In-store ticket sales fell by 4.7 per cent to £2.2bn. Camelot said retail partners were affected by “ongoing difficult conditions” as fewer people visited shops and chose to do large shops less often. Scratchcards and instant win sales were down 3.7 per cent to £1.7bn.
Camelot said: “Despite this, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel and Camelot remains committed to doing everything it can to help its in-store partners, particularly independent outlets which make up the majority of its 44,500-strong retail footprint.”
Camelot said it had delivered record half-year returns for good causes, up 8.1 per cent to £956.5m.
Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton said: “[The first-half results] demonstrate our ability to adapt quickly and decisively to fast-changing and challenging economic conditions, while maintaining our longstanding reputation for selling tickets in a socially responsible way – attributes that have helped to keep The National Lottery in excellent health at such an important time for the UK.”
Allwyn’s acquisition of Camelot UK
Camelot UK lost the Gambling Commission’s recent tender for the next National Lottery licence. That means that from February 2024, the National Lottery will have a new operator for the first time since its inception in 1994.
Camelot launched a legal challenge against the Gambling Commission’s decision but Allwyn – the former Sazka – has now agreed to buy Camelot UK from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Allwyn hopes to close the deal early in 2023, subject to approval by the UK Gambling Commission.
Allwyn was officially awarded the fourth licence to operate the lottery in September. The transition process has begun, with Allwyn opening offices in Watford where Camelot has its base.