UK National Lottery sales pass £8bn for the first time

National Lottery sales hit a new record last year.
National Lottery sales hit a new record last year.

Camelot saw digital growth drive National Lottery sales to a record £8.37bn for the 2020/21 financial year.

UK.- Rocketing digital sales drove National Lottery revenue past the £8bn mark for the first time in the last financial year.

Digital sales for the 2020/21 financial year shot up 42.8 per cent year-on-year to £3.51bn. That more than compensated for the decline in retail sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Total sales hit £8.37bn – £468.8m higher than in the previous financial year.

Camelot said the growth in digital sales was due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the closure of some retail outlets for long periods during lockdowns.

Some 90 per cent of the 44,000 retail National Lottery outlets remained open during lockdowns, but there was a drop in footfall even when shops were open as people left their house less often.

Camelot noted that its board had agreed an accelerated investment plan for digital sales to accommodate additional traffic and serve a record number of players online.

National Lottery sales broken down

Mobile sales reached a record £2.48bn – up £876.4m year-on-year. Retail sales fell 10.7 per cent to £4.86bn, although Camelot said they recovered strongly in the second half of the financial year and have now returned close to pre-pandemic levels.

All the same, retail outlets are concerned about the National Lottery’s increased focus on digital channels.

Sales of the National Lottery’s draw-based games rose £153.6m to £4.69bn. Camelot put the growth down to a new feature in its Lotto game offering an extra cash prize of £5. It also said that the new game Set For Life had surpassed expectations and that EuroMillions had seen marginal growth.

Instant-win sales reached £3.68bn, with the decline in scratchcard sales offset through a rise in revenue from online instant-win games.

Camelot reported that it paid out a record £4.85bn in prizes – that’s £349.7m more than in the previous year – and gave £1.89bn to good causes. It paid retailers £275.9m – an average of £6,200 per store. 

Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton said: “In what has been an extraordinarily challenging year, the National Lottery demonstrated incredible resilience and flexibility to achieve this record performance. These results are a culmination of all of the work we’ve done over the last few years in the areas of brand, games, retail and digital. 

“This, together with our years of experience and longstanding commitment to being a world leader in healthy play, have helped us ensure this vital boon for society when it’s been needed most. And it’s these strengths that mean that we will continue to deliver for the benefit of everyone.”

The next National Lottery licence

The British Gambling Commission launched its tender for the next National Lottery licence in August last year. So far, we know that Camelot will face competition from Sazka Group’s Allwyn, India’s Sugal & Damani and the Italian lottery operator Sisal.

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