UK National Lottery sales reach record high

The UK National Lottery saw retail sales climb after the end of Covid-19 restrictions.
The UK National Lottery saw retail sales climb after the end of Covid-19 restrictions.

Camelot UK Lotteries has reported ticket sales of £3.96bn for the first half of the 2021-22 financial year.

UK.- Camelot has reported record six-month National Lottery sales in the UK, with ticket sales reaching £3.96bn for the six months from April 1 to September 25. Sales were up 2.7 per cent year-on-year thanks to increased digital sales.

The operator highlighted the impact of innovations such as its ‘rolldown’ feature, which helped to renew interest in the draw-based National Lottery games, which still make up the majority of sales.

The ‘rolldown’ shares unclaimed jackpots among all prize winners in subsequent draws, raising prize values across the levels. Camelot said brand actions related to the Tokyo Olympic Games also helped.

Ticket sales for National Lottery draws rose 3.6 per cent year-on-year to £2.23bn. Sales of scratchcards and online instant win games rose 1.6 per cent to £1.73bn as Covid-19 countermeasures came to an end but remained below pre-pandemic levels. In-store scratchcard sales rose by 6.7 per cent while online instant win sales fell by 8.8 per cent.

Overall, retail sales were up by 4.5 per cent year-on-year at £2.34bn. Retailer commission rose by 5.1 per cent to £133m. The six-month period saw Camelot expand its network of around 44,000 retailers by adding 1,900 supermarket checkout locations through agreements with Aldi and Iceland.

Digital sales were up only slightly, rising by 0.2 per cent year-on-year to an all-time high of £1.62bn. Mobile sales rose 1.8 per cent to £1.15bn.

The National Lottery dished out some £2.27bn in prize money, £30.6m more than in the same period in 2020. It created 184 new millionaires in the process. However, the Gambling Commission recently revealed that funds raised for good causes fell 7.6 per cent year-on-year in Q2.

The results come as The Gambling Commission considers the four bids it has received for the next National Lottery licence, which will start in February 2024.

It delayed its decision on the tender to February. Contenders include Sazka’s Allwyn and the Italian lottery operator Sisal, which has appointed an advisory board led by Barronness Karren Brady to support its bid.

Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton 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.

“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.”

Camelot chair Sir Hugh Robertson said: “This record first half shows that The National Lottery continues to be in its best-ever shape as it delivers for good causes, players, retailers and Treasury.

“Following four years of sales growth, including record results last year, I am extremely grateful to my colleagues and the wider National Lottery family of good causes distributors and retailers for their role in this ongoing success story.”

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