Camelot defends Lottery changes

Camelot defends Lottery changes

Monday, October 12, 2015 Totally Gaming
The UK National Lottery has been criticised after an increase to the number of balls from 49 to 59

Camelot Group has been defending major changes introduced to the UK National Lottery after a negative reception from players. 

The National Lottery Facebook site has been swamped by disapproving comments since new regulations announced in June, such as the number of balls increasing from 49 to 59, came into force for Saturday’s draw.

Experts say that players now have a 45 million to one chance of winning the jackpot, compared to 14 million to one before that, with this radical change coming two years after the cost of a ticket doubled to £2 (€2.70/$3.07).

Words such as “scam”, “con” and “ridiculous” have been used by players on the official Facebook site, while many have said they will no longer enter and will opt for alternatives such as the Health Lottery, Postcode Lottery and Irish Lottery.

Camelot insists the chances of winning any prize increase from 54 to one to 9.3 to one, primarily because people who get two numbers will win a lucky dip ticket for a future draw. 

In answer to one critic, a Camelot spokesperson said: “The number matrix change enables us to change the prize mechanics, so - the new game means that we can create more cash winners all around rather than just have one person winning the big jackpot. True, your odds of winning the jackpot are lessened, but with the new game your chances of winning a cash prize are higher.”

Camelot has also reiterated that it keeps just one per cent of total revenue as profit after tax, with more than half of its £7.2m revenue in the year to March 31, 2015 paid out as winnings and around 25 per cent given to good causes.

Speaking to the Daily Express newspaper, Professor Ian Walker, a statistician from Lancaster University Management School, said: “Lotto has been with us for more than 20 years. It’s not unfair to say that lotto is a shadow of its former self. Sales have been in long run decline for 18 years.

“From a peak sales revenue of more than £100m a week in the mid-90s, it had more than halved in real terms by late 2013 when Camelot finally made some changes.

“But the 2013 changes don’t seem to have fixed the problem. Sales revenue rose a little because tickets doubled in price, but the long-run downward trend seems to have continued.

“Camelot’s spin is that it will be more exciting (because there are more big rollover draws). But it is possible to make the game too hard to win so that players stay away.”

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