Game changes hamper Camelot's bottom line

Game changes hamper Camelot's bottom line

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Operator cites revenue drop on uncertain economic climate

Presenting its half-year 2016/17 results, UK National Lottery operator Camelot has reported a ‘challenging period’ for the organisation following changes to its main lottery products.

Closing its 2016/17 half year, which ran from April-September, Camelot reported total National Lottery ticket sales of £3.3bn contributing to total returns to good causes over the period of £783.4 million, a considerable decrease of £92.2m on the previous year.

Its half-year sales were down 6% on corresponding 2015/16’s ‘record breaking’ £3.6bn which generated charitable returns of £875m.

Camelot governance detailed that its National Lottery ticket sales had been impacted by a ‘comparatively quieter period’ driven by changes made to its main Lotto draw in October. However, the company has been buoyed by increased Lotto pick-up in its towards the end of period.

The lottery operator’s continued focus on growing its digital engagement has proved effective as National Lottery online sales amounted to £726m, representing an increase of £12.5m on 2015/16 performance.

A key period highlight would be the performance of the National Lottery’s GameStore range which hit online revenue sales of £1.4bn following the launch of a number of new games.

Commenting on 2016/17 half-year results, Camelot CEO Andy Duncan stated: “Despite the challenges we’ve faced over the last six months, our performance over the half-year still represents one of our best since The National Lottery’s launch in 1994 – and returning over £2.7 billion to Good Causes and players in just six months is no small achievement.

“With the current climate of economic uncertainty and signs that consumers are being more cautious with their spending, we expect the next six months to be similarly challenging. We’re also seeing no let-up in the direct, often aggressive, competition we’re facing from the wider gambling sector – especially from bet-on-lottery firms purporting to offer the same products as The National Lottery – and from large ‘umbrella-style’ society lotteries.

“But, with some great plans lined up, there’s still all to play for in the second half of the year – and we’ll be doing everything we can to deliver even more for our players and for the millions of people for whom National Lottery funding is so vital.”

Totally Gaming says: It seems that Camelot is blaming the post-Brexit economic climate for a drop in business when the fundamental changes made to the popular EuroMillions game, such as the increase in price to £2.50 and the lengthening the odds for a jackpot win to nearly 140m/1 from just less than 117m/1 when there are ‘community lotteries’ engaging in price wars.

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