National Lottery soars after shake-up

National Lottery soars after shake-up

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 Totally Gaming
CEO Andy Duncan criticised Lotto's UK rivals over their marketing and pay-out strategies

Camelot saw record UK National Lottery ticket sales of £7.6bn (€10bn/$1.1bn) last year, despite controversial changes that reduced the number of jackpot winners.

The operator revealed that Lotto sales grew by 14 per cent in the six months to March 31 compared to the first half of the year. The improvement came after Camelot last October increased the number of balls in its main National Lottery game, admitting that this would mean fewer jackpot wins. The move was criticised at the time by many players who had already seen ticket prices double in 2013. 

For the full year, sales increased by £317m, or four per cent, while a record £4.2bn was paid out to customers, and £1.9bn to Good Causes.

While claiming its changes to the Lotto had been “a success”, Camelot also said sales were lifted by the growing popularity of instant online games in Camelot’s GameStore, where sales surged by £323.6m to almost £3bn. Camelot said sales over smartphones and tablet devices climbed by 53 per cent over the course of the year.

“This was the year we saw mobile really coming into its own, which helped generate growth, along with the rebrand of our Lotto brand,” said Andy Duncan, Camelot UK chief executive.

“We’ve sold, we estimate, £450m more of Lotto than we would have done had we not made the changes in both 2013 and 2015. Typically, draw-based games generally in the lottery world are more static than some of the instant games, it reflects the fact that in consumer trends pretty much all over the world people want things straightaway. Lotto had been in decline for 10 years actually prior to the change made in 2013.”

Duncan also criticised Camelot’s rivals in the UK, such as the Health Lottery and People’s Postcode Lottery, which he believes are operating in contravention of the 1993 National Lottery Act

“We have got concerns about competition, umbrella society lotteries – the Health Lottery, the People’s Postcode Lottery – who are exploiting loopholes as far as we can see and spending huge amounts of money on expenses, paying themselves and marketing," Duncan said.

“It is being looked at by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Gambling Commission. We think it’s an important issue that needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later.”

TotallyGaming.com says: “Camelot took a huge risk in adding 10 extra numbers to its main Lotto draw last year, but the figures suggest that the outcry has not been reflected in sales.”

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