Camelot UK announces in-depth review of National Lottery strategy


Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (‘Camelot’) is carrying out a strategic review after achieving total National Lottery ticket sales for the 2016/17 financial year (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017) of £6,925.3 million. Although the fourth-best sales performance since The National Lottery’s launch in 1994, the figure represents a fall of 8.8% when set against last year’s record sales of £7,595.2 million.

On behalf of the Board, the review is being led by Nigel Railton, CEO of Camelot Global, who took over Camelot’s UK operations following Andy Duncan’s decision in April to step down. It is focusing on four key business areas – commercial plans to boost sales performance; investment in technology and systems; the current business structure; and long-term succession – and an update will be given when Camelot announces its half-year sales later in the year.

Camelot’s performance in 2016/17 saw players and Good Causes share over £5.4 billion – underlining how The National Lottery is continuing to transform the lives of people and communities throughout the UK. Combined with the Lottery Duty it pays to government and the commission it pays its retail partners, Camelot returns around 95 pence of every pound in revenue back to society – one of the highest percentages of any major lottery operator in the world.

In the year to 31 March 2017, Camelot created 393 new lottery millionaires – more than one a day and a new National Lottery record, beating the previous high of 367 set in 2012/13 – and awarded £3,943.2 million in prize money to players. The National Lottery has now awarded over £63 billion in prize money to date, creating over 4,600 millionaires in the process.

Over the same period, Camelot delivered £1,628.0 million (excluding investment returns) for Good Causes – more than £30 million every week – taking the total delivered to date to over £37 billion. National Lottery funding has now been awarded to more than 510,000 individual projects across the UK – an average of 170 lottery grants in every neighbourhood.

However, total returns to Good Causes in 2016/17 were lower than in the previous year. This was mainly because of disappointing performance across The National Lottery’s range of draw-based games – especially on Lotto, with player confidence in the game still dented by three very long and statistically unexpected rollover series in quick succession at the beginning of 2016. EuroMillions also had a soft first six months in 2016/17 but its performance improved significantly over the second half of the year following the game changes Camelot introduced in late September.

Commenting on the review, Jo Taylor, Chairman of Camelot, said: “Achieving the fourth-highest ever sales, creating a record number of lottery millionaires and raising over £30 million every week for Good Causes is no mean feat. However, sales in 2016/17 fell well short of where we’d like them to be – and that’s largely down to a disappointing year for draw-based games and Lotto in particular. There’s clearly work to be done to re-engage players and address the performance of our draw-based games – and this is one key area that Nigel is focusing on as part of the wider review he is conducting.

“Given the current climate of economic uncertainty and increasing competition from the gambling sector, we expect 2017/18 to be equally, if not more, challenging for The National Lottery. It will therefore take time to turn things around and I anticipate a further sales decline this year. I am, however, confident that the review will enable us to put the business on the best possible footing to get back into growth – and so deliver even more for our players and the millions of people for whom National Lottery funding is so crucial over the remainder of this licence period.”

– Ends –


Total ticket sales and all related financial results figures for 2016/17 are subject to final audit.

For further information, please contact:
Camelot Press Office: 020 7632 5711


Notes to Editors:

  • Camelot UK Lotteries Limited is the licensed operator of The National Lottery® and is committed to raising money for National Lottery Good Causes designated by Parliament. Camelot is not responsible for distributing or awarding these funds.
  • Each week, Camelot generates over £30 million for National Lottery-funded projects – in total, over £37 billion has now been raised and more than 510,000 individual grants have been made across the UK, the biggest programme of civic and social regeneration since the 19th Century.
  • The National Lottery has so far awarded over £63 billion in prizes and created more than 4,600 millionaires or multi-millionaires since its launch in 1994.
  • Camelot runs the most cost-efficient major lottery in Europe, with around 4% of total revenue spent on operating costs.
  • The UK National Lottery is ranked at just 62nd in the world in terms of per capita spend, despite being the sixth largest lottery in the world by sales – clear evidence of Camelot’s longstanding commitment to being a responsible operator (Source: La Fleur’s 2017 World Lottery Almanac).
  • Total sales in 2016/17 were £6,925.3 million, a decrease of £669.9 million on 2015/16.
  • Total returns to Good Causes (excluding investment returns) in 2016/17 were £1,628.0 million, a decrease of £273.1 million on 2015/16.
  • The National Lottery created a record 393 millionaires and awarded £3,943.2 million in prize money in 2016/17, a fall of £255.7 million on 2015/16.
  • Total sales of draw-based games in 2016/17 were £4,023.2 million, a decrease of £619.7 million on 2015/16.
  • Total sales of GameStore games in 2016/17 were £2,902.1 million, a fall of £50.2 million on 2015/16.
  • Total retail sales in 2016/17 were £5,403.5 million, a decrease of £606.6 million on 2015/16. Accounting for almost 80% of all sales, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel.
  • Despite subscription sales growing by £48.8 million to £373.1 million, total digital (interactive and subscription) sales in 2016/17 were £1,521.9 million, a decrease of £63.3 million on 2015/16.
  • Mobile sales were a record £619.3 million, an increase of £23.8 million on 2015/16. With over 9.5 million registered players, national-lottery.co.uk is the world’s largest online lottery in terms of sales and one of the top e-commerce sites in the UK.
  • For further information on Camelot, The National Lottery and its games, please visit: www.camelotgroup.co.uk and www.national-lottery.co.uk
  • Players of all National Lottery games must be aged 16 or over.

You might also be interested in

Interested in finding out more about what we do?