Operator succeeds in returning The National Lottery to growth and raising more money for Good Causes
Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (‘Camelot’) today announced that National Lottery ticket sales for the 2017/18 financial year (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018) were £6,951.7 million – an increase of £26.4 million on last year and an early indication that initiatives from the company’s recent strategic review are yielding results.
Welcoming the announcement, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: “Given that we had anticipated a further sales decline this year, our achievement in getting The National Lottery back into growth and delivering more money for Good Causes underlines the importance of the work we have been carrying out following the strategic review. It’s fair to say that sales benefited from a nice run of luck – particularly on EuroMillions with some incredible jackpots – but the strong foundations and new initiatives that we are putting in place have also started to play a part.”
During 2017/18, Camelot generated £1,655.3 million (excluding investment returns) for Good Causes, £27.3 million more than in 2016/17. This equates to around £30 million every week and takes the total delivered to date to more than £38 billion. National Lottery funding has now been awarded to 535,000 individual projects – the equivalent of around 190 lottery grants in every UK postcode district.
Over the course of the year, Camelot awarded £3,928.4 million in prizes to players and created 343 new millionaires. The National Lottery has now awarded over £67 billion in prizes and created more than 5,000 millionaires or multi-millionaires since its launch.
The sales increase over the period was, in part, due to record digital sales of £1,652.2 million, which included the best-ever performance by The National Lottery’s range of online Instant Win Games. Mobile sales grew to an all-time high of £700.6 million, with sales through smartphones and tablets now accounting for well over 40% of all digital sales. Sales through the official National Lottery apps for iPhone and Android also set new records, following the launch of a full version of the Android app last year – instantly making National Lottery games available to millions more smartphone users.
In addition, EuroMillions had a strong 12 months, with the game benefiting from an unexpectedly high number of £100 million+ jackpots, as well as a number of special draws offering multiple £1 million prizes – both of which are proven drivers of player excitement.
Initial activity that Camelot has been carrying out following its strategic review also contributed to a strong finish to the year. The review outcomes focused on four main areas: improving the range of National Lottery games, investing in retail initiatives, upgrading the company’s digital capabilities, and reinvigorating the National Lottery brand.
From a games perspective, Camelot launched a new game EuroMillions HotPicks and added an extra draw day to its £1 Thunderball game in January, both of which performed ahead of expectations in the last two months of the financial year.
With sales of £5,299.5 million over the period, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel – with over 75% of total sales coming through in-store terminals. As a result of the strategic review, Camelot recently doubled the size of its sales force to better serve its 45,000 retail partners – resulting in around 5,000 retail visits per week (compared with around 2,000 at the same time last year). In total, the company is investing £20 million in initiatives to boost engagement and improve in-store display, merchandising and game availability – and so support its retailers.
Looking to the future, Nigel commented: “As we look to build on the progress we’ve made, we’ll continue to take action in those areas that we identified in the strategic review. For example, we know that we need to make The National Lottery brand and its purpose more relevant and visible, so one of the first things we’ve done is to bring The National Lottery – and the Good Causes it supports – back onto primetime Saturday night TV with a slot during some of ITV’s most popular shows.
“We’re also looking to adapt our market presence – to better reflect the constantly-changing retail landscape. Key priorities include making National Lottery games available at self-checkout, as well as in discounters whose market share has grown considerably in recent years – and we'll be looking to start this process with a trial over the summer with a leading retailer.
“All of this activity will reflect our longstanding commitment to player protection. While we have already carried out a great deal of work aimed at reducing excessive play, preventing underage play and promoting safe play, we are in the process of more closely examining how we can further strengthen our work in this area to ensure that our approach is industry-leading and goes far beyond our licence requirements in fulfilling our responsibility to consumers.
“While there is much work still to do – and we’ll continue to face challenges beyond our control, such as continuing doubts over the economy and ever-increasing competition from the gambling sector – we’re confident that we have some really strong plans lined up. These include improvements to Lotto coming later this year to give our players a better winning experience. The National Lottery is a truly national institution that makes a massive difference to the lives of people and communities across the UK – and everyone at Camelot is fully committed to ensuring that this success story continues.”
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Total ticket sales and all related financial results figures for 2017/18 are subject to final audit.
For further information, please contact:
Camelot Press Office: 020 7632 5711
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