National Lottery retailers up and down the UK – we really can’t thank you enough. Preparing for the start of the new National Lottery licence, under Allwyn, has been an enormous project that has taken months of co-operation between the teams here and you – our thousands of brilliant retailers around the UK. With the new licence starting on 1 February, we’re almost at the finish line in terms of the transition, but this same finish line is also only the start of an exciting new era for The National Lottery.

Alex Green (1)

Allwyn Director of Channel Operations Alex Green

Retailers are absolutely central to our vision to grow The National Lottery responsibly over the next 10 years, and to show you how serious we are about this, one of the first things we’re doing is increasing the size of our retail sales team by 50% over the next few months. We’re recruiting 55 new sales reps – as well as a number of new managers – and this increase in personnel will considerably boost our support for National Lottery retailers. And this is just the beginning of what we have planned. We have huge ambitions to provide more games, more players, more fun, more winners and more money for National Lottery Good Causes, and retailers will directly benefit from our long-term plans.

As for day one of our 10-year licence, this will be about continuity and getting things right. We know continuity is important for you and, because of this, there won’t be any wholesale changes on day one. Our priority is to ensure there will be minimal disruption to retailers and players. As a result of the changeover – which includes necessary updates to core gaming systems and terminals – the National Lottery terminals of retailers who have completed the transfer process may be a bit later than normal coming online on 1 February, but we expect them to be operational from 8.30am. You should be sure to leave your terminal on overnight on 31 January to ensure it’s able to download all necessary software upgrades overnight – so you can get back up and running as soon as possible.

After that, you’ll be able to continue selling National Lottery tickets and Scratchcards – and earning that all-important commission – just as you always have, with the change in operator from Camelot to Allwyn having happened largely behind the scenes. There will, however, be some smaller operational changes that retailers should be aware of for day one – as well as some brand-new advertising campaigns and special event draws to mark the start of Allwyn becoming the new National Lottery operator.

In terms of imminent in-store changes, National Lottery retailers should look out for two deliveries – the first being a ‘Welcome to Allwyn’ pack containing a new Players’ Guide and a Retailer Organiser Folder with updated content in line with the new National Lottery licence, which will start landing in stores from 26 January. The second delivery, arriving from 1 February, will be a new National Lottery playstation Good Causes POS disk to highlight the amazing £4 million-plus that National Lottery players help to raise every single day for National Lottery Good Causes. Once this new disk arrives, you can slot it into your playstation right away.

Allwyn is also unleashing a brand new Lotto campaign across the UK on 1 February to start day one off with a Lotto-bang. The ‘always-on’ campaign will feature a refreshed brand look and some original out of home advertising with captivating straplines, helping to drive players into stores to buy tickets. And a £15 million ‘Must Be Won’ Lotto draw on Saturday 2 March will also help increase footfall, and could boost your sales by up to 53%. Meanwhile, the new £5 Black Pearl Scratchcard is already available in store, and sales of the £2 million jackpot game will be given a huge boost when Allwyn’s mega new campaign featuring special in-store POS launches on 4 March.

We’ve also been letting National Lottery retailers know that DPD will replace Parcelforce as the chosen courier for Scratchcard and consumable deliveries and collections – all of which will be delivered from a new eco-friendly warehouse in Warrington. The new warehouse – which will help Allwyn on its journey to deliver a net zero National Lottery – will also feature a dedicated Scratchcard fulfilment team that, from March, will be proactively contacting you to make sure you have everything you need to sell National Lottery Scratchcards effectively.

So, there’s lots happening in the initial months and plenty more to come, with transformation and investment starting in 2024 and continuing over the next 10 years. And finally, it’s worth reiterating that we have huge investment planned for retail technology, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to ensuring the channel remains healthy, relevant and buoyant. The new licence heralds an exhilarating new chapter for The National Lottery and the massive good it does for people and communities across the whole of the UK – and I’m really looking forward to working with all you as we embark on this exciting journey together.