National Lottery sales in retail outlets have declined 4.7% over the past year as shoppers shifted to digital.
According to the half-year sales report published by Camelot, in-store National Lottery sales for the first six months of the 2022/23 financial year (1 April to 24 September 2022) were £2,228m, a decrease of £109.5m on the same period in 2021/22. This decline was attributed to changing shopping habits such as bigger shops to seek value deals and a drop in footfall in some sectors.
Camelot reported that online sales grew to £1,835.9m – up by £212.0m (+13%). This was driven by mobile sales which grew by £218.5m (+19%) to £1,368.5m
Overall sales of National Lottery Scratchcards and online Instant Win Games were also down over the six-month period (£1,669.1m over the period – £64.2 million lower, representing a 3.7% drop year-on-year which was down to reduced sales of in-store Scratchcards, as a result of lower footfall and less frequent shopping trips.
Camelot said that despite this decline of in-store sales, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel and it “remains committed to doing everything it can to help its in-store partners”. This included awarding more than £268,000 in cash rewards to shopkeepers over the first half of the year and generating a total of £125.6m in sales commission over the period – equivalent to more than £2,800 per store.
Earlier this month, Allwyn AG, which is set to run the National Lottery from 1 February 2024, announced that it has reached an agreement with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board to acquire Camelot UK Lotteries Limited.
Announcing the acquisition of Camelot, Allwyn AG’s CEO Robert Chvátal said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to acquire the current operator of the Third Licence for the UK National Lottery. Allwyn and Camelot share a common goal: a passion to protect and improve the UK National Lottery, and the good causes it celebrates. Common ownership of the operators of both the Third and Fourth Licences will help ensure the successful delivery of the National Lottery both in 2023 and over the next decade.
“Allwyn is committed to making the National Lottery better, raising more for good causes and improving player protection. This deal strengthens the transition process and helps support Allwyn in achieving its vision for the National Lottery.”
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, including from the Gambling Commission, has been welcomed by the Fed.
Fed national president Jason Birks said: “We congratulate Allwyn on the acquisition of Camelot from Ontario Teachers and hope that we can continue a strong relationship that is mutually beneficial.
“The Fed calls on Allwyn to consider the independent retailer during this transition, as they are central to the functionality of the lottery system and must be supported fully during this changeover.
“We hope that Allwyn will take the time to meet with the Fed to mitigate any impact this transition may have, and we look forward to working together.”