National Lottery annual sales cross £8bn mark for first time

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National Lottery sales reached £8.37 billion in the year ending on 31 March 2021, increasing by of £468.8 million, Camelot today announced.

This is for the first time the total National Lottery sales for the year surpassing £8bn and the fourth consecutive year of rising sales since the operator’s strategic review in 2017.

Camelot said swift interventions supported a speedy recovery from the negative impact on sales from the pandemic last Spring, resulting in the best-ever returns to Good Causes from sales revenue alone, as the National Lottery Distributors awarded more than £1bn in funding to Good Cause projects across the UK, responding to the impact of Covid-19.

“The National Lottery has delivered for the UK again this year, with the highest-ever returns for Good Causes from sales alone. A remarkable £1.2 billion has been distributed to help the country respond to the impact of coronavirus. Without this money, many organisations would have ceased to function,” commented Sir Hugh Robertson, Camelot chairman.

With unclaimed prizes factored in, £1.8bn was generated for Good Causes in 2020/21. Lottery Duty to government exceeded £1 billion for the first time, which contributed to a record £3.1 billion that was delivered to society through Good Causes returns, Lottery Duty, and retailer commission.

In-store sales were £4.86bn – down from £5.44bn in 2019/20, as the pandemic caused widespread disruption to the retail sector. Having been down 18.9 per cent at the half-year stage, retail sales recovered strongly in the second half, resulting in a decline in retail sales of 10.7 per cent for the year as a whole.

“In what has been an extraordinarily challenging year, the National Lottery has demonstrated incredible resilience and flexibility to achieve this record performance,” Nigel Railton, Camelot chief executive, said.

“I’m very grateful to our partners in retail who went to work each day to serve their communities, and to National Lottery Distributors who got funding out the door when it was essential. As ever, I’d particularly like to thank National Lottery players because more than 37 million people bought a ticket last year, and when they did they played their part in an extraordinary national effort.”

Camelot succeeded in growing sales of all six of its draw-based games to £4.69bn, an increase of £153.6m. Sales of Instants grew to £3.68bn as the growth in the sales of online instant games compensating for the decline in scratchcard sales which were down year-on-year due to lower retail footfall, particularly in the first half.

The operator awarded a record £4.85bn in prizes to players, £349.7m more than in 2019/20, and created 389 new millionaires. Average weekly spend across all games and channels remained roughly in line with the last year.

Camelot’s rewards programme for independent retailers has also proved successful and retailer satisfaction scores are at their highest-ever level. Commission paid to retailers was £275.9m – the equivalent of around £6,200 per store.