Camelot UK Lotteries, the licensed operator of The National Lottery, has recovered ticket sales for the first six months of the 2020/21 financial year ending 26 September 2020. Following a slump at the start of the global health crisis. Camelot reported sales of £3.89 billion, a decrease of just 1.7% compared to the same period of the 2019/20 financial year.
The digital channel is gaining popularity
The operator has successfully mitigated the impact of Covid-19 on its operations and balance sheet by implementing a number of measures, such as the cancellation of a number of special jackpot draws and launching an advertising campaign to promote digital gaming channels. Customers were encouraged to buy tickets from retailers only when making essential purchases. Within six months, more than 1.3 million new online registrations, which increased digital sales and led Camelot to invest resources in improving its technical support. In addition, the lottery operator split a one-time quarterly prize in of GBP 10 000 at 10 awards po GBP 1000 . The increase in digital sales has already occurred in the last fiscal year.
Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said, said that at the beginning of the pandemic, the company faced unprecedented challenges such as a sharp decline in sales and uncertainty in the retail sector, but quickly got back on track and took decisive steps to continue operating effectively. All of the company's efforts led to an increase in online sales of 455.2 million GBP do £1.6bn.
Camelot has been the operator of The National Lottery since 1994, and now its contract, which is due to end in 2023, has been extended by six months after The Gambling Commission announced a three-month delay in launching a tender process to select a new licensee.
Retail sales fall but still outperform digital segment
Although retail sales fell 30.5% to £2.23 billion, was still almost half the amount generated by digital sales in the six-month period, while July-September was a growth period, with sales up 15.2% quarter-on-quarter due to the ease of restrictions. As a result, retailers National Lottery earned an average of about 2800 pounds per commissions outlet or altogether 126.5 million pounds for six months.
Part of its strategy to increase retail sales is to test the sale of National Lottery tickets at Aldi and Iceland and to negotiate with other major supermarkets about offering tickets at self-service checkouts, following the introduction of this option at Asda.
In the first half of the fiscal year, Camelot distributed to players £2.24 billion in the form of prizes, that is £5.5 million more than in the same period last year. Camelot remains one of the leading operators in terms of giving back and returning profits to the community, returning 95% of its revenue.