UK National Lottery half-year sales surpass £4bn for first time

Camelot UK Lotteries has declared that the UK National Lottery has broken the £4bn mark in sales over a half-year period for the first time.
Image: mundissima/Shutterstock

Camelot UK Lotteries has declared that the UK National Lottery has broken the £4bn mark in sales over a half-year period for the first time in the company’s 28-year operation of the lottery.

Driven by digital sales and draw-based games growth, the record performance in the first six months of the 2022/23 financial year produced the best-ever first-half returns to good causes.

Camelot has reported record National Lottery sales of £4.06bn for the first six months of the FY2022/23, a 2.6% (£102.5m) increase year-over-year.

The operator noted that more than 32 million people played National Lottery games during the measuring period with an average weekly spend in line with last year.

In total, the National Lottery awarded £2.3bn in prize money to players over the first six months of the year, up £28.6m YoY. It also awarded £956.5m to good causes, up 8.1% YoY (£72m).

“I am delighted that these record results show that The National Lottery is returning more to Good Causes than ever before,” commented Camelot Chairman, Sir Hugh Robertson.

“In this hugely testing economic period, I am proud that my team’s remarkable performance builds on previous years of record ticket sales and returns to Good Causes – and extends our track record of delivering for people across the UK.

“With just over a year to run until the start of the next license period, I am confident that The National Lottery has never been in better shape.”

Digital lottery sales drive growth

Per vertical, draw based games sales improved by 7.5% YoY (£166.7m) to £2.39bn as EuroMillions drew interest following a series of rollover draws during the spring and summer that drove player engagement.

Lotto performed well despite fewer sales, while scratch cards and online instant win games sales hit £1.6bn over the period, down 3.7% YoY (-£64.2m) after reduced in-store scratchcard sales due to lower footfall and less frequent shopping trips.

Digital sales grew by 13% YoY (£212m) to £1.8bn as Camelot stated it made the most of EuroMillions opportunities, resulting in more than 1.1 million new online player registrations to its now 10.7 million digital player base. Mobile sales improved by 19% YoY (£218.5m) to £1.4bn, a new all-time high. 

Retail sales during the period hit £2.2bn, a 4.7% decline YoY (-£109.5m) due to “ongoing difficult conditions in retail, including a drop in footfall in some sectors and a preference for infrequent, bigger shops to seek better value deals over more frequent, smaller shopping trips”. 

However, Camelot stated that retail is still the lottery’s biggest sales channel and it “remains committed” to supporting its 44,500 retail footprint.

“Thanks to the commitment and professionalism of everyone at Camelot – and all of our hard work over the last few years – this record half-year performance confirms that we have a very healthy and successful National Lottery that continues to benefit the whole of the UK,” added Camelot CEO Nigel Railton

“These fantastic results also demonstrate our ability to adapt quickly and decisively to fast-changing and challenging economic conditions, while maintaining our longstanding reputation for selling tickets in a socially responsible way – attributes that have helped to keep The National Lottery in excellent health at such an important time for the UK.”

Earlier this week, Allwyn AG agreed to a deal with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board to acquire Camelot UK Lotteries Limited, the current operator of the UK National Lottery.

Once the acquisition closes, expected in Q1 2023, Camelot UK Lotteries Limited will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allwyn.