Camelot UK has declared that National lottery sales have exceeded £8bn for the first time during 2020/21, resulting in the best-ever returns to good causes from sales revenue alone.
During the financial year 2020/21(April-to-March 2021) the National Lottery recorded total sales of £8.37bn, registering a £468m improvement on the previous year results.
Record sales were achieved against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which Camelot cited that ‘swift interventions’ supported a speedy recovery’ allowing lottery distributors to award more than £1bn in funding to UK good causes in response to COVID-19.
Chairman Sir Hugh Robertson stated: “This is the fourth consecutive year of rising sales since our strategic review in 2017. The National Lottery has delivered for the UK again this year, with the highest-ever returns for good causes from sales alone. A remarkable £1.2bn has been distributed to help the country respond to the impact of coronavirus. Without this money, many organisations would have ceased to function.
Camelot registered growing sales across all six of its lottery’s draw-based games to £4,690.7m, an increase of £153.6m, noting high customer engagement with new lotto draw-based games.
Popular changes saw Camelot introduce a new £5 cash prize for matching two main numbers in a ‘Must Be Won’ Rolldown draw, running alongside its new ‘Set for Life’ draw – which ‘continues to exceed expectations’.
Instants sales grew to £3,683.2m, with online instant games sales growth offsetting a decline in scratchcard sales which were down year-on-year due to a decline in retail footfall – Digital player registrations helped to drive growth, up 2.7 million in the year.
The lottery recorded its highest ever digital sales at £3,509.5m, an increase of £1,052m, up 42.8% on the previous year. The Camelot Board approved an accelerated investment plan for the digital channel to ensure additional traffic could be accommodated.
This allowed the lottery to handle a record number of players online if they chose to switch or play online for the first time. It also used its Contact Centre to help players not accustomed to using digital services.
Within digital, mobile sales grew by £876.4m to an all-time high of £2,481.9m, with the majority of these sales coming through the lottery’s apps – as Camelot focused on migrating retail players to its online platforms.
Factoring in unclaimed prizes, Camelot noted that £1,887.5m was generated for good causes in 2020/21, the equivalent of £36m every week. Lottery Duty to the government also exceeded £1bn for the first time, contributing to £3.1bn that was delivered to society through good causes returns, Lottery Duty, and retailer commission, which is another record number.
With approximately 1% of sales retained as profit by Camelot under the terms of its licence, and 4% spent on operating costs during the period, the lottery continued to return around 95% of all sales revenue to winners and society.
CEO Nigel Railton commented: “In what has been an extraordinarily challenging year, The National Lottery has demonstrated incredible resilience and flexibility to achieve this record performance. These results are a culmination of all of the work we’ve done over the last few years in the areas of brand, games, retail and digital.
“We know that last year could have been very different and it reminds us we can take nothing for granted. In the year ahead, we’ve got plans to give players more reasons to play and more ways to enjoy the fantastic projects made possible by The National Lottery. For that reason, I’m more optimistic than ever.”