The percentage from the sale of Lotto tickets going to good causes will reduce when Camelot doubles the price of tickets this autumn, but the company expects ticket sales to increase boosting the overall amount of money given to good causes.
Under the current structure the Lotto game has the highest percentage return for good causes of any National Lottery game, at 33 per cent of the current £1 ticket price, but a spokesman for Camelot told civilsociety.co.uk that when the new ticket price (£2) and prize structure is introduced this autumn this will fall to just over 31 per cent. This means that 62p per £2 ticket will go to good causes.
He explained that the changes to Lotto were needed because: “While National Lottery sales overall have been increasing, Lotto has been steadily declining for a number of years and, without a game change to stimulate player interest, this is set to continue.”
To do this Camelot recently announced changes to its flagship game, which include doubling its price to £2 and introducing new ways to win, with the prize fund increasing from 45 per cent of the ticket price to 47 per cent.
The spokesman explained that: “This 2 per cent increase in the prize fund will come from a very small reduction (just less than 1.9 per cent) in the overall percentage allocation to good causes and a very small reduction (just over 0.1 per cent) in the overall percentage allocation to Camelot in profit.”
When it launches in the autumn the new Lotto game will still give the highest return to good causes out of Camelot’s portfolio of games. Camelot hopes that “these changes will revitalise Lotto” which will result in ticket sales going up and “significant incremental revenue” for good causes, added the spokesman.
He stressed that: “It’s important not to become too fixated on the specific percentage amount returned to the good causes from our games as this figure fluctuates every week depending on the mix of games sold.”
Last year Camelot raised £1.825bn for good causes which was an increase of £160m on the previous year's total. It was not able to provide a breakdown for how the individual draws, such as Lotto, contributed to this figure.
Clive Mollett, chairman of the Lotteries Council, pointed out that: “Camelot has been criticising society lotteries for not paying as much to good causes as itself but the contribution from many society lotteries to good causes is 45 to 50 per cent. So Camelot is really underperforming.”
When Camelot announced the changes earlier this month, the Health Lottery’s chief executive, Dominic Mansour, branded the move “very unfair” and said: “We think this amounts to an abuse of Camelot’s dominant market position.”