In the first half of its 2017/18 financial year, Camelot generated direct returns of £746.6m for good causes, nearly 5 per cent lower than returns from the corresponding period for 2016/17.
Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, announced today that ticket sales for the first half of the 2017/18 financial year were down by 3.2 per cent on last year’s first-half performance to £3.2bn. As a result of this “disappointing sales performance” Camelot’s direct returns for good causes fell by 4.7 per cent to £746.6m.
The news follows on from Camelot’s last update in July of this year, which showed that the total income of the National Lottery Distribution Fund suffered a £300m loss of income, falling to its lowest level since the start of the decade.
Camelot appoints new chief executive
In an effort to arrest this sales slump, Camelot UK has appointed Nigel Railton as its new chief executive and “outlined plans to return the National Lottery to growth”, including investing in its sales team, its retail offerings and its CRM.
Railton has been the interim chief executive of the organisation since Andy Duncan stepped down from the role in the summer, following six years in office. He also led a strategic review into the organisation, which was launched in June.
He said: “A fall in sales is never welcome but, as we announced in June, we did anticipate a further sales decline this year – so our performance over the half-year is in line with expectations. Despite the challenges we’ve faced, we succeeded in returning almost £2.6bn to good causes and players in just six months – underlining the massive difference that the National Lottery continues to make to the lives of people and communities throughout the UK.
“Everyone at Camelot is fully committed to ensuring that this success story continues, so I’m really encouraged that we’re now seeing early signs of improvement as a result of what we’re doing – and that gives us a great springboard to return to growth next year.”
A spokeswoman for Camelot said the organisation is "planning to make changes to Lotto in 2018 to give players a better winning experience". She said Camelot wanted to "give people a better game without the upheavel caused by changing the numbers matrix or price again".
The price of a Lotto ticket was doubled to £2 in 2013. Ten extra balls were also added to the Lotto draw in October 2015, a move which has been blamed for hurting sales and making it harder for players to win the jackpot.