National Lottery Sales Boost Gives Camelot £7.2 Billion Windfall

National Lottery ticket sales are up by £255 million according to the latest revenue report from Camelot.

National Lottery sales up

National Lottery ticket sales have improved by £255 million as new innovations take hold. (Image: ABC Money)

Covering the period from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, the financial update shows a total turnover of £7.2 billion.

That figure takes into account a £1.15 million fine levied on Camelot by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for historic governance failures.

Necessary Spending Helps National Lottery

Despite earnings improving, the amount of money given to good causes fell between 2017 and 2018.

As per the report, the National Lottery donated £1.6 billion to charities across the UK. That amount is £0.6 million less on the previous accounting period.

Addressing the drop, Camelot said it had reached an agreement with the UKGC after spending £39 million on “necessary marking expenditure.”

The decision to spend more on marketing follows on from the National Lottery’s 2017 strategic review. After a drop in sales, Camelot drafted in former head of the Rail Developer’s Group, James Mackay.

Tasked with bringing the National Lottery into the modern era, Mackay’s first focus was the internet. Overseeing the development of a comprehensive online platform, his efforts are now paying dividends.

Online Innovations Find Their Mark

Delving further into the numbers, digital sales topped £1.8 billion during the latest accounting period. As well as being up by £0.2 million, 55 percent of that total came via smartphones and tablets.

This upswing ties in with the latest revenue report from the UKGC. Reviewing another year in UK gaming, the regulator found remote betting was up by 2.9 percent.

With online casino, poker, sports betting and bingo sites now raking in £5.9 billion, the sector accounts for 39 percent of all UK gaming activity.

Since 2017, the National Lottery has cashed in on this trend and used it to launch a host of additional innovations. One of the most significant was a November 2018 rule change.

Playing on the allure of a £1 million payday, Camelot published a revised payout table. In addition to upping the prizes for matching three or more numbers, the organisers increased the prize for five numbers plus the bonus ball.

With a statistically better chance of winning seven-figure jackpots, players have responded in kind. Although the National Lottery may not be as popular as it was during the mid-nineties, Mackay’s reforms are clearly having a positive effect.

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