Citing a strong digital performance and branding boost from their sponsorship of British athletes at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, total sales for the six months April 1 to September 25 were up by £107.3 million (US$143.33m/€127.85m), almost three per cent, compared to the previous H1.
Camelot, concur gaming industry watchers, is the favourite to win the UK National Lottery operating licence, which is currently up for renewal.
And the record H1 can only have strengthened the company’s bid to win its fourth consecutive operating licence since the British lottery was launched in 1994 and remain in seat.
The UK Lottery paid out £2.27 billion (US3.03bn/€2.71bn) in prize money to players during the half, £30.6 million (US$40.88m/€36.46m) more than H1 last year, and created 184 new millionaires.
Nearly £885 million was given to good causes (US$1.18bn/€1.05bn), meaning that total charitable donations since 1994 have now surpassed £45 billion (US$60.12bn/€53.63bn).
“We’ve once again proved that our strategy of offering great consumer choice in a safe and convenient way continues to deliver vital contributions to good causes across the UK,” said Camelot Chief Executive Nigel Railton.
“This record first half shows that The National Lottery continues to be in its best ever shape as it delivers for good causes, players, retailers and the Treasury,” he continued.
“[It was] paired with a steady retail recovery and our summer-long campaign celebrating the contribution of National Lottery players in helping propel our Olympians to success.”
Draw-based games generated £2.23 billion (US$2.99bn/€2.66bn) and made up most of Camelot’s sales in H1.
Scratchcards and online instant win games were up 1.6 per cent to £1.73bn (US$2.31bn/€2.06bn), while total retail sales–through 44,000 outlets–were back up by 4.5 per cent to £2.34 billion (US$3.12bn/€2.8bn), over H1 last year, thanks to Covid-19 lockdown easing.
Digital and mobile sales, meanwhile, also held steady after their spectacular growth during the pandemic lockdowns — and underlined the permanence of the quantum shift to iGaming.
Mobile sales, for example, hit an all time high of £1.15 billion (US$1.54bn/€1.37bn) — while nearly 800,000 new online players were registered during the half.
All fingers are pointing to a Camelot rollover when the new lottery operating licence is announced early next year.