National Lottery Camelot

Retailers are earning £1,000 less per store in commission from operating the National Lottery, compared to this time two years ago, according to latest figures.

At the end of last month, current operator Camelot released its annual financial results from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

The firm revealed National Lottery retailers earned £265.4m in commission in the last year, the equivalent of around £6,000 per store. This represents a £200 drop on the previous year, but a £1,000 decrease from 2020, which saw retailers earn £7,000 per store.

Retail director Jenny Blogg attributed the drop to changing shopper habits driven by Covid-19. She told betterRetailing: “To be honest, what you are seeing is the fact that retail as a whole is down because of the pandemic. People have changed their shopping habits and fundamentally retail was up a lot more three years ago than it is now.

“I can’t control that, and retailers do ask me about it. Instead, I talk to them about what we can control, which is about making sure distribution is to a high standard, that scratchcard dispensers are full and the lottery is visible. I also want to ensure retailers get the right support from us, so they are ready to capitalise the second a shopper walks through their door.”

Retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel, making up almost 60%, with around 44,500 retailers across the UK.

Elsewhere, although a record amount was generated from sales of £8.09bn, the figure does represent a decrease of £283.2m on last year’s £8.3bn. Despite fewer large EuroMillions rollovers – with 15 draws with a jackpot of over £100m in 2021/22 compared with 22 the year before – Camelot still achieved draw-based game sales of £4.65bn, a dip of £43.2m.

However, the majority of sales decline was seen in sales of National Lottery instants, down £240m year on year to £3.44bn. The firm claimed this was due to greater competition for people’s attention and spend after the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, followed by economic uncertainty over the latter part of the year.

In addition, scratchcard sales remain below pre-pandemic levels in line with people’s changing shopping habits, and sales of online Instant Win Games were further affected by lower play and wallet load limits for potentially at-risk players. These were introduced by Camelot as part of its work to promote healthy play.

A lottery-industry source suggested the ramping up of destinations now offering the services not only impacted commissions, but also wider retail sales.

“Giving greater choice locally means sales will be spread, but the wider impact to independent retail is lower footfall from a service like the lottery and incremental products bought each trip,” they said. “The impact of fewer trips and less items sold will have a bigger impact on retailers than just commissions of the games alone.”

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