National Lottery sales fell by nearly a quarter in the week following lockdown, according to newly published sales figures by Camelot.
Despite the dramatic month-on-month sales decline after freedom of movement was restricted in late March, Camelot reported its partnered stores experienced year on year sales growth from lottery products in 2019/20.
The Lottery operator’s accounts for the year ending 31 March show a 1.3% rise in retail sales, putting lottery commissions paid to the average store at more than £7,000 per year.
However, sales results show that around one week after lockdown, total revenues were down 22.6% compared to the same week in February. The firm suggested the decline in retail sales is likely to be even higher.
EuroMillions was worst affected, with a third of ticket sales lost by the end of March. In its quarterly sales figures, Camelot said overall sales had “shown improvement” since the initial drop because some retail customers “moved to playing online,” but figures showing the extent of the recovery are yet to be released.
Chief executive Nigel Railton admitted retail had been particularly “disrupted” but claimed: “our sales are currently proving resilient. That’s not to say there is no impact, but the business is adapting and continuing to adjust well to the changing situation.”
The firm heralded improvements to its online apps, bringing its services into 150 Aldi stores, a trial with Iceland and integration with Asda self-checkouts in 550 stores as helping to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
Camelot added it was “in talks with other major supermarkets” to roll out further availability of lottery services at self-checkouts.
Overall, Camelot’s ticket sales for the year jumped by nearly 10%, driven by strong performance in its draw-based games (+11.2%) and card-based games (+7.8%). The annual results represent the third successive year of sales growth across its brands online and in store.
Railton concluded: “We remain completely focused on continuing to run The National Lottery as safely and responsibly as we can because we know the importance of the work it does in raising over £30 million every week for good causes around the UK.”
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