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Landmark for lottery boosts Camelot sales

NATIONAL Lottery operator Camelot yesterday posted its best sales performance in a decade &ndash;as it kicks off its third licence period for the game played by 70 per cent of the adult population.<br /><br />The group recorded sales of &pound;5.1bn, an increase of &pound;182.8m on the &pound;4.9bn posted a year earlier.<br /><br />During the past year Camelot has completed a massive revamp of the lottery terminal network, connecting more than 27,5000 retailers to the upgraded system.<br /><br />It said a host of new games had also boosted ticket sales by 11.6 per cent over the past five years.<br /><br />Camelot is hoping to capture a bigger playing audience, with players currently spending an average of &pound;3 a week on lottery tickets. Despite a number of retail outlets closing down in the year, Camelot&rsquo;s retail sales grew by &pound;44.7m to &pound;4.5bn.<br /><br />The improvement in sales allowed a &pound;25.8m increase in returns to the good causes supported by the lottery to &pound;1.37bn &ndash; taking the total amount the National Lottery has given to sport, the arts and other charities to &pound;23bn. It has pledged &pound;750m for the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund to help pay for the 2012 Games.<br /><br />Camelot chief executive Dianne Thompson said: &ldquo;Despite the challenge of preparing for the new licence and some significant challenges in the wider market, we have been able to deliver the best National Lottery sales performance in a decade, returning even more money to the Good Causes &ndash; helping to take the total raised to over &pound;23bn.&rdquo;