NATIONAL Lottery operator Camelot yesterday posted its best sales performance in a decade –as it kicks off its third licence period for the game played by 70 per cent of the adult population.
The group recorded sales of £5.1bn, an increase of £182.8m on the £4.9bn posted a year earlier.
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.
It said a host of new games had also boosted ticket sales by 11.6 per cent over the past five years.
Camelot is hoping to capture a bigger playing audience, with players currently spending an average of £3 a week on lottery tickets. Despite a number of retail outlets closing down in the year, Camelot’s retail sales grew by £44.7m to £4.5bn.
The improvement in sales allowed a £25.8m increase in returns to the good causes supported by the lottery to £1.37bn – taking the total amount the National Lottery has given to sport, the arts and other charities to £23bn. It has pledged £750m for the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund to help pay for the 2012 Games.
Camelot chief executive Dianne Thompson said: “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 – helping to take the total raised to over £23bn.”