National Lottery Digital Sales Break Record: 2022-23
The National Lottery figures are in for the 2022-2023 financial year and show record digital sales, with total trading hitting £8.19bn and £1.88bn raised for good causes.
The 2022-23 UK financial year closed in March, and the National Lottery figures show it’s been a record-breaking year. It’s the second-highest-grossing period for the lottery since its launch in 1994.
What caused the growth? In short, the answer is digital sales.
Draw-based games remained the most popular option, with year-on-year (YoY) increasing sales, which Camelot attributed to the outranking performance of the EuroMillions (this year saw more than 30 draws that topped the £100m mark, driving sales).
There was also a significant increase in instant games, despite a drop in the sale of scratch cards, thought to be caused by a change in consumer habits. Interestingly, instant win games have been growing in popularity, with revenue in this sector more than doubling between 2010 and 2020, according to a UK House of Commons Committee Report.
Digital sales skyrocketing
Online markets are growing through the gambling sector, including the National Lottery. Digital sales rose £274.2m YoY, smashing past figures and creating a new digital sales record of £3.69bn. The National Lottery’s app was downloaded more than 2.5m times, with most players using their mobile phones to buy tickets, and 70% of those sales going through the app. This is great news for National Lottery operator Camelot, as they recently redesigned the instant-draw app products, proving a hit with players.
More money for good causes
The National Lottery created 382 new millionaires across the year, with players winning a total of £4.69bn and £1.88bn raised for good causes, roughly £36m per week. National Lottery funding for good causes is typically split between projects focusing on health, education, the environment, sports, art and heritage.
Since its launch in 1994, the Lottery has raised over £47 billion for good causes and helped almost 700,000 projects, from repairing local scout hunts to supporting Paralympians. There’s no formula for how the money is distributed; instead, how and when the money is invested is decided by 12 specialist organisations chosen by Parliament for their expertise in the area.
A year of controversy for the National Lottery
While it may have been a record-breaking year for digital sales, it’s also been marred with media attention and controversy as Camelot lost its bid for the fourth National Lottery licence. Camelot has held the licence since 1994. It has now been awarded to Allwyn, who will take over operations from 2024.
Initially, Camelot did not accept this decision and challenged it legally in the Supreme Court. Camelot felt the application process needed to be more transparent and that they needed to explain why they did not win the bid properly. The following legal challenge led to Allwyn’s licence being temporarily suspended during the case.
However, in September 2022, Camelot withdrew the challenge, and the two companies struck an interesting bargain, which saw Allwyn acquire Camelot in February 2023.