UK Lottery Sales Drop as Consumers Look For Ways to Reduce Expenses

Across the globe, lottery products are always among the top choices for consumers. However, with major changes to its economy, the UK is seeing more people give up on the chance to hit it big.

A sign for the UK National Lottery outside a vendor’s store. Fewer consumers are buying lottery products in the UK on fears of a recession. (Image: Bloomberg)

Camelot, the UK’s National Lottery operator, has warned that players have “tightened their belts.” Discretionary spending on lottery products is down as the cost of living in the UK rises. As a result, the operator revealed declining sales of instant win games and tickets.

From April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, Camelot reported sales of £8.1 billion (US$9.88 billion). It’s the second year that sales broke the £8-billion (US$9.76 billion) mark. But the figure is 3% lower than last year.

Lottery Loses Lead

Most of the drop, according to Camelot, came from a 7% decrease in National Lottery instant-win sales. This segment was £240 million (US$292.92 million) lower, contributing £3.4 billion (US$4.14 billion).

Another factor was COVID-19. Camelot reports that the end of COVID-19 restrictions was partly responsible for the group’s fall. This is because there was “greater competition” for consumers’ money.

Now, the data shows that even regular players are reducing their purchases. In addition, instant sales suffer because of “growing economic uncertainty” brought on by rising costs. However, scratch card sales remain below pre-pandemic levels.

The 44,500 retailers that sell National Lottery products saw sales drop 4% to £4.7 million (US$5.7 million) over the same period. This was the result of the same conditions that affected the overall lottery segment.

Camelot CEO Nigel Railton told the PA news agency that the company had seen evidence in recent weeks that players were spending less and purchasing tickets less frequently. He stated that a recession due to the cost-of-living crisis could be coming, and that the fallout for the National Lottery would be “unprecedented.”

Online lottery sales lost £93 million (US$113.37 million), coming in at £3.4 billion (US$4.14 billion). However, this was due to limits and restrictions for at-risk consumers.

Camelot, which had been running the lottery for 30 years, lost its license to operate the lottery as of March 2024. Allwyn, formerly known as Sazka, will take its place. The latter plans on reducing the price of UK tickets from £2 to £1 (US$2.44 and $1.22).

However, Camelot is challenging the loss of the contract. As a result, the final decision on who runs the lottery is in the air.

Sitting on a Winner

Someone in the UK is sitting on a winning EuroMillions ticket and may not realize it. A single ticket won £83,291 (US$101,656) on June 14. But the buyer still hasn’t come forward.

We’re desperate to find this mystery ticket-holder and unite them with their winnings; this amazing prize could really make a massive difference to somebody’s life,” said National Lottery Senior Winners’ Advisor Andy Carter.

Camelot reported that the ticket was purchased in the Mid Suffolk District Council area. However, the winner still has time to come forward. He or she can claim the prize until December 11 of this year. If Camelot doesn’t receive a claim, it will use the money to fund its various projects in the UK.

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