Here’s a guide to how The National Lottery operator Camelot selects its retailers and how to apply for a terminal.

Thank you for your interest in becoming part of Camelot’s dynamic team as a National Lottery retailer.

Research shows that one in every 10 customers visits stores because they want to buy a National Lottery ticket. On top of this, lottery shoppers in convenience outlets visit their store more frequently and spend more than non-lottery shoppers – resulting in established independent retailers earning, on average, more than £6,500 in National Lottery sales commission last year.

In addition, around 80 per cent of UK adults play The National Lottery at least once a year. So, it is not surprising that there is a huge level of interest in becoming part of a fantastic team of retailers. Combining all of these elements it’s not surprising that the National Lottery can significantly enhance an independent retailer’s bottom line.

To help improve the overall understanding of how lottery terminals are allocated and ways in which retailers can improve their chances of being selected, here is a guide to the selection process and what’s involved.

Why does Camelot have a selection process?

As operator of The National Lottery, Camelot’s objective is to maximise returns to Good Causes through selling tickets in a socially-responsible way. Given the contribution to a retailer’s overall income that having The National Lottery in-store can make, demand for lottery terminals outstrips supply. To ensure it can maximise sales potential – and returns to Good Causes – it is vital that Camelot gets the best return on each and every one of its lottery terminals.

This means having the right number of terminals in place and making sure National Lottery outlets are in the best locations to offer the best sales opportunities. More than 96 per cent of the UK adult population currently live or work within two miles of a lottery terminal.

Accounting for around 80 per cent of sales, retail is the largest National Lottery sales channel. There are now around 47,000 retailers across the UK, ranging from small independent shops to large supermarket chains to petrol forecourts. However, independent outlets make up the majority. To ensure a fair and thorough process, the same criteria apply across all retailers regardless of area or sector – with each case being judged on its own merits.

With its strategy for long-term, responsible growth – an approach based on offering players an enhanced and regularly-refreshed range of games, and focusing on innovation to better reflect peoples changing lifestyles and shopping habits – Camelot has seen total National Lottery sales grow to record levels. The company recently saw annual sales of over £7.5 billion, with over £6 billion of that coming from retail.

It is this experience which guides its processes to pick the most appropriate siting of a new Lottery terminal to ensure it continues to generate substantial incremental sales.

That’s good news for Good Causes and good news for communities throughout the UK!

Camelot’s starting point

As a quick guide to begin with, the process used to select a retailer involves a four-phased approach to outlet selection, with the overarching objective at all times being to maximise returns to Good Causes:

Phase 1: Identification of outlets best positioned to generate incremental sales.

Phase 2: Assess store suitability.

Phase 3: Final review and sign-off of the outlet.

Phase 4: Installation of the National Lottery terminal and communications to the outlet.

To formally register a future interest in having a National Lottery terminal in-store, please complete and submit the form on Camelot’s dedicated prospective retailer website:

If you have previously done so but your circumstances have since changed, you should update your details to ensure that Camelot has the most up-to-date information about your store.

Your details will be added to Camelot’s database of potential retailers, which is used to assess retailers on a regular basis throughout the year to identify the best opportunities to generate incremental sales, dependent on terminal availability. It is important to understand that registering or updating your details does not mean that you will be on a ‘waiting list’ for a National Lottery terminal. Camelot does not operate in that way and never selects retailers on a ‘first-come, first-served basis’. If, having registered or updated your details, you do not hear from Camelot, it does not meant that your outlet is not suitable – it just means that better prospects for maximising returns to Good Causes have already been identified.

Customer playing National Lottery scratchcard game

How the selection process works

The potential sales of each of those outlets are analysed on a database of potential retailers using a combination of market research and geo-demographic data, as well as additional information collected on an ongoing basis at ground level by Camelot’s experienced sales executives. Based on their local insight, they provide recommendations that take account of factors such as the commitment and enthusiasm of staff, access to the outlet (including parking facilities), and store appearance and standards.

In all, over 200 individual items of information are evaluated, together with over 40 separate criteria – including current and projected sales, footfall, store size, access and potential demand – using a geo-demographic modelling system. This uses ‘heat maps’ to help to identify areas of the country that may be under- or over-supplied, based on estimated demand for National Lottery products.

Camelot’s Network Review Group (NRG) evaluates each selection nomination to identify which of these offers the best opportunity to maximise returns to Good Causes. The NRG reviews each recommendation against all of the selection criteria and discusses any justification put forward by the Camelot sales team. The group also takes into account changes in the retail landscape and wider retail market trends which might influence the sales potential of the potential new outlet – such as if new housing estates or offices are built, stores open or close, new shopping centres open, or even road network changes which could affect shopping habits. The successful selection forms are then collated and passed to our Retail Services Department with instructions to begin the physical installation process.

What to expect if you’re selected as a potential National Lottery retailer

If a retailer has been identified as a potential outlet, Camelot will initially attempt to contact them by telephone, but this will be purely to arrange a visit from a Camelot sales representative. Camelot will never sign up a retailer without first visiting the store.

All Camelot staff or agents will provide full identification and credentials when they arrive in-store. At this initial visit, the representative will further assess the suitability of the store, and will discuss with the retailer the selection process as well as the retailer’s obligations if they were to be chosen to sell National Lottery products.

In addition, the retailer will be provided with various paperwork, which will need to be completed and returned to Camelot. Only once all of this activity has taken place will Camelot get back in contact with the retailer to confirm whether or not they have been selected to become a National Lottery retailer.

Customer in newsagents buying National Lottery ticket

Dispelling some myths

Waiting Lists

As mentioned before and contrary to popular belief, there is not a waiting list for lottery terminals. When a terminal does become available, Camelot uses its fair and rational selection process to identify prospective suitable outlets from its database of potential retailers. This is irrespective of sector or proximity to other stores. It is about what offers the best opportunity to generate incremental sales – and therefore meet Camelot’s key objective to maximise returns to Good Causes through selling tickets in a socially-responsible way.

Multiples vs Independents

Camelot works with around 47,000 retailers throughout the UK, ranging from small independent shops to large supermarket chains and petrol forecourts. To ensure the company is fair and thorough, the same selection criteria apply across all retailers regardless of area or sector. This means that each new selection is judged on its own merits, regardless of which sector it falls into. There is no favouritism towards multiples – in fact, independent outlets make up the majority of stores that operate National Lottery terminals. Camelot’s record-breaking performance means that the company’s retail partners earned over £333 million in sales commission in 2015/15 – more than £6,500, on average, for established independent retailers. This means that National Lottery retailers have now earned over £5.6 billion in sales commission since The National Lottery’s launch in 1994.

Charging for terminals

Camelot may charge a monthly fee for certain National Lottery terminals, depending on the type of terminal and the games options available for players to choose from. Any fees payable will be deducted automatically from the retailer’s invoice once the National Lottery terminal has been installed.

Camelot has limited availability of 37,000 full-service Altura terminals, which, other than a one-off installation fee, are free to participating retailers. The company is therefore always looks at ways to innovate and create opportunities for incremental retail sales, to provide even greater returns for Good Causes.

In 2014, Camelot introduced around 10,000 standalone Scratchcard terminals to satisfy untapped demand for National Lottery Scratchcards. More recently, Camelot has extended the functionality of its standalone Scratchcard terminals – also known as Compact Lottery Terminals – to include draw-based games (Lotto, EuroMillions, etc.). This will help the company to satisfy ongoing strong demand for National Lottery games, and even better access to them.

It’s also great news for smaller retailers who wouldn’t ordinarily be suitable for an Altura terminal (because of lower turnover, footfall, etc.), giving them the opportunity to benefit from selling the full range of National Lottery games and so add further value to their businesses. It is up to each individual retailer with a standalone Scratchcard terminal to decide whether they want the extended functionality, or whether they would simply like to continue to sell Scratchcards only.

It is important for all retailers to keep in mind that Camelot will never:

  • Ask for a cheque or cash as a form of payment
  • Ask for an administration fee to guarantee selection as a National Lottery retailer
  • Ask for an administration fee prior to installation as a National Lottery retailer

If you are selected as a retailer, it will be purely on the grounds of the selection process and Camelot will contact you directly with the good news. Once selected, you will receive a terminal and necessary equipment, as well as ongoing comprehensive training and support – so that you can make the most out of being a National Lottery retailer. Camelot may also contact you annually to update the details it holds about your store on its database.

In summary…

Each and every one of Camelot’s retail partners is expected to act as an advocate for The National Lottery, and they along with their customers have played a vital role in helping Camelot raise a life-changing £35 billion for Good Causes over the last two decades. This means that over 490,000 projects across the UK – over 150, on average, in every neighbourhood – have now benefitted from vital National Lottery funding. Camelot continues to work closely with its retailer partners to build on this amazing achievement – and help them add further value to their businesses.

If you haven’t already registered your interest in having a National Lottery terminal with Camelot, then log onto and click on the ‘Register’ button. If you make any changes to your outlet, which you think could have an impact on your possible future selection, remember to update your details with on the website. And if Camelot does select your store to become a National Lottery outlet, the company will contact you with the good news.

This article was last updated on 10 June 2016.

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