Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (‘Camelot’) has this week announced that Nigel Railton has been appointed as permanent CEO of the company, charged with returning The National Lottery to growth. Camelot has reported total National Lottery ticket sales of £3,280.4 million for the first half of the 2017/18 financial year – a fall of 3.2% on last year’s first-half performance but in line with the company’s expectations.
Camelot has also provided an update on the strategic review that it announced in June this year. The wide-ranging review, which Nigel has been conducting on behalf of Camelot’s Board over the summer, will enable the operator to get The National Lottery back into growth and raising as much money as possible for Good Causes.
Jo Taylor, Chairman of Camelot, said: “I am delighted to see Nigel appointed as the CEO of Camelot UK. He has a wealth of experience, a proven track record and is passionate about the role that The National Lottery plays in society. He is also uniquely qualified within the international lottery community, having been in a senior management position for over 19 years, as a CEO and formerly in strategy and finance.
“Under Nigel’s leadership, the new executive team at Camelot has recently concluded a thorough strategic review and designed a clear execution plan to put the business on a path to responsible and sustainable growth.”
Commenting on his appointment, Nigel Railton said: “It’s a privilege to have been given the opportunity to run Camelot’s UK business. As operator of The National Lottery, we’re a company like no other – a commercial organisation that raises billions of pounds for the public good.
“Coming off the back of last year’s disappointing sales performance – and in the face of the very real threat posed by intensifying competition from the wider gambling sector, which benefits from significant taxation advantages, and continuing doubts over the economy – I don’t underestimate the challenge ahead of us. It is going to take some time to turn things around.
“However, given the areas for improvement that we’ve identified during the strategic review, Camelot’s impressive track record of success over the long term and the first-class team that I’ll be working with, I firmly believe that we have an excellent platform to get The National Lottery back where it should be next year – in growth, creating more winners than ever before, and delivering even more money for the millions of people and thousands of communities for whom National Lottery funding is so crucial.”
Subject to regulatory approval where necessary, Camelot’s plan to return The National Lottery to growth will be based on four main principles and will reflect the company’s longstanding commitment to responsible play and player protection. The four principles are: improving its range of games; investing to enhance its retail offering; upgrading its digital capabilities; and reinvigorating The National Lottery brand.
An improved range of games
- Camelot will make its games stand out from the crowd – and each other – by positioning EuroMillions, Lotto and Thunderball as distinct products, with prizes and prices to suit different needs and pockets.
- Lotto is the UK’s best-selling lottery game but Camelot has listened to feedback from players and, in 2018, plans to make changes to the game to give them a better winning experience. It is currently testing a number of possible game options, all of which could be introduced without needing to change either the price or number matrix.
- Camelot will introduce a Tuesday Thunderball draw in the New Year to address the needs of players who value smaller, more frequent wins.
- Camelot will launch EuroMillions HotPicks – a variation on its popular Lotto HotPicks game – in early 2018 to offer further choice and value to players.
- Given the growing number of players who dream of long-term financial security rather than big jackpots, Camelot will explore ways of satisfying this demand with an annuity-style game.
- Camelot will modify its range of in-store and online instant win games to give people greater choice and better access to the games they really want to play.
An enhanced retail offering
- Camelot’s established network of 46,000 retail partners throughout the UK ensures that The National Lottery is convenient to play.
- However, the retail landscape is constantly changing, so Camelot will adapt its market presence to better reflect the different ways in which people are shopping. Priorities include making National Lottery games available at self-checkout, as well as in discounters whose market share has grown considerably in recent years.
- Camelot will double the size of its sales force to help it forge stronger relationships with its retail partners.
- Camelot will invest £20 million in retail initiatives designed to boost levels of engagement and improve in-store display, merchandising and game availability – all of which will help retailers to make the very most of having The National Lottery in their stores.
An upgraded digital capability
- With over 10.5 million registered players, www.national-lottery.co.uk is Europe’s largest online lottery in terms of sales and one of the top e-commerce sites in the UK.
- The pace of change in digital, however, is considerable and so Camelot will invest to ensure that it continually improves the customer journey and experience with enhanced functionality to make playing National Lottery games online as easy as possible.
- Following on from its recent launch of the full version of The National Lottery App for Android – instantly making National Lottery games available to millions more smartphone users – Camelot will continue to improve players’ mobile experience.
- Camelot will upgrade its CRM to keep pace with improvements in customer marketing and personalisation to make its content more useful, relevant and less intrusive.
- Camelot will continue to invest to make its digital platforms even more robust and secure for players.
A reinvigorated National Lottery brand
- Since its launch, The National Lottery has become part of the fabric of UK society but the unique role it plays has become less evident in recent years. Camelot will change this by making The National Lottery and its purpose far more relevant and visible.
- As part of this, Camelot will place greater marketing emphasis on promoting a more unified and overarching National Lottery parent brand.
- Working with the National Lottery Distribution Bodies, Camelot will deliver a clear brand – ‘One National Lottery’ – with one voice to more effectively communicate the uniqueness of The National Lottery and the life-changing good that it does.
- Camelot will continue to fulfil its mission to ensure that ‘lots of people play a little’ by making the best use of the detailed player segmentation data it holds to attract the broadest player base possible.
- Camelot will continue to invest substantially in player protection initiatives to meet the high standards expected of The National Lottery.
In tandem with today’s strategic review update, Camelot has announced that total National Lottery ticket sales for the six months from 1 April to 23 September 2017 were £3,280.4 million, a decrease of 3.2% on last year’s first-half performance. During the period, Camelot generated direct returns for National Lottery Good Causes of £746.6 million1, 4.7% lower than the corresponding six months last year. The National Lottery has now delivered over £37 billion for Good Causes, enabling more than 525,000 individual awards to be made across the UK – the equivalent of around 185 life-changing projects in every community.
Camelot awarded £1,861.8 million in prize money to players over the half-year, creating 144 new millionaires in the process. The National Lottery has now awarded over £65 billion in total prize money since launch and created more than 4,750 millionaires across its range of games. Combined with the Lottery Duty it pays to the Government and the commission earned by its retail partners, Camelot continues to return around 95% of all revenue back to winners and society.
Announcing the results, Nigel Railton said: “A fall in sales is never welcome but, as we announced in June, we did anticipate a further sales decline this year – so our performance over the half-year is in line with expectations. Despite the challenges we’ve faced, we succeeded in returning almost £2.6 billion to Good Causes and players in just six months – underlining the massive difference that The National Lottery continues to make to the lives of people and communities throughout the UK.
“Everyone at Camelot is fully committed to ensuring that this success story continues, so I’m really encouraged that we’re now seeing early signs of improvement as a result of what we’re doing – and that gives us a great springboard to return to growth next year.”