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 a part of the fantastic team as a National Lottery retailer.

Research shows that The National Lottery helps drive basket spend and store loyalty, with National Lottery shoppers spending more than non-Lottery shoppers. On top of that, up to 64% of players plan to buy a National Lottery product during their shop and up to 90% of those shoppers return to the store – all of which makes The National Lottery an important category for retailers. These benefits saw Camelot’s retail partners earn, on average, more than £6,500 each in National Lottery sales commission last year.

Around 60% of UK adults currently play National Lottery games. So, it’s not surprising that stocking The National Lottery can significantly enhance an independent retailer’s bottom line and, as such, there is a huge level of interest in becoming part of Camelot’s fantastic team of retailers.

To help improve the overall understanding of how National Lottery terminals are allocated, 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 by selling tickets for draw-based games and Scratchcards in a socially-responsible way.

Given the contribution having The National Lottery in-store can make, and with only a limited number of lottery terminals available, demand for terminals unsurprisingly outstrips supply.

More than 96% of the UK adult population currently live or work within two miles of a lottery terminal and around 75% of sales come via retail, so to ensure sales potential and returns to Good Causes is maximised, it is vital that Camelot gets the best return on each and every one of its National Lottery terminals. This means having the right number of terminals in place and making sure National Lottery outlets are in the best locations.

With around 45,000 outlets across the UK, Camelot’s retail partners range from small independent shops and large supermarket chains to petrol forecourts, with independent stores making up the majority. To ensure a fair and thorough process, the same criteria within the application process are applied across all retailers regardless of area or sector – with each case being judged on its own merits.

With its approach based on offering players an enhanced and regularly-refreshed range of games, and focusing on innovation to better reflect people’s changing lifestyles and shopping habits, Camelot has seen total National Lottery sales grow by over 40% in the last decade. The company most recently achieved annual sales of over £6.9 billion, of which £5.3 billion were through retail.

That’s great news for retailers, Good Causes and communities throughout the UK!

Camelot’s starting point

The process used to select a retailer involves a four-phased approach, with the overarching objective being to maximise returns to Good Causes at all times:

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 interest in having a National Lottery terminal in-store, please complete and submit the form on Camelot’s dedicated prospective retailer website at www.nationallotteryallstars.co.uk

If you have previously done so but your circumstances have changed, or you wish to be removed from the database, you can update your details to ensure Camelot holds the most up-to-date information by calling its Retailer Hotline on 0800 8 40 50 60.

Your details will be added to Camelot’s database of potential retailers, which is used to assess retailers 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. If, having registered or updated your details, you do not hear from Camelot, it doesn’t mean that your outlet isn’t suitable – it just means opportunities to maximise returns to Good Causes elsewhere have been identified in the interim.

Customer playing National Lottery scratchcard game

How the selection process works

The potential sales of each outlet are analysed on a database using a combination of market research and geo-demographic data, as well as additional information collected 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 40 separate criteria are evaluated – including current and projected sales, footfall, store size, access and potential demand – using a tried and tested geo-demographic modelling system.

Camelot’s Network Review Group (NRG) evaluates each selection 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 or which could affect shopping habits. The successful selections are then passed to Camelot’s Retail Services Department to begin the physical installation process.

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

Once a retailer has been identified as a potential outlet, Camelot will complete a few extra steps before a terminal can be installed.  This includes processing application paperwork, arranging a store visit from a Camelot sales representative and carrying out a credit check.

All Camelot staff or agents will provide full identification and credentials when they arrive in-store. During this 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.

Once all of this activity has taken place, Camelot will 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

Contrary to popular belief, potential National Lottery outlets are not put on a waiting list. 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.

Multiples vs Independents

Camelot works with around 45,000 retailers throughout the UK. There is no favouritism towards any store format, and independent outlets make up the majority of stores that operate National Lottery terminals. Camelot’s most recent sales performance saw its retail partners earn over £293.9 million in total sales commission in 2017/18 – more than £6,500, on average, for each of Camelot’s retail partners. National Lottery retailers have now earned over £6.4 billion in total 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.

Camelot has limited availability of full-service Altura terminals, which other than a one-off installation fee, are free to participating retailers. A Scratchcard offering, tailored to the store, will also be included.

In recent years, Camelot has introduced Compact Lottery Terminals to enable retailers to offer draw-based games (Lotto, EuroMillions, etc.) in a smaller unit design and set-up. This is great news for smaller retail outlets that wouldn’t ordinarily be suitable for an Altura terminal (because of lower turnover, footfall, etc.), as it gives them the opportunity to benefit from selling the full range of National Lottery games and so add further value to their businesses. A Scratchcard offering, tailored to the store, will also be included.

Where Camelot charges retailers a nominal fee for specific services they receive (for example, towards the administration costs of installing a new National Lottery terminal or processing requests for a change of proprietor), any such fees will be deducted automatically from your weekly invoice several weeks after you have been successfully trading as a National Lottery outlet.

It is important for all retailers to remember 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, Camelot will contact you directly with the good news. Once selected, you will receive a terminal and all of the necessary equipment, as well as ongoing comprehensive training and support – so that you can make the most out of being a National Lottery retailer.

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 The National Lottery to raise a life-changing £39 billion for Good Causes over the last 25 years. This means that over 535,000 projects across the UK – over 190, on average, in every community – have now benefited from vital National Lottery funding. Camelot continues to work closely with its retailer partners to build on this amazing achievement – and to 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 www.nationallotteryallstars.co.uk/#/become-a-retailer. 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 by calling Camelot’s Retailer Hotline on 0800 8 40 50 60.


This article was last updated on 19 February 2019

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