The National Lottery’s digital channels saw a 34 per cent increase in online sales in the 2019/20 financial year to £2.45bn, representing a record rise of £624m that saw the company exceed the £2bn mark for the first time.

As part of its ‘record-breaking’ digital performance, Camelot grew 57.7 per cent in mobile sales by £586m to an all-time high of £1.6bn, with sales through smartphones and tablets now accounting for around 65 per cent of all digital sales. 

Camelot also revealed that ticket sales during the year for the National Lottery grew by £698.3m between April 1 2019 to March 31 2020, reaching a record £7.9bn an increase of 9.7 per cent.

Over the same period of time, Camelot generated returns to Good Causes of £1.85bn, an increase of 12 per cent or £198.4m. During this period the National Lottery distributors continue to provide funds across the UK which will see up to £600m of National Lottery funding being directed towards UK charities and organisations to help tackle the impact of COVID-19.

Camelot Chairman, Sir Hugh Robertson, commented: “Thanks to this crisis relief package, hundreds of millions of pounds in vital funding has been repurposed to help those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic – providing, among other things, much-needed aid for communities, grants for sport initiatives to keep people fit and healthy, and assistance for thousands of other projects that are in desperate need of funding during this time. 

“Anyone who has bought a National Lottery ticket should know they’ve played their part in making this possible.”

Following its 2019/20 sales performance, The National Lottery continues to generate over £30m each week for Good Causes over the UK, with £41bn raised since 1994, 60 per cent higher than the government forecast at the time.

Over the last 12 months, £4.5bn was awarded in prizes to National Lottery players, a £376.5m increase on the previous year, with 355 new millionaires announced, including the UK’s biggest-ever winner who claimed the £170m EuroMillions jackpot in October 2019.

Announcing the results, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton, said: “Three years on from our strategic review, we are seeing growth across all areas of the business. Crucially, our best-ever sales performance has delivered a £200 million boost to Good Causes at a time when the UK needs it most.”

Alongside its growing sales, Camelot took further action in player protection. During the last 12 months the company invested in its online healthy play tools through the launch of its ‘Dream Big, Play Small’ portal on the National Lottery website whilst achieving an advanced level 2 of GamCare’s safer gambling standard for its online and retail operation.

Camelot draw-based games grew by £455.3m to £4,537.1m, with the company also increasing its sales of National Lottery scratchcards and online instant win games over the same period by £243m to £3.3bn. 

Railton concluded: “I would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thanks to everyone involved with The National Lottery for their support over the last few months. To our players, who make a difference every time they buy a ticket.

“To our retail partners, who have continued to sell National Lottery tickets alongside essential products. To all of our employees, especially those who have continued to work on site to keep business-critical operations going. 

“To the wider National Lottery family, particularly the National Lottery Distributors, who have done a tremendous job at prioritising funding for the people and projects who need it most. And to the government and our regulator, for working with us to keep The National Lottery running and delivering the huge benefits it brings to the nation.

“With the ongoing uncertainty, the year ahead will inevitably be challenging. But I’m very confident that we’re in great shape to meet those challenges – and that we have the strong track record, creativity and determination required to continue generating vital funds for those who need it most in the UK. 

“All of us at Camelot are fully aware of the important role that we play every single day, and I feel immensely privileged to be part of an institution that makes a real difference.”