However, following his conclusion that Sazka is favourite to land the licence ahead of current operator Camelot Group, Camelot has decided to respond to Lakhani's article.
In a letter sent for publication, Miranda Crees, Camelot's Head of Corporate Communications, writes below...
Amit Lakhani's assertion that Camelot is “relying on a smaller pool of players spending increasingly larger sums” (‘National Lottery: Time For Change?’, Sept/Oct 2021 issue) is completely wide of the mark. For a start, we don’t recognise the figure he quotes of nine million fewer players. Around 60% of UK adults regularly play The National Lottery and more than 37 million people played last year – hardly the sign of an institution that has “lost its spark." The reality is that Camelot is internationally recognised for selling tickets in a socially responsible way, with lots of people playing a little. As a result, the UK National Lottery is ranked just 60th in the world in terms of per capita spend despite being the fifth-largest lottery in the world in terms of sales.
Mr Lakhani is also wrong to claim that we've failed to reinvigorate draw-based games. If he digs a little deeper, he would see that we've carried out a huge amount of highly effective work in recent years across games, digital, retail and brand. This has seen us grow sales of all six of our draw-based games, made us one of only a few operators around the world to be growing sales of its flagship Lotto game, and helped us to become the best-performing European lottery operator in terms of growth in 2020.
After four years of successive sales growth resulting in last year’s record performance, annual returns to Good Causes are now more than £500m ($682.5m) higher than they were at the start of the third licence period in 2009, while annual returns to winners and society are now over £3.1bn higher. We would argue that these are the trends that matter most – and they clearly demonstrate that The National Lottery has never been fitter or more effective in continuing to deliver for everyone.
Head of Corporate Communications