Camelot to launch SMS Lotto service

National Lottery operator Camelot is to reveal a £100m jump in sales during the first half of this year as it today (Wednesday) unveils its latest technological innovation – a play-by-text lottery service.

The new service, Camelot’s latest attempt to boost sales, will allow players to pick their numbers via a text-message service, which will be available across all mobile networks.

The surge builds on Camelot’s shock full-year sales U-turn, after six years of gradual decline. It will also mean the Lottery operator’s marketing budget will increase next year – it is fixed at a minimum 1.5 per cent of sales.The &£100m rise equates to a 4.7 per cent jump in sales in the six months to September 25, to a total of &£2.35bn. This outpaces the one per cent full-year rise in sales last year, which was exclusively revealed in Marketing Week (MW April 29).

Sales of the core Lotto games are expected to be roughly static, with a 0.7 per cent increase to &£1.6bn. Growth is being driven by non-Lotto games, sales of which are understood to be up 14 per cent to &£748.8m.

Company insiders point to online and interactive television sales in particular as sources of growth. They are understood to average over &£1.5m per week, while weekly sales of scratchcards have risen 13 per cent to &£13m.

Camelot is also to launch its largest prize scratchcard game to date, as well as a special &£10m Lotto jackpot, as part of its tenth birthday celebrations later this year (MW September 23).

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