In-store sales of National Lottery tickets and scratchcards fell 4.7% to £2.2bn across UK retailers in the six months to 24 September.
Current operator Camelot put the drop down to “ongoing difficult conditions in retail”, as well as shoppers moving to “bigger shops to seek better value deals over more frequent, smaller shopping trips”.
However, overall first-half sales, including both in-store and online, broke through the £4bn mark for the first time in Camelot’s 28-year reign, resulting in the “best-ever first-half” return to good causes, with an 8.1% increase to of £957m.
It takes the total generated for good causes since The National Lottery launched in 1994 under Camelot to £47bn.
“I am delighted that these record results show that The National Lottery is returning more to good causes than ever before,” said Camelot chairman Hugh Robertson.
“In this hugely testing economic period, I am proud that my team’s remarkable performance builds on previous years of record ticket sales and returns to good causes – and extends our track record of delivering for people across the UK.
“With just over a year to run until the start of the next licence period, I am confident that The National Lottery has never been in better shape.”
Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: “Thanks to the commitment and professionalism of everyone at Camelot – and all of our hard work over the last few years – this record half-year performance confirms that we have a very healthy and successful National Lottery that continues to benefit the whole of the UK.
“These fantastic results also demonstrate our ability to adapt quickly and decisively to fast-changing and challenging economic conditions, while maintaining our longstanding reputation for selling tickets in a socially responsible way – attributes that have helped to keep The National Lottery in excellent health at such an important time for the UK.”
Allwyn, the Czech-based company that is set to take over the UK National Lottery in 2024, recently announced it had agreed to buy Camelot in a deal intended to simplify the handover and end a legal dispute over the procurement process.