Retailers have their say about the lottery operator’s decision to bump up the games count

The number of national lottery games has increased dramatically with the advent of daily draws and the EuroMillions game. Have these new games boosted trade for retailers or are they confusing customers and hurting sales?

This week’s Reader Panel (see p13) highlights independent retailers’ views of the service they get from lottery operator Camelot and the impact of the new games. We also caught up with retailers at the Convenience Retailing Show in Birmingham last week.

Nick Pankhania, of NNP Stores in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, is, like most retailers, happy with the level of service.

“Camelot provides a very good service - the reps come into the store every two or three weeks and give us plenty of information on new games, scratch cards and how to promote the draws.”

But he doesn’t believe Camelot should have a monopoly as a provider, saying: “If there were more people offering more games it would make things more competitive.

“We could have games with prizes of about £40,000 which people felt they had more chance of winning.”

The desire for more games is not shared by many other retailers, however.

Harry Parmar, who has a Spar in Preston, says: “Camelot really improved its service two years ago when it updated its system, but now there are too many games. The new daily draws are a bad idea. They are very confusing for customers. It would be best if they returned to just having the two main draws and the Thunderball.”

Rupesh Adatia, from Rathbone News in central London, agrees there are too many games and says his customers just haven’t bought into the daily draws. “There was good interest in the daily draws to begin with but it didn’t last. Our current lottery customers tell us they would rather play the pools or put money on a horse.”

The big money prizes on offer in the EuroMillions draw have certainly created some excitement for customers. Hardy Dusanj, of Lowdham Stores, Nottingham, says EuroMillions is going very well in his store. “Sales have been very good and it seems to be growing every week. So far the higher cost of the ticket doesn’t seem to be putting people off,” he says.

Overall, sales seem to be about the same level as they were five years ago, but the location and nature of the shop seems to be an important factor, with sales in c-stores still performing very well. However, there was some concern that there are now too many outlets offering the lottery given that Camelot was so selective initially.