As the cost of living rises, scratch card sales drop.

Camelot boss says that scratch cards are less popular than ever as living costs rise.

As the cost of living rises, scratch card sales drop.

Camelot boss says that scratch cards are less popular than ever as living costs rise.

Nigel Railton is the chief executive of the UK National Lottery operator. He said that there was a "slight bubble around scratch cards" during the pandemic, but this has now been "reversed".

Camelot announced that Camelot's annual sales fell by PS283.2m, to PS8.1bn.

According to the firm, it noticed signs that players were "tightening their belts".

Camelot, the National Lottery's operator since its inception, has taken legal action against Gambling Commission, having lost the next license.

Rival Allwyn was chosen as the preferred applicant to the next lottery licence, which will begin in 2024.

Camelot stated that its 31 March sales decline was due to a PS240m decrease in National Lottery Instants sales.

This was attributed to the lifting of lockdown restrictions. It claimed that this led to increased competition for people's attention, and spending as well as economic uncertainty.

Camelot stated that the cost of living crisis had slowed retail recovery because "consumers tightened up their belts".

Railton stated that the company saw a shift in consumer behavior following the pandemic.

He said that there was a bubble in scratch cards and retail games during Covid, but it was reversed and, also, because we have 44,000 retailers we witnessed a shift in people's purchasing behavior.

"So scratch cards declined by a few hundred million [pounds] per year."

He stated that scratch card sales are now "well below" levels pre-pandemic.

Lazaros Gonidis is a University of Kent psychology lecturer who said that there could be many factors behind the decline in scratch card sales.

He said that he sees people having less money in times of economic recession and therefore think twice before they pick up scratch cards.

It is also possible that some people may turn to gambling for the purpose of improving their financial situation. He suggested that it could be possible that they are doing more online than purchasing scratch cards in store.

It's a complicated picture.

The Gambling Commission named Allwyn Entertainment Ltd its preferred applicant for the next National Lottery licence in March.

Camelot stated that it would be taking legal action against the decision within the month.

According to Mr Railton, he believes the regulator "got it badly wrong".

The Gambling Commission stated that it ran a fair and robust competition.

The National Lottery is the largest lottery in the world and has raised over PS45bn for 660,000 charities across the UK.

It has also been a major contributor to funding facilities and training for Paralympic and Olympic athletes in Great Britain over the past 30 years.

Camelot was not selected as the preferred applicant for next license, but he was still named the "reserve candidate".

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