Our Business National Lottery facts

Women with hula hoops

Camelot’s role is critical to the lottery’s success but it is just one element in the partnership of organisations responsible for the differing functions of The National Lottery. They are:

  • The Government, empowered by the National Lottery etc. Act 1993, which, through the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, appoints and directs:
  • The Gambling Commission (previously the National Lottery Commission), which, after a competition against an Invitation to Tender, awards the Licence to run The National Lottery and regulates:
  • Camelot, the lottery operator, which raises money for:
  • 12 lottery distribution bodies, which, in turn, decide which beneficiaries should receive National Lottery Good Causes funding.

In May 1994, Camelot was awarded a seven-year Licence to run The National Lottery and, on 14 November 1994, the first draw-based tickets went on sale. 

In December 2000, Camelot was awarded the second seven-year Licence to run The National Lottery, which commenced on 27 January 2002 and expired on 31 January 2009.

Camelot's third National Lottery Licence began on 1 February 2009. It was initially due to run for 10 years but, following agreement from the National Lottery Commission, the Licence has been extended by four years until 2023. 

Where the money goes

Camelot runs the most cost-efficient major lottery in Europe, with only around 4% of total revenue spent on operating costs – a key factor behind us delivering, on average, over £33 million each week to National Lottery Good Causes. Combined with the Lottery Duty we pay to the Government, we return one of the highest percentages of lottery revenue back to society in the world.

National Lottery retailers will earn 5% in sales commission for each draw-based game – and 6% commission on each National Lottery Scratchcard (established National Lottery retailers earn, on average, over £8,000 per annum in lottery commission).

National Lottery Good Causes

The lottery distribution bodies award the money raised by Camelot through lottery ticket sales to projects in the following sectors: the arts, charities, education, the environment, health, heritage, sports and voluntary organisations.

To date, more than 450,000 individual National Lottery grants have been made across the length and breadth of the UK – helping to transform the lives of people and communities across the nation. This equates to an average of 144 awards in every single UK postcode district. In addition, The National Lottery contributed up to £2.2 billion to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.