The operator made more than 11,600 visits to retailers as part of its 2022-23 “Operation 18” mystery shopper programme, where people who are over 18, but look younger, attempt to buy products such as lottery tickets and scratchcards.
From all visits, 92% of retailers asked for ID as proof of age on the shopper’s first visit, the highest rate since Camelot launched the campaign. Camelot said that this was particularly impressive given the age to play the National Lottery only changed from 16 to 18 in 2021.
Running alongside the programme was the “Healthy Play” mystery shopping initiative, which involved more than 4,000 additional store visits, with the aim of educating retailers on the signs of potential unhealthy play among their customers.
Camelot also ran a range of its “Responsible Retailing” training initiatives, including its team making over 160,000 contacts to National Lottery retailers to offer advice on preventing underage play and how best to support healthy play in store.
As a result of these initiatives, Camelot said 94% of retailers visited passed a healthy play knowledge check, while 88% of retailers said they were satisfied with the level of service received via Camelot’s dedicated retailer hotline in Q4.
“Only a year after the age to play changed from 16 to 18, retailers have achieved their best-ever pass rate for our ‘Operation 18’ mystery shopper programme,” Camelot’s new retail director Alex Green said. “This incredible result is testament to the hard work that both retailers and the team at Camelot have put in over these past two years.
“Of course, although integral, age checks form only one branch of our overall player protection strategy in retail. We also topped up retailers’ knowledge on underage play and healthy play through our responsible retailing contact programme and delivered thousands of ‘Healthy Play’ mystery shopper visits – all of which was tested through our special knowledge checks.
“We couldn’t be happier with the outstanding results.”
This year will be the final full year that Camelot operates the National Lottery, with Allwyn to take over in February 2024 after securing the fourth National Lottery licence last year.
Allwyn agreed to acquire Camelot UK in November 2022 and also completed the purchase of US-facing business Camelot Lottery Solutions’ unit of companies from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board in March this year.