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Camelot U.K. Lotteries plays to win. Indeed, that’s how the U.K. gaming company has made a winning business of running one of the world’s most successful lotteries. Licensed operator of the U.K. National Lottery, Camelot prides itself on transforming the lives of its many winners as well as the countless individuals and communities that benefit from lottery funding.
Running the most cost-efficient lottery in Europe, Camelot spends only around four percent of total revenue on operating costs—enabling it to raise over £30 million for National Lottery Good Causes each week. To date, it has raised over £28 billion for these Good Causes, with more than 380,000 individual awards made across the U.K. Camelot also achieved its target of raising £750 million for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games from sales of specially designated lottery games. This formed part of an overall National Lottery contribution of up to £2.2 billion towards the cost of the Games.
Connecting over 30,000 National Lottery outlets throughout the U.K. requires a highly reliable, highly available network supporting tens of thousands of simultaneous, rapid-fire transactions. The Hughes Managed VPN solution for Camelot has proven to be just that since 2007, when the decision was made to select this comprehensive offering following a thorough evaluation of different vendors and technologies, including terrestrial fixed, wireless, and satellite alternatives. Besides provisioning all networking equipment and ongoing maintenance and support, the contract calls for extremely high-quality levels of service connectivity which Hughes has consistently met or exceeded throughout the past five years.
A typical National Lottery transaction takes about 1.2 seconds, including the time to go through the Hughes satellite network to the Camelot host system and back to the retail site again. Using the continent-wide Hughes broadband satellite service, Hughes satellite terminals interface with Camelot’s lottery equipment at each site, including point-of-sale digital media screens used to display a wide range of announcements, such as jackpots and rollover news.
Camelot recently announced an initiative to deliver some £1.7 billion in additional lottery funding to U.K. society in the period leading up to 2023, for which it is carrying out a multi-million pound investment to expand to 37,000 outlets. Hughes has been contracted to connect all sites, over 33,000 of which will employ its satellite technology.
“Everything that runs through the retail side of our business—which represents about $160 million a week—runs through the Hughes network,” said Neil Kellar, Camelot’s IT Director. “Hughes plays an absolutely critical role in making those systems high in availability, and enabling us to conduct lottery transactions while at the same time raising millions of pounds for National Lottery Good Causes every day.”
“Providing a very strong consumer experience is absolutely sacrosanct to our business and how we run it,” added Kellar. “Hughes spent a lot of time with us ensuring this positive customer experience. Our goal is to reach four 9s of availability end-to-end on our VSAT network, and we’re now approaching that.”
“We chose Hughes because they have a proven track record in the lottery sector,” said Kellar. “It’s been a very strong partnership that has enabled us to improve the availability, as well as value, of our service.”
By continuing to put its players first, Camelot has achieved an unparalleled track record in innovation and long-term, responsible growth in the lottery industry. And, with the help of its network powered by Hughes, it’s fair to say that Camelot will stay at the top of its game—and continue to transform millions of lives—for many years to come.