Camelot, the National Lottery operator, is pressuring retailers to ditch rival scratchcard brand Lukcy, according to Lukcy’s operator, UK Charity Lotteries.
UKCL sells the Lukcy scratchcard brand through 20,000 retail outlets. They are sold alongside Camelot scratchcards in more than 6,000 outlets.
UKCL sales and marketing director Andrew Slamin says he is getting “widespread feedback” that Camelot’s salesforce is pressuring retailers either to stop selling or get rid of UKCL scratchcards.
The claims follow similar allegations of “bully boy” tactics levelled against Camelot last summer by Lord Mancroft, who runs the Scratch ‘n’ Win charity scratchcards.
Slamin says: “It seems more than a coincidence that this ties in with the launch of our ad campaign.”
Slamin claims that Camelot’s salesforce is telling independent retailers that they will only qualify to sell tickets for the weekly draw if they exceed targets on scratchcard sales. The company believes this effectively puts pressure on retailers to drop rival scratchcards.
A Camelot spokesman says: “It is absolutely not our policy to discriminate against rivals, it is a level playing field.”
UKCL launches a 10m national television advertising campaign this week for its scratchcards using Lady Luck. Slamin says that UKCL is likely to write to Camelot to complain and express disquiet about the issue. If Camelot’s activities continue, he says: “We will consider going to other parties.”
Slamin says reports of pressure on retailers by Camelot have come mainly from the London area, but retailers were unwilling to go on the record with their complaints.