Camelot looks at direct phone plan

Link-up with Mercury and US card company could pave way for playing Lottery over the phone

National Lottery operator Camelot is understood to be discussing with Mercury a plan that could allow consumers to play the lottery using phone cards.

The American card company Card Call, which entered the UK market last year, is believed to be the third partner in the deal. The plan would require a rule change from lottery watchdog Oflot before it could be introduced.

The deal is separate from Cam-elot’s current effort to create co-branding opportunities with packaged goods companies through its Marketing Partnerships scheme. The partners will be revealed on June 6.

An Oflot spokesman says: “There are all sorts of ancillary activities associated with the Lottery. If it is not ancillary and it involves licensing then we would be involved. They would require approval but we have had nothing as yet.”

Card Call has also agreed a separate but related deal with Mercury for a three-year licensing agreement believed to be worth 50m for use of its phone network.

The Card Call cards will carry the National Lottery logo. More im-portantly players will be able to play the game and get information about the winning numbers by calling the 0500 number printed on the back of the cards, which connects with the central Card Call computer.

The cards operate with touch-tone phones and work on the basis of a PIN number which is linked to a specific cash value, ranging from 2 upwards.

The central computer keeps track of the phone time used.

Camelot denies it is about to embark on a scheme which will allow consumers to play over the phone. “We are bringing in different phases of licensed products. We are in discussions with a number of companies but we have no plans to launch a card where people play over the telephone.”

See Camelot story, page 8

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here