Gaming Board calls for Loto probe

The Gaming Board is to urge the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate the activities of NHS Loto.

Although the lottery is not registered with the Board – it had initially been registered with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in London – it has the power to call for an inquiry if it believes that it is in the public interest.

The Board has written to Sir Adrian Blennerhassett and John Evans, the trustees of the National Hospital Trust, which benefits from money raised by NHS Loto. It demands information about how NHS Loto has been restructured since the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea withdrew its registration in August after a High Court hearing.

The trustees responded to the Gaming Board request but it is dissatisfied with the answers it has received and wants more information.

It is believed that NHS Loto is now registered with four local authorities including Bromley, the London borough of Hackney and Wolverhampton. NHS Loto operator Pascal & Company is still understood to be seeking more than 20m, through the share issue of a Malay-sian company, to finance a marketing campaign which was scheduled to start last spring.

“The Board wants to know how it has restructured following the judge’s comments,” says a Gaming Board spokesman. “If they can’t or refuse to satisfy our requests it becomes a question of whether this is a public interest matter and whether we should take it any further. But when somebody is particularly unco-operative then we have to ask why.”

No one at NHS Loto was available for comment when Marketing Week went to press.

The Royal Borough of Kensington has also contacted Timothy Kirkhope, the Home Office minister responsible for lotteries, to ask him to investigate NHS Loto.

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