Interlotto, the former charity scratchcard operator run by Lord Mancroft, is poised to sign a 10m funding deal to launch the Keno video lottery draw early next year. The launch will be backed by multimillion pound marketing support, claims Lord Mancroft.
Lord Mancroft says the company has devised a new way of operating the game to meet Gaming Board approval.
The Board rejected the first method two months ago (MW August 23), however, it says it has yet to decide whether the new method is acceptable.
Keno is already widely played in the US. Draws are announced at regular intervals on television screens in pubs, betting shops and retail outlets. It was originally intended that in the UK players would choose ten numbers between one and 80. The draw would pick 20 numbers, and prizes would go to any player choosing ten correct numbers.
The Gaming Board turned this method down, as it regarded each draw as a separate lottery, and it therefore did not meet the conditions of the 1976 Lotteries & Amusements Act.
The Board believed it would be hard to sell sufficient tickets to cover the jackpot. Under the new method, players pick five numbers from 50, and the machine draws ten numbers. Lord Mancroft hopes the changed odds will be acceptable to the Board.
The 10m will finance the installation of thousands of Keno terminals around the UK and pay for a massive marketing budget to explain the game to the public.
Previously, Interlotto was known as Scratch & Win, but it merged with scratchcard operator UK Charity Lotteries in the summer.
Under the deal, UKCL now handles all the scratchcard business, leaving Interlotto to concentrate on developing Keno.