National Lottery operator Camelot is setting up an international division to run lotteries in France, Spain and other European countries.
The new division, Camelot International, will launch early next year. It is believed that the company has ruled out trying to run lotteries in the US.
A Camelot spokeswoman says: “We are looking at opportunities overseas. At the moment it is at the investigation stage. The National Lottery is the best run lottery in the world, and we are looking to run games either on our own, or with other companies.”
She confirms that an in-house team is working on the international move, but refuses to comment on the division’s name. She also refuses to say which of the company’s directors are working on the plans.
One theory behind the move is that Camelot is worried an incoming Labour Government may curb its activities, following concern over the level of profits it has made. Some MPs on the Left have even urged that a Labour administration considers handing the licence to another operator.
However, one industry observer says: “It was always in its plans to diversify. Camelot thinks there is plenty of scope to run other lotteries in Europe and that is what a team has been working on.”
In a separate move, the National Lottery watchdog Oflot is expected to announce today (Wednesday) details of the second weekly draw.