NHS Loto operator faces deadline to raise 50m

The operator of the controversial NHS Loto has been given three weeks to secure the 50m funding it promised to raise or it will be axed.

The ultimatum was delivered by Sir Adrian Blennerhassett, chairman of the National Hospital Trust, the charity behind the lottery.

The move follows the collapse of a deal to raise money for the operator, Pascal & Co, through the Malaysian Stock Exchange.

Pascal is understood to be in talks to secure finances with potential partners in the US, Switzerland, the UK and Malaysia.

The money is needed to invest in the technology, distribution, advertising and marketing for a national expansion of the game.

Pascal chairman Roger Cum-mins was unavailable for comment.

Blennerhassett says of Pascal’s two year search for funding: “The deadline is the end of February. It has been dragging on for a long time now, and we have been missing an opportunity for making a noise.”

He warns that if the new consortium fails to come together by the end of this month, the Trust may drop Pascal and the NHS Loto, and will search for alternative methods of funding.

News Analysis, page 18

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