Camelot has put board-level operations director David Clark in charge of its international division, fuelling speculation that the company will bid to run the South African national lottery.
The South African lotteries board is expected to invite companies to submit tenders to run the country’s national lottery within six weeks. Sources close to Camelot, which is known to be interested in expanding overseas, claim that a bid is imminent.
But a Camelot spokesman says: “It is very early days. No decisions have yet been made.”
The South African lottery was given legal permission to launch by the South African Parliament before Christmas.
Under the timetable, applications would have to be submitted by the end of April, and the winner announced by the end of July. The lottery itself is planned for launch at the beginning of 1999.
Gtech, the US lottery company which is one of the members of the Camelot consortium, says it is interested in running the South African lottery, and has formed a consortium to mount a bid.
It refused to comment on whether Camelot was a member of this body.
Clark has been made the board director responsible for corporate development, which includes international expansion plans, in addition to his role as lottery operations director. He will supervise the Camelot International Services division, set up in 1996 and headed by head of corporate development Mike Allen.
Pools firm Vernons has applied to Oflot, the National Lottery regulator, to run a National Lottery game under a “section six” licence. If Oflot gives its permission, Vernons will be the first operator apart from Camelot to run National Lottery games.