Camelot gets green light for free ticket promotions

Camelot is to give away free National Lottery tickets and scratchcards in promotions after being allowed for the first time to buy its own tickets.

The Lottery operator was given permission to buy tickets by the culture secretary Chris Smith, who issued a set of new “directions” to the Office of the National Lottery in the autumn. They are the first changes to Oflot’s powers since 1993.

Other changes include giving the director general the power for the first time to fine Camelot for infringements of its licence conditions.

Camelot will buy the Lottery tickets centrally and will keep the five per cent commission that is usually payable to retailers.

A Camelot spokesman says the opportunity could be used in various ways: “For example, we could give out free tickets or pay towards the cost of tickets in promotions with the press. Or on tie-ins with products: if you buy a certain product you could get an Instants (scratchcard), or Lottery ticket free. Or we could give free Lucky Dips.”

In the case of a product tie-in, Camelot would part-fund the price of the tickets with the partner involved.

The Lottery operator says promotions could work using loyalty schemes, where consumers get a booklet stamped every time they make a purchase of a particular product, which when full is redeemable for a Lottery ticket.

A pilot scheme in early October with supermarket chain Morrisons, called “Have a go on us”, made use of this method. Shoppers received two free Instants scratchcards when they spent more than 20 on fuel over three weeks.

Negotiations are under way with other multiple retailers.

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