Camelot rapped over plans for Sunday draw

The National Lottery Commission (NLC), the regulator for lotteries in the UK, has rapped Camelot after the lottery operator angered religious groups by announcing plans to launch a Sunday lottery game.

Press reports at the weekend said Camelot planned to launch daily games next year, and that it was also exploring selling tickets through banks’ cash-machine networks. But the NLC says Camelot has yet to ask for permission for any such developments and that it should not assume that permission would be granted automatically.

In a strongly worded statement issued late yesterday (Tuesday), NLC chief executive Mark Harris, says: “When the commission does receive an application for a daily game, it will be considered properly and will be judged on its individual merits.” He says that no game or distribution method will be licensed if the NLC thinks they are likely to encourage excessive gambling, attract underage players or “damage the reputation of the lottery.”

A spokesman for Camelot says that if the company is to maintain or increase the money raised for good causes, it is duty-bound to “widen the game portfolio and end its over-reliance on the main draw.” Camelot’s plans are for Saturday and Wednesday draws to stay the same, but for fixed-prize games to occur on the other weekdays.

He says that Camelot must consider exploiting all the technologies available to deliver increased sales, “obviously subject to concerns over excess gambling and under-age players”.

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