Camelot in talks over £100m ‘super-lottery’

Camelot hopes to reverse falling ticket sales by launching a European “super lottery” by spring 2004, with jackpots of between &£20m and &£100m.

Despite the relaunch of the main game as Lotto (MW April 11) and a high-profile advertising campaign starring Billy Connolly, Camelot has seen ticket sales crash.

It has signed letters of intent with Spanish and French lottery operators to create a cross-border game, with other countries likely to join. It has had informal talks with the National Lottery Commission (NLC), although it has yet to apply for permission for a super-lottery.

A spokeswoman for the NLC says the body has no objections, “in principle”, assuming issues such as consumer protection and the division of funds for good causes are sorted out.

Camelot chief executive Dianne Thompson has told culture secretary Tessa Jowell that a much bigger jackpot could cure “lottery fatigue” and bring consumers back to the game.

But suggestions that Camelot should be allowed to run Keno-style – or rapid-draw – games, with results as frequently as every 15 minutes are wide of the mark. Such games are specifically banned under Camelot’s current licence, a Lottery insider says. They could be allowed during the next licence period, but this would require a change in UK legislation.

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