Lotto games to launch on the internet

Camelot is launching the National Lottery on the internet this week in an attempt to revive falling sales.

From Friday, consumers will be able to buy Instant Win games and scratchcards online. The main lottery draw, Lotto, and the new daily game, which begins in September, will both be available online by the end of the year.

Last year, Camelot pledged to spend £45m over seven years on developing the National Lottery through new media channels. Next spring, consumers will be able to buy Lotto tickets on Sky Active and by the middle of 2004, Camelot plans to offer the National Lottery via mobile phones.

The online games and scratchcards are aimed at infrequent or lapsed players aged 18 to 35. Games cost between 25p and £1 and users need to open an account to transfer money into before playing.

In December, Camelot appointed Publicis NetWorks to manage its online advertising (MW December 12, 2002). Camelot has bought three “takeover” days on the site in March and April, during which all advertising on MSN’s homepage will be dedicated to the National Lottery’s Instant Win games.

Camelot chief executive Dianne Thompson says: “The launch of Instant Win games is the first phase of Camelot’s long-term interactive strategy, which aims to attract new players by expanding to new media channels, such as the internet, digital TV and mobile phones.”

Meanwhile, Camelot has said it will stop issuing twice-weekly sales figures and will release quarterly or half-yearly figures instead.

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