Camelot plans skills-based games on back of new law

National Lottery operator Camelot is planning to launch games requiring an element of skill using a little-known change in the legal status of lotteries set out in the Gambling Act 2005.

Some observers have speculated that this could lead to the launch of football pools-style lottery games where players choose teams likely to win, lose or draw matches. Such “Toto” games are popular with European lottery operators, according to one source. But Camelot says it is too early to predict the types of games that could be launched.

Camelot chairman Sir Peter Middleton says in the company’s latest annual report: “The Gambling Act offers The National Lottery a degree of flexibility to introduce elements of skill within its games for the first time – something we shall pursue with vigour.”

The statement comes after the Gambling Act 2005 – which will be enacted in September 2007 – set a new definition of lotteries, which will be used to amend the Lotteries Act 1993.

Under the new definition, elements of skill can be introduced to lotteries provided they do not exclude too many people from winning.

How this works in practice will be the subject of much legal debate, and regulator The National Lottery Commission says it will consider Camelot’s applications to run games as they arise.

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