Camelot backtracks on good causes pledge

Camelot has backtracked on its pledge to raise £15bn for good causes over the next seven-year licence, and now says it will only be able to achieve this figure if regulations are changed to give it more freedom to market games.

Camelot has backtracked on its pledge to raise &£15bn for good causes over the next seven-year licence, and now says it will only be able to achieve this figure if regulations are changed to give it more freedom to market games.

The &£15bn pledge – based on sales of &£51bn over seven years – was made after rival bidder for the licence, Sir Richard Branson’s The People’s Lottery, said it would deliver the same sum to good causes. Branson accused Camelot of making up the figure to spike his own announcement.

However, regulator the National Lottery Commission will not hold Camelot to raising the sums it stated in its bid, and Camelot faces no fines if it fails to meet the target.

Camelot has admitted that the &£15bn figure depends on it being allowed greater freedom to market controversial games – such as scratchcards with a top prize of &£1m. But the NLC is sensitive to charges that it is encouraging irresponsible marketing of games, and has so far refused many of Camelot’s requests for such games.

Camelot marketing director Ian Milligan says: “The &£15bn depends on the regulator lightening up a little and getting these things to market in a controlled manner.”

He has also called for broadcast regulations to be loosened to allow closer tie-ups between lottery games and TV shows.

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