National Lottery operator Camelot will rake in an extra 2m this year in interest on unpaid prize money – because of poor sales of Instants scratchcards.
Although Camelot is legally entitled to keep the interest, the regulator Oflot is under pressure from MPs to decrease the huge profit the interest generates.
Oflot’s director general Peter Davis was recently criticised by MPs for “being soft” on the issue.
Estimated figures from Oflot show the money Camelot has failed to pay out in prizes will spiral this year by 15m to 150m.
The shortfall arises because Camelot has failed to meet the target of paying out 50 per cent of sales in prizes. Earnings from scratchcards contribute 55 per cent of the prize money and online tickets pay 45 per cent; but low sales of scratchcards mean this target has not been reached.
Last year, Camelot made 6m in interest on the 135m shortfall. But because the total figure has spiralled, Oflot says Camelot will make 8m in interest this year, though Camelot claims this is “grossly exaggerated”.