Camelot tops Branson Good Causes claim

Camelot claims it will raise more money for Good Causes than rival the People’s Lottery if its bid to run the next National Lottery licence from November 2001 is successful.

The deadline for delivering bids to the National Lottery Commission fell yesterday (Tuesday). The Commission will choose the winner of the next seven-year licence by June. Three consortia have announced they are bidding: Camelot, Richard Branson’s the People’s Lottery and an unnamed charity consortium.

Branson says the People’s Lottery would raise &£15bn for Good Causes – &£5bn more than that raised over the current seven-year licence.

But Camelot chief executive designate Dianne Thompson says: “We have said that we will not reveal our forecast amount for Good Causes in the second licence period. I can, however, tell you that it is over the &£15bn quoted by the People’s Lottery.”

Both sums are tough targets given that Lottery sales are falling and many players have deserted the game. Nevertheless, both contenders claim they will be able to make the Lottery more exciting through increased marketing, new games and the use of interactive and mobile phone technology.

On Tuesday, Branson unveiled proposals for a new matrix for the main online game, dropping the six numbers in 49 format in favour of six drawn from 53. He says this will provide more roll-overs and create more millionaires.

But Thompson says: “Other countries have changed their lottery matrix with disastrous effect. It would be foolhardy to change the main game.”

Branson says: “Sales are falling, and instants sales are plummeting. Above all, the Lottery has become stale, tired, and it needs a change.”

Camelot has announced a tie-up with Littlewoods to run a lottery game under an independent section six licence.

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