Labour plan paves way for pools ‘superdraws’

Pools companies will be allowed to run superdraws to rival the National Lottery under plans drawn up by the Labour Party.

National Lottery operator Camelot is allowed to hold back cash from its weekly prize fund to boost prizes in chosen weeks. It runs these “superdraws” up to six times a year.

Camelot ran three superdraws, with a guaranteed 10m jackpot, for the first three weeks of the midweek lottery last month.

Labour says it is committed to introducing a “level playing field” in the gaming and betting industry so bookmakers, bingo operators and pools companies can compete effectively with the Lottery.

George Howarth, the party’s shadow spokesman on gaming and betting, says: “We would consider giving pools companies the freedom to enhance their prizes by being able to inject cash to boost the prize fund and to carry forward stake monies otherwise than by way of roll-over.”

Last week, Marketing Week revealed that pools operator Littlewoods is poised to introduce roll-overs – where the jackpot prize is rolled over to the next week if there is no winner – which could result in it offering jackpots of up to 5m in the event of a double roll-over.

The election of a Labour government is likely to result in sweeping changes in rules governing the gaming and betting industry.

One of the most important changes would be allowing bookmakers to take bets on National Lottery numbers, which Camelot fears would seriously dent its weekly sales.

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