National Lottery regulator Oflot is setting standards on how the UK game should be played on the Internet in what is being seen as advance preparation for Camelot’s formal application to launch on the Web.
Oflot says it would need to be satisfied that under-16s will be prevented from taking part and that play levels could be monitored to prevent excessive gambling.
The regulator would have to resolve problems surrounding the issue of tickets, payment methods and foolproof player identification.
Oflot is also looking at options for recognising national boundaries on the Internet. Camelot’s licence does allow tickets to be sold to non-UK residents, but they have to be bought through a UK retailer. In addition, Oflot is only empowered to regulate play in the UK.
An Oflot spokeswoman says: “We have not ruled [the Internet] out as a possibility for the future.” She adds: “We consider it an issue for the medium term.” But she refuses to give a timescale.
A Camelot spokeswoman comments: “There is a lot of development in Internet gaming and the EU regulations surrounding it. We are keeping an eye on it.”
But she denies that Camelot has any immediate plans.