People’s Lottery slams bid process

People’s Lottery, the team assembled by Richard Branson to bid for the National Lottery, has attacked the process for choosing the next operator.

Following a conference yesterday (Tuesday) organised by the National Lottery Commission for parties interested in running the next licence, a spokesman for Branson’s team hit out at what he calls “an unlevel playing field”.

The spokesman says it is unfair that the present operator, Camelot, should have the copyright on information about running the Lottery, and that this information is not open to other bidders. He says: “In most other lotteries around the world, information is open to new bidders. If Camelot says it has 35,000 outlets, we need to know where they are.”

The Lottery Commission says it has to abide by the Data Protection Act and copyright law. It admits the incumbent has an advantage, but denies this is a “showstopper”, or that other bidders are necessarily precluded from winning.

Camelot says: “Our greatest advantage is that we have made a success of the Lottery.”

Branson last week appointed public relations company Finsbury to handle PR for the bid, should he decide to go ahead with it. His spokesman says this will depend on whether the Invitation to Apply, published at the end of November, shows the bidding process will be a level playing field – and how much information will be made available about Camelot’s operations.

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