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Camelot beats Branson to National Lottery

Camelot, the incumbent organiser of the National Lottery, has scooped the contract to run the UK Lottery for the next seven years following a 4-1 vote by the Lottery Commission, citing a greater risk involved in appointing a new operator.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) – Camelot, the incumbent organiser of the National Lottery, has scooped the contract to run the UK Lottery for the next seven years following a 4-1 vote by the Lottery Commission, citing a greater risk involved in appointing a new operator.

The Commission said it believed Camelot would achieve higher sales and that there was uncertainty in terms of the financial soundness of The People’s Lottery bid. One of the commissioners, Hilary Blume, resigned in protest at the decision.

The controversial decision to appoint Camelot comes after the operator won an appeal to be reinstated in the race following its exclusion in August by former chairwoman of the Commission, Dame Helena Shovelton. Shovelton resigned once her decision to pursue exclusive negotiations with The People’s Lottery consortium, headed by Sir Richard Branson, was overturned in court.

The Commission’s decision will come as a blow to advertising agency J Walter Thompson, a member of the People’s Lottery consortium alongside Kellogg, Compaq and AWI, the US lottery company. The agency will miss out on the £40m The People’s Lottery had set aside for marketing -– a sum double the £20m Camelot spends on advertising.

Camelot has pledged to raise £15bn for good causes during the next seven years –- 50% higher than was raised during the last term.

It will retain the existing game format of six numbers from 1 to 49, the Thunderball events and the Instants scratch cards. It has also signed a deal with UK ISP Freeserve which will allow lottery tickets to be sold online.

Meanwhile, Branson is delaying making a decision on whether to appeal the outcome of yesterday’s vote until the new year. He said he did not blame the government for the mess of the decision.

He added, “We could have got hundreds of thousands of people back playing the Lottery if they had known that more money was going to good causes.”



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