National Lottery revenues are still under threat following a High Court decision that effectively puts an end to Camelot’s battle for a review of Richard Desmond’s Health Lottery by the Gambling Commission. (See AP 250) The Health Lottery acts as an umbrella brand for 51 smaller health-based charity lotteries, but Camelot, which runs the National Lottery, believes this is in breach of a law which allows for just one national lottery.
Camelot intends to appeal the decision, but welcomed judge’s remarks that the Government needs to clarify the law relating to the operation of society lotteries. Dianne Thompson, Chief Executive of Camelot Group, said: ‘It is now imperative that the Government acts to close this loophole and to ensure that the law mirrors the intention and will of Parliament that there should be only one National Lottery.’ The Gambling Commission admitted that it too would welcome parliamentary intervention.
AP reported in March this year that the National Lottery claims to be losing £1m a week since the new lottery was set-up and views the validation of Desmond’s scheme as setting a dangerous precedent for further lotteries to be created. The Health Lottery is already planning an expansion into midweekly draws which could pose a further threat to the government-backed National Lottery, which last year donated 18% of its Good Causes income to the Arts.