|UK lottery operator Camelot wants to be allowed to diversify into gambling sectors previously beyond its remit. |
According to a report in the UK’s Sunday Times, a letter written by Dianne Thompson, Camelot Chief executive, to Tessa Jowell, UK culture secretary, asked for an expanded role for Camelot. Thompson told Jowell that unless the government allows Camelot to offer sports betting, games of skill and Keno, long-term growth could not be guaranteed. Camelot’s license currently prohibits the company from offering these types of games.
Keno is a lottery-type numbers game popular in the US, and played on video gaming machines in pubs in the UK.
Should Camelot get the go-ahead from the government to offer more games, there would be an inevitable backlash from the UK’s bookmakers and casino groups, whose market share would be threatened.
'There will come a time, if the UK lottery is to grow, that it will have to have more freedom than it does now. It is becoming increasingly clear that it will be almost impossible for the national lottery to grow without moving into new areas, like games of skill, sports betting and rapid-draw Keno. But we will need a change of heart in government,' Thompson is reported as saying.
Thompson is confident that she will be able to produce sales growth in the medium term but is concerned that the lottery will decline in decades to come without these changes.