by Renee Israel
Camelot, operator of the UK National Lottery, has vowed to seek a
judicial review of the Gambling Commission's insistence of allowing the Health
Lottery to continue to operate.
In a recent press release, Camelot said it was frustrated with the
Gambling Commission's "continuing failure" to halt its rival, Richard Desmond's
Health Lottery, which was established five months ago. Hence why Camelot is
demanding a review of the Health Lottery.
The Chief Executive of Camelot, Dianne Thompson called it "absurd"
that the Health Lottery has still not had its license revoked or, at the very
least, suspended. She also said that it was a "fundamental error" the way the
Commission is continuing to ignore the Health Lottery's operation as a "national
Thus far, the Health Lottery has avoided being branded as a
national lottery as it has set up a regional network of 51 society lotteries.
As such, the group avoids paying the 12p duty per lottery ticket which the
National Lottery is forced to pay, and it only donates 20p per pound to charity,
compared to the 28p donated by the National Lottery.
"We say the Health Lottery is a national lottery," insisted
Thompson in the press conference. "Its 51 societies are advertised nationally,
branded nationally and it is televised nationally."
Health Lottery Deprives Funds for Good Causes
Camelot is also claiming that Britons are being deprived in the region of
£500 million a year in "good causes".
Thompson also said that there was a "real danger" that the Gambling
Commission's decision would set a dangerous precedent and allow other
quasi-lottery groups to enter the market, despite the fact that the National
Lottery Act of 1993 allows for just one national lottery.
"As you can imagine, no business likes to be publicly at loggerheads with a
regulator," said the CEO. "But the issue at stake here is so important, not just
to us, but to the good causes that the National Lottery exists to support, that
we can no longer remain silent."
While the Gambling Commission would not comment on the issue this week, the
Chief Executive Officer of the Health Lottery, Martin Hall, noted: "The Gambling
Commission has given a very robust response to Camelot's arguments. We agree
with the Gambling Commission that they are devoid of merit."