Camelot says Euromillions consultation focus is on Good Causes - not protecting monopoly
Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery, has defended its move to get the UK government to consult over lottery betting model of companies such as Lottoland.
The current system allows gambling websites to offer customers the opportunity to bet on the outcome of a draw at a cheaper price than purchasing an actual ticket.
While such bets are prohibited under the UK’s Gambling Act, websites are able to bypass the system and allow UK-based players to bet on the outcome of draws in other European Union countries where EuroMillions is played.
The draw result is the same for the UK and all participating countries.
However, critics have said that as the £2 cost of placing a wager with Lottoland is lower than the £2.50 ticket price, this means Good Causes, the body that allocates lottery funds, will miss out, and the government has agreed to a consultation over the set-up.
Lottoland and other similar companies' practices and business model are entirely legal, but Camelot said in a statement issued to iGaming Business that the issue is not about whether the activity is legal or not, but that Good Causes are missing out on vital funding.
“The National Lottery was purposely set up by Government in 1994 as a single-operator model – as this is the most effective for maximising returns for Good Causes; this has been proven by the fact that we have raised over £36 billion ($44 billion / €42 billion) for Good Causes to date,” Camelot said.
“As a monopoly operator, our competition is limited but so are our profits – in our case, our profit after tax is around 1% of total revenue, while over 95% of total revenue goes back to winners and society.
“However, this is not about legality or being anti-competition – this is about the fact that, under the Gambling Act 2005, it is prohibited to take bets on the outcome of any lottery which forms part of The National Lottery. This is to ensure that returns to Good Causes can continue to be maximised.
“Lottoland and others are circumventing this legislation by taking bets on the outcome of EuroMillions in another one of the nine participating countries – but EuroMillions is the same game across all nine countries with one single common draw conducted in Paris, one set of balls selected, one prize pool and one set of rules.
“It just so happens that the common game is licensed, regulated and sold locally in each country.
“It is therefore an anomaly – and a damaging one for Good Causes – that while it is prohibited under the legislation to place a bet on the outcome of the UK EuroMillions game, a National Lottery product, it is entirely possible to place a bet on the EuroMillions draw where the game is promoted in another EuroMillions country.”
Lottoland declined to comment for this story when contacted by iGaming Business.
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