Right of Reply: Dianne Thompson

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The Independent Culture
A director of National Lottery operators Camelot replies to our critical leading article

YOUR LEADING article ("A game too far") ignores the fact that without a sufficient variety of new games, the National Lottery will not succeed in raising the pounds 10bn target for Good Causes, a target that has been welcomed by the Government and thousands of lottery-funding recipients around the country.

The lottery cannot stand still. We are dealing with a consumer product in a fiercely competitive environment. Nobody has to buy a lottery ticket, after all. The introduction of new products, as well as innovative marketing, is therefore essential if we are going to maintain our current level of sales, let alone increase them by any amount.

The success of the National Lottery has largely been due to the number of people playing, rather than the amount they are spending per head. Our players, whom you refer to as "mug punters", probably include, for instance, around 60 per cent of your readers. This distinguishes us from many other activities in the gaming market. Our ability to raise money also sets us apart. Although the National Lottery's share of the gaming market is only around 13 per cent, it contributes around 58 per cent of the money raised by this sector for the Government and for worthy causes.

Camelot is committed to doing what we promise, but we can't do it by just sitting back. And the good news is, the more successful we are, the more the Good Causes benefit, because their share of the cake increases as sales go up. Yes, there is a profit incentive, but everyone should benefit from us being successful and running what has become the most efficient lottery in the world. And, critically, our regulator is there to ensure that whatever we do is in the best interest of players and the Good Causes.