Camelot looks to expand abroad

Tim Holley Camelot Group's chief executive, is involved in serious talks with overseas investors about running lotteries abroad. The move could provoke a clash with the new government, which expressed some hostility to the lottery operator during the election campaign.

But Camelot, whose licence expires in November 2001, has dropped plans to float the company on the stock market. A leaked Camelot document in February revealed that Mr Holley was considering such a move.

Mr Holley said last week that Camelot had been approached by "many tens" of people and was talking to "less than ten" about expanding overseas.

The leaked document also referred to plans to expand overseas and exploit other potentially profitable opportunities, such as linking up with BSkyB and starting new video lotto games in pubs.

The details provoked widespread protest, particularly when the Camelot document stated that regulator Peter Davis was "sympathetic to overseas exploitation".

Mr Holley responded to the earlier row by stressing last week that Camelot would need government permission to expand abroad.

He revealed too that a preliminary court hearing will take place this week in the highly unusual private prosecution that Camelot is bringing against Ladbroke, Coral, the betting shop division of Bass, and Brent Walker's William Hill.

Camelot failed in previous attempts to challenge the legality of "49's", a numbers game joint venture between the three betting-shop groups.

Mr Holley claimed to be confident that Camelot will be able to bid again when its highly profitable seven-year licence ends. During the election campaign, the Labour Party said it would seek a "competitive, efficient, not-for-profit operator". Richard Branson's Virgin Group was a non-profit bidder among the eight competing for the lottery's first operating licence in 1994.

Mr Holley said Labour had yet to define "not-for-profit" and that he was confident Camelot would be among the bidders. "We've always expected to bid a second time," he said.

He said he did not believe the Government "would encourage a structure" that did not leave room for Camelot. "The new Government wants the lottery to be a success."

Through Camelot, UK lottery players have generated about pounds 3.2bn for charitable causes since 1994. In the half-year ended on September 14, Camelot made pre-tax profit of pounds 31.5m and awarded pounds 1.1bn in prizes, while pounds 567.8m was donated to good causes.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...