Lottery sales to get Tesco boost with new checkout ticket sales

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The Independent Online

Tesco is preparing to roll out its Fast Pay scheme for buying National Lottery tickets at the checkout across its 1,000-strong chain in a move that could deliver a significant fillip to Camelot, the lottery operator.

Tesco is preparing to roll out its Fast Pay scheme for buying National Lottery tickets at the checkout across its 1,000-strong chain in a move that could deliver a significant fillip to Camelot, the lottery operator.

But Britain's biggest retailer poured cold water yesterday on suggestions that it was ready to join others preparing bids for the next lottery licence, which comes up for renewal in 2009.

A statement from the supermarket chain said: "We have had discussions with the National Lottery but these relate to our role as the second biggest retailer of lottery tickets after the Post Office. Our interest, and that of our customers, is in shorter queues for tickets, which also means more money for good causes. We have tested selling tickets at the till and will be rolling this out across Tesco stores." A spokesman for Tesco said he could not rule out the possibility that the retailer might eventually enter the bidding for the next lottery licence, although so far talks have been purely about the speed of purchasing tickets.

Tesco and the National Lottery have developed a system that integrates the grocer's own point-of-sale technology with Camelot's network that connects all the UK's lottery terminals. Customers can buy tickets while they are paying for their shopping, speeding up the process and overcoming the need to queue twice.

The bidding process for the next lottery licence will begin next year and putative bidders are beginning to talk to potential partners. The incumbent, Camelot, will definitely bid.

If successful, Camelot, a consortium of Cadbury Schweppes, the Post Office, De La Rue and Thales, would be operating its third lottery licence.

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