Pubs to sell lottery tickets

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Camelot, the promoter of the National Lottery, is launching a trial to sell lottery tickets in pubs starting in July. Seventy pubs have been identified of which half will sell the Instants scratch cards and half will sell the computer tickets.

The trial will last six months and be rolled out to more pubs if successful.

A spokesman for Camelot said: "We want to test the product in different environments. When we started looking at licences a year ago, it wasn't clear if pubs would be able to sell tickets. However, Oflot ruled that it should be allowed."

There have been rumours that the push to extend the lottery to pubs had come from Cadbury Schweppes, a 22.5 per cent shareholder in Camelot. Cadbury was said to be concerned that spending on lottery tickets in newsagents and convenience stores was dragging expenditure away from other areas of discretionary spending such as sweets and soft drinks which are its core business. The company denies this and says it is difficult to quantify whether lottery spending is an addition to or instead of other purchases. Camelot says the request came from publicans who wanted to get involved in the lottery

Camelot is keen to extend the number of ticket locations from the current 20,000 to 40,000 by the end of next year. It also hopes that selling tickets in pubs may help smooth out sales over the week. Currently 50 per cent of tickets are sold on Saturday and another 15 per cent on Friday.

Camelot believes pub customers will not mind jostling with lottery punters while buying their pint. "We have started with larger pubs where that should not be a problem," it says.