Rivals play the patriotic card

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The Independent Online
CAMELOT'S fellow protagonists in the fight to run the national lottery include the patriotically-named Great British Lottery Company, writes Topaz Amoore.

The latest consortium was called Camelot because 'the name is synonymous with legends and dreams and that's what lotteries are all about', but the Great British consortium was named to highlight its home-grown nature.

Consortium members include Hambros merchant bank, Granada, Vodafone, Carlton Communications and Associated Newspapers.

The Great British Lottery Company will use technology, however, supplied by Automated Wagering International - a US company and Gtech's main rival - and use a consultant well versed in the ways of a New Zealand lottery.

Another bank, NM Rothschild, heads a consortium of venture capital groups. They will hire Tattersalls, an Australian company with more than 100 years of experience running lotteries, to operate the UK lottery.

Other organisations thought to be interested in bidding are Rank Organisation and Post Office Counters. A spokesman for Thorn EMI, the music and rentals group, confirmed: 'We are looking at it.'

Richard Branson may put together a non-profit-making bid as pressure grows from some quarters for the Government to appoint an operator who will not make money out of the national lottery.

Other consortia are expected to enter the fray once Oflot - the regulatory body - has drawn up rules and regulations for running the lottery.