Call for investigation into Camelot's lottery licence

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The Independent Online
THE Auditor General will be asked to investigate the granting of the lottery licence to Camelot after revelations in The Independent that former regulator Peter Davis may have misled Parliament over crucial security checks on American businessmen bidding for the contract, write Kim Sengupta and Colin Brown.

Alan Williams, the Labour MP for Swansea West and a member of the powerful House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will ask Sir John Bourn to find out exactly what steps Mr Davis took to check applicants' backgrounds before awarding the franchise to a consortium including the controversial US firm GTech.

It has been disclosed that Mr Davis, who has been temporarily replaced by his deputy, John Stoker, approached specialist investigators Kroll Associates to carry out confidential "due diligence" checks on 100 individuals just weeks before the contract was awarded to Camelot in l994. The operation, according to security experts, would have taken at least three months. The contract was not given to Kroll and Mr Davis later told the PAC that the checks had been carried out by the FBI. But an FBI spokesman in Washington said there was no record of this.

Mr Williams will also be seeking an emergency meeting of the PAC to examine the future of the lottery, including the parameters of the contract with Camelot and if there is any avenue for GTech to be removed from it.

The controversy was fuelled in the Commons yesterday when Alan Clark MP asked the Government to strip Camelot of the licence because of GTech's "Mafia connections".

A spokeswoman for Oflot, asked about Mr Davis' alleged use of the FBI, said: "There has definitely been some communication with the FBI."

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