Camelot fights bookmakers' rival game

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Camelot, the National Lottery operator, has asked the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate a bookmakers' plan to launch an alternative to the lottery.

Camelot says the game, organised by the country's three biggest bookmakers - Ladbroke, William Hill and Coral - is illegal and hopes to prevent the proposed launch next week.

The lottery, called "49's", will take place six times a week at the end of each day's racing. It will be transmitted by satellite television to betting shops where a lottery machine similar to Camelot's will issue numbers, enabling gamblers to bet to on the likelihood of single or several numbers appearing from a total of 49. A pounds 1 stake will win pounds 5.50 for one right number, pounds 48 for two, pounds 511 for three, pounds 6,561 for four and pounds 100,000 for five.

Camelot said the game would have a detrimental effect on the amount of money going to good causes. The bookmakers said they had been advised that the game was legal.