Charities' rival to the lottery to be banned by Home Office

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The Independent Online
The Home Office is set to quash a plan by some of Britain's leading charities to set up a rival national lottery scheme run from public houses. The Pronto Lively lottery scheme, which is due to launch at the end of this month, has the backing of 25 charities, including Mencap, The Samaritans and ChildLine, and involves draws taking place at five-minute intervals.

Last night Lord Mancroft, the chairman of InterLotto, the company behind the plan, said the decision to block the new lottery could cost charities pounds 100m a year. The Conservative peer attended a meeting yesterday with George Howarth, the Home Office minister, at which he said he was warned the scheme could "change the face of British pubs entirely".

The new game, which is due to take place at 2,000 outlets around Britain, would cost players pounds 1 for each draw. The results of each draw would be displayed on a screen above the bar in pubs. Prizes would be small compared to the National Lottery, with a jackpot of pounds 25,000.

Stephen Lee, director of the Institute for Charity Fundraising Managers, said he was "extremely concerned" by the development.

The Gaming Board had raised objections on the basis that it was dangerous to mix gambling and alcohol. The scheme had also been criticised by Ladbrokes.