GTech ban `could halt Lottery'

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The Independent Online
The National Lottery could stop running for a year if US giant GTech were barred from supplying operator Camelot, it was reported yesterday.

Lottery watchdog Oflot is carrying out an inquiry into GTech after its former head, Guy Snowden, lost a libel case brought by the tycoon Richard Branson over a bribe to stop him from bidding for the licence to run the lottery.

GTech, which holds a major stake in Camelot, will present a report on its performance on ethics and propriety to Oflot today.

Camelot said yesterday that it was not appropriate to comment on the matter until the results of the Oflot inquiry were made public. John Stoker, the acting director-general of Oflot, could be considering moves to eject GTech from the consortium that owns Camelot, according to the Sunday Times newspaper.

Camelot is understood to have informed the Government that it would be impossible to replace GTech, which supplies software, without causing huge disruption to the game, the paper said.

This move could cause a major loss of revenue to sales and good causes.

Other members of the consortium are electronics group Racal, Cadbury Schweppes, printers De La Rue and computing company ICL.