Non-profit lottery pledge `is about to be ditched'

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THE GOVERNMENT faces a revolt amid claims that it has ditched a manifesto commitment to award the lottery to a non-profit operator.

As the National Lottery Commission officially invited bids for the contract from 2001, The Independent has learned that a profit-making company such as Camelot could win.

The Commission said new rules would impose a "windfall tax" on excess profits and donate the extra funds to good causes. Brian Pomeroy, lottery Commissioner, said earningswould be linked to the amount raised for good causes rather than sales, as they are now.

The Government believes it has fulfilled its pledge as it has tried its best to find new bidders. But Gerald Kaufman, Labour chairman of the Commons Culture Select Committee, told Radio 4: "The Labour Party has a policy for a not-for-profit operator and I want Mr Pomeroy... to tell us how that will be achieved."