£72m makeover for National 'Lotto'

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The Independent Online

The National Lottery is to acquire a continental flavour by being renamed Lotto as part of a £72m makeover by its operator, Camelot, to revive the game's fortunes.

The new title, which copies European countries including France and Italy, was leaked yesterday ahead of an official relaunch on 29 April.

Camelot won the right last year to the second seven-year licence to run the lottery, beating Richard Branson's People's Lottery, after promising to reverse a slump in demand for tickets.

Sales fell by 5.4 per cent to £2.4bn in the six months to September 2001, while Camelot's profits fell by 27.3 per cent to £22.9m.

A Camelot spokeswoman said yesterday: "We can't comment on any new name. We will be revealing the details of the relaunch shortly, but until that time we are not talking about specifics."

The new image is also expected to include a new logo to replace the current crossed-fingers symbol.

Camelot announced last month that it was also changing its corporate logo to a figure reaching for a star. It decided against changing its name, saying it was associated with "integrity".

The details of the relaunch will also include new games and a special draw for the Queen's golden jubilee.

But retail experts warned that changing the National Lottery name could prove a costly error. Neil Mason, an analyst for the market research group Mintel, said: "There are other games with the Lotto name and it could confuse players."

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