Camelot loses Health Lottery action

 

The operators of the National Lottery have lost a High Court action in which it accused a lotteries watchdog of failing in its legal duty to protect it from Richard Desmond's controversial “rival” Health Lottery.

Camelot UK Lotteries had asked two judges in London to declare that the Gambling Commission is "unlawfully and unreasonably" failing to set up an adequate review of The Health Lottery (THL) scheme.

The scheme manages and promotes rival draws on behalf of 51 organisations and charities, raising money for a variety of health causes in what are known as "society lotteries".

Camelot claimed that, because of the extent to which the 51 are controlled and accountable to THL, the scheme is not a collection of single lotteries but has become a rival national lottery.

It also claims the scheme is costing it £1 million a week.

At a hearing in July it was argued on behalf of the Commission that Camelot's legal challenge was fatally flawed by delays in seeking judicial review and was a "disguised" attempt to interfere with the Commission's exercise of its discretion.

Camelot's action was dismissed today by the two judges.

In a written ruling Lord Justice Stanley Burnton, who heard the case with Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, announced that he would "refuse Camelot permission to proceed with its claim for judicial review, on the grounds of its delay and its failure to establish a claim with a real prospect of success".

He said he agreed with the Commission "that the question whether multiple society lotteries should be permitted is a political question, to be determined by the Government or Parliament".

After the ruling, Camelot said it was "disappointed" by the judgement and "intends to lodge papers with the Court of Appeal against what we believe to be a legally flawed and unfair decision by the court".

It added in a statement that despite the ruling it welcomed the fact that the case has "clearly highlighted the need for urgent Government action to close a loophole in the Gambling Act 2005", which it says "has been used by The Health Lottery to position itself as a direct rival to The National Lottery".

Dianne Thompson, Camelot Group CEO, said: "It is now imperative that the Government acts to close this loophole and to ensure that the law mirrors the intention and will of Parliament that there should be only one National Lottery.

"Time is of the essence - the longer the period of political inaction, the more incentive there is for other commercial operators to establish similar mass-market lotteries that would effectively cannibalise National Lottery sales and returns to the good causes.

"We are therefore calling on the Government to set out immediately the process and the timetable it intends to pursue in order to discharge its ultimate responsibility for The National Lottery and the good causes it supports."

At the July hearing, James Goudie QC, for the Commission, accused Camelot of "seeking to impose its own gambling policy interests on the Commission because neither the Government nor Parliament has accepted that (Camelot's) desire to shut down the scheme is in the public interest".

But Lord Pannick QC, representing Camelot, said the Commission had expressed considerable concerns about the legality of THL, launched by Richard Desmond's Northern and Shell.

He said the only reasonable and lawful response was a statutory review with sufficient scope to determine whether the scheme complied with the 2005 Gambling Act.

Lord Pannick said that, since Camelot's legal challenge had been launched, a review has been set up by the Commission, but it is confined to issues of "marketing and promotion", and is too narrow in scope to address concerns over the control and accountability of THL.

Lord Justice Stanley Burnton, after pointing out that the question of whether multiple society lotteries should be permitted was a political one, said that "multiple society lotteries are not prohibited by the Act".

He said: "The Commission has correctly determined that the real question relating to the Health Lottery is whether it, in practice, satisfies the licensing objective of fairness and openness, given the misleading widespread public perception of a single lottery benefiting a single society.

"That is the question addressed in the current statutory review."

The Gambling Commission welcomed the court's decision on Camelot's application for a judicial review.

A statement on its website said: "The review looked at alleged failures by the commission to take appropriate regulatory action in relation to the Health Lottery.

"The court has supported both the commission's interpretation of the law and its approach to the compliance of the Health Lottery and its constituent parts."

PA

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears