Branson software is acceptable, say lottery officials

Click to follow

The National Lottery Commission yesterday defended its decision to accept the US software firm supplying Sir Richard Branson's People's Lottery despite revelations that it has been fined more than £1m in the United States for the late installation of equipment.

The National Lottery Commission yesterday defended its decision to accept the US software firm supplying Sir Richard Branson's People's Lottery despite revelations that it has been fined more than £1m in the United States for the late installation of equipment.

Automated Wagering International (AWI), which has secured a multi-million pound deal to supply the central computer system for Sir Richard's bid, has been responsible for a series of glitches affecting US state lotteries. The technology firm had damages of $600,000 (£400,000) laid against it four years ago after the system it installed in Minnesota failed required tests and took two years to rectify.

It has also had to pay $1m to the Maryland state government because of delays caused by faulty software and is four months behind schedule on a contract to convert lottery terminals in Florida.

The revelations came as Camelot, which learnt last week that it had lost to the People's Lottery as the "preferred bidder" for the new, seven-year National Lottery licence, prepared to return to the High Court tomorrow to force the lottery commission to continue negotiations.

Sir Richard and his People's Lottery team have been given four weeks to meets concerns about the financial and legal framework of their bid.

The lottery commission insisted that AWI, whose parent company Anchor Gaming is based in Las Vegas, had been rigorously examined by its assessment panel and its software considered acceptable.

The commission said that both the People's Lottery and Camelot, whose software supplier GTech is an arch-rival of AWI in America, had been found technically capable of running the National Lottery.

AWI will supply its Masterlink central computer system to enable the 25,000 People's Lottery terminals, being provided by a different company, to process hundreds of thousands of tickets at a time.

The company defended its record, saying a lot of its systems were phased in to tackle glitches over time. The AWI president, John Beach, said yesterday: "Our contracts have been renewed time after time."

Comments