Camelot in legal challenge

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The Independent Online

National Lottery operator Camelot Group Plc has launched a legal challenge to the Lottery Commission's decision to negotiate only with its rival for the next contract to run the game.

National Lottery operator Camelot Group Plc has launched a legal challenge to the Lottery Commission's decision to negotiate only with its rival for the next contract to run the game.

A High Court judge agreed to hear Camelot's request for a judicial review on Tuesday, the company said in a statement.

The current operator of the National Lottery said it had decided to seek redress through the courts after the Commission said it would negotiate solely with Sir Richard's consortium.

The Virgin tycoon has been given a month to come up with a guaranteed £50 million emergency fund to back-up his bid to hold the licence for the next seven years.

Sir Richard says he is confident of being able to satisfy the Lottery Commission and snatching the prize licence from Camelot.

The Commission is demanding clarification on the contingency fund needed in the event of low revenues or unforeseen costs.

Sir Richard said he believed Camelot had been treated fairly by the Lottery Commission - but he said it must be now left to the courts to decide.

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