IOC ruling puts Olympic Lottery game on hold

A special Olympic Lottery game which would help fund a 2012 Games in London will not be launched until it is known whether the bid is successful.

The original plan was to launch Olympic Lottery games next spring but following a ruling by the International Olympic Committee, these will now only take place if London is declared the host city in July 2005.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport confirmed yesterday that bid organisers had initially planned an earlier launch but that it was now accepted that they would have to wait until a decision is made.

"It has always been our intention to launch the games off the back of winning the bid," he said.

The officials in charge of the London bid aim to secure £1.5bn of the estimated £2.375bn of public money needed to host the 2012 Olympics from the Lottery and had been talking to the IOC about when they could launch the Lottery games.

The Government has drawn up new legislation to allow the changes to the existing Lottery. But the IOC has decided that no scratchcards could be sold or Lottery draws made to fund the Games until after the 2012 venue has been decided upon.

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