Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Lottery will raise £1.5bn to help pay for Olympics

Over the next seven years, Camelot will introduce additional elements such as a draw-based game and one-offs tied to Olympic events such as the 2008 Beijing Games.

Legislation was passed in the Gambling Bill and Olympics officials have been keen to launch the scheme soon after the bid victory in Singapore to capitalise on enthusiasm for the Games. In the days since winning the Games, Olympic officials have been finalising the details with the International Olympic Committee, especially the use on the scratchcards of the Olympic rings.

The introduction of the game has met opposition from the Conservatives, who wanted Chancellor Gordon Brown to drop the 12p tax on the £1 scratchcard. For each card, 28p will go to the Olympics, with the remainder going to prizes, running costs and Camelot profits.

Nine days after winning the bid, the London 2102 team yesterday set out its plans for the initial stages yesterday. Lord Coe said that security for the London Olympics would be overseen by a dedicated cabinet-level committee.

Any changes to security plans for the Games in the aftermath of the London bombings will be after "growing collaboration" with the Metropolitan Police and security services, Lord Coe said.

The £200m security budget consists of £25m for Games venues and the remainder for safeguarding the event, measures which look certain to include such precautions as a no-fly zone over east London and even the closure for Games fortnight of City airport.

Among the early priorities is to appoint a chief executive to run the organising committee, known as Locog, which comes into existence next month with an initial staff of 50.

Head-hunters begin next week to create a list of candidates with experience in transport and delivering infrastructure projects. Among the names being discussed are Tim O'Toole, managing director of London Underground, Richard Bowker, the former head of the Strategic Rail Authority and Jim Sloman, the chief operating officer of the Sydney Games who also advised the London bid. Next week, the Olympic Bill will get its Second Reading in Parliament but is not expected to become law for six months. At that time, the Olympic Development Agency will be established with responsibility for the smooth running of the 1,500-acre Olympic Park to be created on a brownfield site in the Lower Lea Valley, near Stratford, east London. Work on an aquatics centre and velopark is to be complete in 2007 and the main stadium, for which the design tender will soon be issued, is to be finished by 2011 for test events.

Lord Coe said that since London's victory was announced last Wednesday 17,000 people had registered to work at London 2012 as volunteers, about a quarter of the number required.

He said he had been handed a "mandate" to improve youth participation in sport. "I have no doubt we can put together the most spectacular Games the world has seen," he said. ""A main commitment [in Singapore] was that we can engage more young people in sport. That is a major goal. That is why I took this job. I want more British athletes on medal rostrums, more British youngsters involved. Now I am determined to deliver on all we promised. I will be watching like a hawk."