LETTER:Not such a lot for Camelot

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From Mr David Rigg

Sir: Marianne Macdonald's article, "In Camelot, they make magic" (22 March), is misleading in a number of respects. Camelot has made clear on numerous occasions that, over the seven-year life of the operating licence, it will receive an average of approximately 5 per cent of sales to cover all operating costs and profit, plus a further 5 per cent for retailers' commission.

As an average, it follows that there will be times in the early stages when the percentage is higher and, correspondingly, in later stages when it will be lower. The licence terms are such that, as sales increase, so Camelot's percentage decreases.

The current level of prize payments (about 45 per cent) will be increased by use of superdraws and by the new Instants game which has a current prize payout of 55 per cent.

The on-going costs are substantial with, for example, one of the largest advertising and marketing budgets in the country, heavy use of British Telecom, Mercury and other telecommunications suppliers and the production of hundreds of millions of playslips, tickets and Instants cards.

The simple fact remains that Camelot won the licence in open competition. We submitted the lowest bid of all the contenders which allowed us to offer the highest returns for the good causes.

Sales, now at around £60 million per week, have got off to a good start, but we still have a long way to go to reach the £105 million a week needed in order to achieve our target of raising £9 billion for the good causes over seven years.

Yours faithfully,


Communications Director


London, SW1

23 March