Carolyn Harris, Chair of the all-party parliamentary group for gambling-related harms, has urged Camelot to remove any National Lottery branding from its portfolio of online instant games.
As reported by The Observer, Harris, the Labour MP for Swansea East, has argued that the online instant games provided by Camelot now resemble other ‘harmful’ products available and should not bear National Lottery branding.
Additionally, she stressed that online instant games do not contribute as much towards good causes as the regular lotto draws.
Harris told The Observer: “The National Lottery is now unrecognisable from when it was launched. It is not acceptable that they are using what people trust as a brand for good causes to encourage people to gamble. It’s appalling.”
MPs and campaigners have recently called for a complete overhaul of the National Lottery following Camelot’s decline in contributions to good causes since 2010.
Camelot has received a wave of criticism in the lead-up to the Fourth National Lottery license competition from MPs, with issues around funding and gambling-related harms cropping up regularly.
Run by the UK Gambling Commission, the competition is in its evaluation stage, with the winner expected to be announced in February, and the 10-year contract beginning in February 2024.
Camelot has significant competition to retain the license it has held since the National Lottery’s formation in 1994, with the Czech Republic’s Allwyn, Italy’s Sisal and Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell all seeking to take over.
Justin King, who is serving as an advisor to Allwyn, told The Observer that the National Lottery must be reformed due to the dropping number of players: “We need more players playing more often, and through greater sales we will be able to deliver more for the great causes.”
Camelot responded to claims that it is earning more money from fewer players, lambasting them as ‘completely wrong’, adding that 37m in the UK played the National Lottery during 2021.