Problem gambling

UK key lawmaker suggests banning lottery operator from using logo for online instant-win games

United Kingdom
Reading time 1:46 min

According to Carolyn Harris, Labour MP and chair of the all party parliamentary group for gambling-related harm in the UK, Britain’s lottery operator should be banned from using the national lottery brand and logo to promote online instant win games that may lead to problem gambling. 

As reported by The Guardian, Harris said the online games now offered by the lottery operator, Camelot, were similar to harmful betting products promoted by the gambling industry. 

Carolyn Harris, UK Labour MP.

She referred to the national lottery as “unrecognizable” in comparison to when it was launched, and deemed it “unacceptable that they are using what people trust as a brand for good causes to encourage people to gamble”. 

Harris also stated she would like to see a ban on the national lottery trademarks being linked with online instant-win games such as “Cash Tripler” and “Jewel Smash”, which are generally more associated with problem gambling. 

The MPs are concerned about the lottery’s operations and want more public information on the number of participants for each year and the amounts lost each year by the highest-spending players. 

Camelot has claimed to have had 37 million adults play in 2021, and any suggestion that it was raising more money from a smaller number of players was “completely wrong”. It also stated its products are different from those offered by the mainstream gambling sector and the risks associated with them are low. 

Ministers are due to publish a white paper shortly which will set out their vision on gambling regulation, based on the need to examine whether any new restrictions for betting firms should also apply to the lottery instant-win games. . 

The national lottery’s trademarks are owned by the UK’s Gambling Commission, and the brand is licensed to Camelot. Calls for a review of the lottery and a national debate on its future come as rivals bid for a new license to run the business from 2024, which will be decided within the next two months. The bid is being conducted in strict secrecy and bidders have been told publicity material must first be vetted by officials at the Gambling Commission, the betting regulator that oversees this process.

The national lottery has recently been under scrutiny as, after a slump in proportion of its revenues destined for good causes.  Even though the national lottery has given £43 billion ($ 58.2 billion) to good causes since its launch in 1994instant games now offered by the operator offer prizes of up to £1 million ($1.3 million) but pay out less to charities because more cash is given in prizes to help drive sales. 

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