he firm, who has run the UK lottery since its inception in 1994, said that it expected talks with the National Lottery Commission to conclude by the end of this month, fueling criticism that there is little incentive for other companies to invest in rival bids. The lottery firm’s CEO, Dianne Thompson, warned that the competition was not over until the final form of the licence had been agreed.
The closely held company beat its only rival, Sugal & Damani Lottery Agency Pvt. Ltd., India’s largest lottery company. Speaking to the BBC, Kamlesh Vijay, head of Sugal & Damani, said that the company was ’disappointed’ by the outcome. The NLC said that both bids had met the required standards and that Camelot had been selected after “rigorous scrutiny”.
The bidding process has already been dismissed by some previous bidders as failing to offer a level competition. Sir Richard Branson and others have criticised the cost of bidding against Camelot, which has won both previous licence bids. Camelot spent us$ 40 million on its bid. Sugal & Damani would only say it had spent "less than us$ 40 million".
Interested parties including Athens-based Intralot and British bookmaker Ladbrokes decided against applying for the franchise. Lottery ticket sales were us$ 10 billion in the fiscal year through March.
At the heart of Camelot’s bid is a bold proposal for a world lottery, a widening of the popular EuroMillions draw. Yesterday commissioners declined to be drawn on the likelihood of such a project materialising. Camelot said it would generate 100 millionaires every month. Industry insiders noted the regulators had been sceptical of Camelot’s enthusiasm for a European lottery, which proved a huge success.