BusinessCompany NewsThe corridors of power …

The corridors of power ...

Hard to believe, but the National Lottery Commission is already gearing up for the next lottery licence bid, still three years away. The big fear is that no-one will bother to try and unseat the mighty Camelot from its lofty perch when the current lottery licence ends in January 2009. The bidding process itself will take place in 2007.

Mark Harris, the commission’s chief executive, is taking soundings on how to get around this, perhaps by inviting tenders for different games or by leaving the technology side – the difficult bit – in place and going for the best marketing plan.

When the original licence was put out to tender in 1993, you could hardly move for the great and good clamouring for a slice. Sir Richard Branson was there, parading an unruly Desert Orchid. Michael Green, the Carlton Communications supremo, was part of The Great British Lottery Company.

Woodrow Wyatt, the raving right-winger, presided over something that included GEC and the Tote.

It all ended in victory for Camelot, which, 10 years ago this month, was just starting to create the lottery infrastructure.

When the second licence went out to tender in 1999, only Sir Richard felt strongly enough to tackle Camelot. He had the public on his side with his ‘not-for-profit’ cry, but the decision finally went Camelot’s way. Above all, the government was – and is – terrified that the technology side of the lottery could collapse in a handover, cutting off the flow of all those millions for good causes.

The lottery commission intends to spend most of this year seeking feedback on how to drum up some competition in the next licence round. It will have to come up with something very clever.

  • Jon Ashworth is business features editor at The Times.

Related Articles

BDO replaces Deloitte as Mitie auditor

Audit BDO replaces Deloitte as Mitie auditor

3m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
CVR Global appoints partner in London office

Company News CVR Global appoints partner in London office

7m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
FTSE100 failing to provide adequate ethics information

Company News FTSE100 failing to provide adequate ethics information

7m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Moore Stephens recruits new private client partner

Accounting Firms Moore Stephens recruits new private client partner

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Magma Group announces merger, partner promotions

Accounting Firms Magma Group announces merger, partner promotions

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO on ‘recruitment spree’ with multiple partner appointments

Accounting Firms BDO on ‘recruitment spree’ with multiple partner appointments

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Brand strength leads to fee income growth for RSM

Accounting Firms Brand strength leads to fee income growth for RSM

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Mazars strengthens audit team with partner appointment

Accounting Firms Mazars strengthens audit team with partner appointment

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor