Camelot UK has been urged to explain why it has taken out advertisements in Parliamentary magazine The House, promoting its business as the operating company of the National Lottery.
Concerns were raised to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) by MPs Richard Holden and Carolyn Harris of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm (APPG).
The MPs cited that the advertisements conflicted with Camelot’s duties as operator of the National Lottery, in which the company should be solely focused on promoting the lottery’s funding for good causes.
“It’s unclear to us how an advertising campaign in The House Magazine, serves to promote the National Lottery in order to increase returns to good causes,” the MPs letter read.
The MPs stated that Camelot had placed its own corporate branding ahead of the National Lottery, with the advertisements promoting the firm’s recent partnership secured with ITV and the Daily Mail.
Camelot’s advertisements in The House were deemed to be an infringement, targeting MPs to promote its current incumbent position as the government proceeds with its review of the Fourth National Lottery contract.
“We are fearful that if the competition continues to allow the incumbent to mislead audiences as to its role in relation to good causes, it will lead to a situation where Camelot is awarded the licence for a fourth time and no credible bidders will be forthcoming in future competitions,” the letter warned.
Last October, DCMS issued its delayed procurement questionnaires seeking bidding parties to compete in the Fourth National Lottery tender, challenging Camelot’s 30-year reign.
Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA Group and Indian lottery operator and Sugal & Damani were the two firms to formally complete questionnaires, allowing them to pitch bids to win the multi-billion pound contract.