Richard Desmond Lottery Faces Camelot Backlash

Posted on October 17th, 2011

Things seem to be hotting up, or steaming up, over Richard Desmond’s new Health Lottery venture. The media mogul, who owns the Daily Express and Channel 5, is heading for a big show down with Camelot who run the National Lottery.
Desmond owns Portland TV which owns the adult TV channels Television X, Red Hot TV, etc.
In 2010, Desmond was the equal-57th richest man in Britain according to the Sunday Times Rich List, with a cash and asset pile of £950 million.
His new venture intends to raise tens of millions of pounds for health-related causes, but is also stamping on Camelot’s patch and the company is taking legal advice over the launch.
Camelot has a licence to operate the National Lottery until 2019, is trying to find out whether Desmond is breaching strict rules on lotteries in the UK.
The Gambling Commission has already given Desmond’s venture the nod. It kicked off earlier this month with a promotional campaign in national media and with Co-op, Tesco and Waitrose.
Google has also told the Health Lottery that only national or state-controlled lotteries can advertise on Adwords, a decision it has reversed following new discussions.
The Health Lottery presents the biggest company going head to head with Camelot since it launched the National Lottery in 1994.
But, to put things into perspective, Camelot has a turnover of more than £5bn every year, whereas the Health Lottery is planning to sell £250m of tickets in year one (still a sizeable figure however).
There are also concerns that the Health Lottery donates a lower % of sales to good causes than Camelot.
The draw for the Health Lottery ill be televised in the form of a one-minute asd, but Desmond has not been allowed to run a longer show on Channel 5, (which he owns).
Gloves are off!


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