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Profits without honour.

The Lottery has given pleasure to millions and raised a fortune for good causes.

But the profits it makes are a scandal and it is ridiculous for John Major or anyone else to pretend otherwise.

Camelot was given not just the licence to run the National Lottery but a licence to print money.

It set up the Lottery superbly well and runs it with enormous efficiency. But many other companies are just as effective without being granted such fantastic rewards.

There was outrage yesterday when Camelot announced profits of more than pounds 1 million a week.

But they make much more than that. Much, much, much more. And it is a triumph of public relations that Camelot has persuaded everyone that its profits are ONLY pounds 1 million a week.

They actually rake off pounds 5 million a week - and in the first year of operation, the figure reached pounds 8 million a week.

Where did the rest of the money go? In expenses, just like any other business.

Yet the way our Lottery is run is not like any other business. Its only shareholders are the five companies which own and control it.

And those companies get just about all the contracts for running the Lottery.

The Camelot bosses are the highest-paid lottery chiefs in the world AND will receive bonuses totalling pounds 3.4 million over the seven years of the licence.

They are entitled to such huge sums because the Lottery has made so much money and, they claim, running it is not a piece of cake.

Yet more than a third of its income comes from scratchcards - and they did not have to be given to Camelot to organise.

This additional licence to rake in billions was awarded to the company by the Lottery Regulator, Peter Davis.

You might remember him. He is the one who flew around the USA in a private plane belonging to the American firm which is a leading partner in Camelot.

So don't blame Camelot and its bosses for milking the success of the Lottery. They are only doing what anyone would do in their situation.

Blame the Government which set up such a ridiculous way of running our Lottery and the regulator who has not regulated it.

And remember when your six numbers don't come up, just whose number does come up every week.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Leader
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 5, 1996
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