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National Lottery Licensing And Regulation

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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I am today publishing a document, which sets out the changes that the Government proposes to make to the licensing and regulation of the National Lottery.Our National Lottery is one of the most successful in the world. After ten years and two licensing rounds, however, we cannot assume that current arrangements will continue to give the best outcome for good causes. That is why last year I published a consultation document to consider whether there might be scope to reinvigorate competition to run the Lottery. The licensing proposals set out in the document are intended to take effect after the end of the current Lottery operating licence in January 2009. The Government recognises the importance of stability and continuity to the operation of the Lottery. These proposals therefore allow time for legislative changes to be brought forward and for the National Lottery Commission to begin early preparations for the new competitive arrangements.The document proposes a radical new approach to licensing the National Lottery. It will move away from a requirement for a single major licence competition every seven years.We will strengthen the National Lottery Commission as regulator, and it will have the ability to offer for competition a range of licences to run different parts of the Lottery. We would also allow for licences of different lengths. The Commission will decide the scope of the competitions and the length of the licences before the end of Camelot's current licence. The Commission will exercise its independent judgement in making these decisions, taking account of developments in technology and market conditions.I believe that these changes will enable us to build on the success already achieved and secure the Lottery's position for the future. They should not be taken as criticism either of Camelot or the Commission, both of whom have worked hard for the benefit of good causes within the constraints of the current statutory framework. The Government will bring forward legislative proposals as soon as Parliamentary time allows.I have placed copies of the decision document in the Libraries of both Houses and the text is also available on the DCMS Departmental website at