asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will indicate the timetable for the process of tendering for the licence to run the national lottery.
The National Lottery etc. Bill has now been read a third time in this House and the only stage remaining is consideration of Lords amendments in another place. Its passage is therefore virtually completed, and we expect the National Lottery etc. Bill to receive Royal Assent in the autumn. The director general will be appointed and the invitation to tender will he issued shortly thereafter. It is therefore intended that urgent work on the preparation of the invitation to tender, and on the selection process for the national lottery operator, should now be set in hand, in consultation with the regulatory Adviser whom we expect to appoint shortly. Parliamentary approval to this new service will be sought in a Winter Supplementary Estimate for the Office of the National Lottery Vote (Class XI, Vote 8), the main Estimate for which was presented to Parliament on 17th June. Pending that approval and Royal Assent to the National Lottery etc. Bill, urgent expenditure estimated at £200,000 will be met b repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund. The fact that the National Lottery etc. Bill has completed virtually all of its Parliamentary stages is a material factor in the decision to seek recourse to the Contingencies Fund.