John Major

Former prime minister John Major called on Parliament to protect the National Lottery from the rise of rival society lotteries, such as the Health Lottery.

Major attended Camelot’s event to mark the 25th National Lottery anniversary. After praising Camelot’s ‘stewardship’, he warned: “Having seen the success of the National Lottery, a small number of society lotteries are merging and emerging on an industrial scale and have positioned themselves as national competitors.

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“The continued growth of umbrella societies risks drawing money away from the National Lottery and good causes.”

He added: “I hope Parliament will solve this in a timely manner.”

In 2018, the government closed a consultation on deregulating society lotteries, such as by expanding society lottery annual sales limits from £10m to £100m.

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In 2017, the Health Lottery called National Lottery threat accusations “nonsense”, adding: “The proceeds of the entire society lotteries sector accounts for less than the National Lottery’s administration budget.”

Speaking at the event, Camelot chairman Sir Hugh Robertson praised the contribution made by Camelot-partnered stores. He said: “Our 44,000 retailers sell 75% of our products. For many, National Lottery sales are a crucial part of their income, they keep shops open in small and deprived communities and are also our interface with the public.”

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