by Ed Chadwick
Retailers fear losing millions of pounds of lottery revenue if Scotland votes for independence this week.
The government’s Scotland Office insists that Camelot’s licence for the National Lottery only extends to UK residents.
It says citizens in a newly-independent Scotland would have no right to play the game – meaning that thousands of terminals could be left lying idle.
Camelot says it would be up to the respective governments of England and Scotland to decide on the future of the game.
And while campaigners for Yes Scotland maintained in the run-up to this week’s vote that they believed a deal could be negotiated, the Scotland Office maintained that independence would mean that tickets would not be available.
It told RN: “It’s called the National Lottery – not the International Lottery. You can’t buy a ticket in France, so why would it run in an independent Scotland?”
Retailers said they were concerned that it would turn off a vital revenue stream and footfall driver.
Mo Razzaq of Premier Mo’s in Blantyre, Glasgow, said: “There’s too much uncertainty over important business issues like the National Lottery.
It’s called the National Lottery – not the International Lottery. You can’t buy a ticket in France, so why would it run in an independent Scotland?
“It’s the big jackpots that get people playing – and Scotland couldn’t generate that alone.”
Linda Williams of Broadway Convenience Store in Edinburgh said: “We’ve only had the lottery for a year and it took us a long time to get it so I would hate to think that we could lose it.
“Even if we had a separate lottery for Scotland, nobody would play because the jackpots wouldn’t be big enough.”
Sandy Sarwar, of Premier Price Cracker in Dundee, added: “It’s yet another question that we haven’t had answered.
“I would hope that Scotland would be too valuable to the lottery for it to be switched off, but unless we keep the pound, how would it be priced?”