Camelot Under Fire Because of Instant-Win Games Focus

The United Kingdom’s National Lottery operator Camelot has found itself under fire by members of the Conservative Party and the Labor Party. The Members of Parliament are unhappy with the operator’s focus on app-based games.

Politicians Are Unamused With Camelot

The Guardian reported that politicians believe traditional paper slips are a much better option and that they mitigate some of the gambling harm as they require people to go and buy a lottery ticket in person. On the contrary, app-based games are instantaneous and can be accessed virtually anywhere, making addiction cases much more frequent.

The MPs also argued that app gaming reduced the funds that are given to good causes. For reference, around 9% of instant win funds go to community initiatives, while ticket-based games provide 31% of their proceeds back to society.

Camelot begged to disagree with the claim that it had purposefully shifted its focus towards a more addictive model, especially considering it has offered online instant-win games for six years now. The operator explained that the figure reflects the global trend of people preferring to bet online in light of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic. A Camelot spokesman defended the company’s operations.

 “By giving people a choice of safe and enjoyable games that they want to play, by making those games attractive and generous to players, and by enabling people to play in ways that suit them best, we’re generating record monetary returns to good causes from ticket sales, record prize money to players and record payments in lottery duty to the Treasury – all in a responsible way,”

Camelot

The United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission seems to agree with this statement. The authority has shared that it does not believe Camelot’s app-based games pose any substantial danger.

Some Asked the Operator to Change Its Approach

The MPs remain rather unconvinced. Their disgruntlement is fueled by Camelot’s recent results that showed two-third of the total sales growth for the last two years is thanks to online instant-win games. The politicians fear that online betting is quickly overtaking draw-based games.

Andrew Stafford from the Conservative Party spoke on the matter. He explained that the National Lottery is a trusted brand and that implies that it should be more responsible for its clients. The politician explained that the instant win games are dangerous and put vulnerable people at risk.

Carolyn Harris from the Welsh Labor Party and vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm was harsher than Stafford. She slammed the fact that less of the lottery proceeds are going to charity, especially considering how many initiatives are “crying out for funding” right now. 

Harris and other Parliament members asked for action from the Ministry.

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