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Anne Lindner

National Lottery Goes Interactive

4 March 2003

After a year and a half of development, the U.K. National Lottery launched its first Internet-based games on Friday.

Camelot, the company that operates the National Lottery, said the first phase of interactive games consists of Instant Win Games, which are interactive scratch cards. The games are available on the National Lottery Web site, By the end of 2003, the group expects that all National Lottery games will be online.

James Gunn, a public relations spokesman for the National Lottery, said Camelot was given a license to launch interactive games via the Internet 18 months ago from the Lottery Commission. He said as part of the license, Camelot is required to do age and location verification to make sure players are legally able to buy tickets online. The Instant Win Games are part of Camelot’s £45 million investment to develop new media channels for the National Lottery.

A channel dedicated to the National Lottery is scheduled to launch on MSN at on March 17. Gunn said the channel will be live for a three-month pilot period during which its performance will be reviewed.

"It could potentially go on much longer," Gunn said.

In addition to the full launch of Internet games by the end of 2003, Camelot is teaming up with IBM and Sky to launch a site that will offer Lotto tickets via digital TV on Sky Active in spring of 2004. In the spring or summer of 2004, the National Lottery plans to offer the service via mobile telephones.

Gunn said the interactive programs are part of the National Lottery’s desire to attract a younger customer base as well as increase sales in general.

"Obviously younger people don’t play the National Lottery through retailers as much," Gunn said. "Younger people are more familiar with technology."

To play the online games, users will need to open an account on the National Lottery Web site. To do that, the user will have to submit their name, date of birth, residential address and email address. According to Camelot, the information will be verified by Experian. All users must be aged 16 or older and a resident of either the United Kingdom of Isle of Man.

Free games will be available to all, but to play for real money, users must transfer money to their National Lottery account through a debit card.

The games cost between 25 pence and £1 and prizes range from £2,500 to £10,000.

National Lottery Goes Interactive is republished from
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner