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Camelot Launches Lotto Online

5 January 2004

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the UK Guardian: "Three years after being re-awarded the licence to run the National Lottery, Camelot finally launched its main draw, Lotto, on the internet last week. It's a big development in the company's £45m new-media strategy which also involves the introduction of lottery play via interactive TV and mobile phones. But with an estimated 700-plus companies already offering British punters ways to gamble electronically, Camelot's move raises just one question: why has it taken so long?

"Incorporating the internet and mobile-phone technology into game play has been in Camelot's sights for several years. Even so, it was only early last year that the National Lottery went beyond offering the latest winning numbers via the most basic of websites to introduce instant win games and scratchcards online. And this despite the rapid expansion of internet, interactive TV and even mobile phone-based gaming and, of course, decline in lottery sales.

"…A proposed interactive strategy was first outlined in Camelot's re-application for the seven-year National Lottery licence, which was submitted in early 2000.

"…At the heart of Camelot's new media strategy is a digital registration and authentication system. This involves a player electronically registering, setting up a password, setting up a lottery account - by transferring money from a debit card into a digital wallet, then accessing a range of games to play. Digital players' number selections are fed into Camelot's main system which includes each of the UK's 25,000 lottery ticket terminals.

"…In the light of rapid growth in digital TV penetration and high expectations for electronic gaming, 5% of all lottery sales by 2009 may sound a modest goal but in fact the stakes for Camelot's new media strategy are far higher…"

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