Camelot is completing the formalities with the National Lottery Commission (NLC) in advance of being given the licence to run the National Lottery for another 10 years from 2009.
Both Camelot and Indian challenger Sugal & Damani (S&D) were considered to have met all the necessary criteria to run the National Lottery, but the NLC ruled that Camelot's sales and marketing plans were more likely to maximise sales and therefore returns to good causes. Although the NLC stressed that sales forecasts alone were not the decisive factor, Camelot's estimate of £79bn-worth of sales over 10 years was significantly above S&D's.
S&D was given the status of reserve bidder and will take over if anything goes wrong with the final stages of Camelot's bid, although this is considered highly unlikely.
Camelot's plans for the next licence include installing new terminals across the estate and expanding the network by 1,300 machines to 27,600. Camelot has pledged to maintain the current 60:40 distribution share in favour of independents, and the new terminals will be backed up by a network of digital screens that will advertise rollovers as well as being able to display community messages such as missing persons appeals.
New games being planned include a monthly world lottery draw held in conjunction with up to 48 different lotteries worldwide, limited-edition draw games offering non-cash prizes and linked to specific events such as the 2012 Olympics, and the introduction of 'Pick and Play' games whereby a shopper buys a gamecard which is activated by the retailer before playing a game such as Battleships.
Camelot also plans to roll out the Fast Pay checkout facility to a further 11 retail chains and to test a network of 1,000 'win checkers', enabling customers to check draw results in stores.