As I said in the last issue, quoting Camelot, there are 100,000 retailers waiting for terminals on its database. Quite a few believe that Camelot hasn't properly examined their premises to assess their suitability to have the lottery. Surely, too, with that many retailers' details and even with Camelot's sophisticated computer programme which fits demographics with demand, there must be the odd one or two that get missed.

Irene and Robert Leighton believe they fit that bill. Irene emailed me from Manchester to say that in 2004 theirs was the only shop on the parade, but when they applied for the lottery they were advised that there were no spare terminals and that Camelot wasn't looking to increase its estate.

Then a new store opened on the parade, complete with lottery. When Irene again contacted Camelot she was given the usual criteria (footfall, maximising sales for good causes) but she claims there were two points that the company didn't answer: "We have disabled access while the other shop has two steps. We both sell the same things, with one major exception. We have a licence to sell alcohol. Common sense says we have higher footfall and turnover."

Other retailers rang to ask why any new Tesco, Sainsbury and so on seems to automatically get a terminal. Camelot says that more independents have the lottery than supermarkets, citing the split as 60/40 in favour of independents.

Maths is not my strong suit, but I think that works out at 16,800 independents that have terminals against 11,200 supermarkets. Since there are still far more independent outlets collectively than there are supermarkets then I think this means that, proportionally, supermarkets represent a much larger share of 'haves' compared with 'have nots' when it comes to terminal allocations.

Then I got calls from retailers complaining that too many others had terminals.

Typical was Dino Crolla from Glasgow. "In the past 10 years Camelot has doubled the number of outlets," he says. "There are now four more in the vicinity where I trade. When a terminal went into a new Safeway I lost 60% of my lottery turnover overnight and had to get rid of two part-time staff."

The only thing all retailers will agree on regarding Camelot is that the lottery still pays a decent percentage per transaction and therefore is still worth having.