Camelot has applied to the National Lottery Commission (NLC) to be allowed to run commercial services such as bill payments and phone top-ups through its lottery terminals.
The proposed range of services – which will put the lottery operator in direct competition with companies such as PayPoint and PayZone – includes mobile top-ups, international calling cards, bill payments, and debit/credit card processing, including contactless payment. Pre-paid vouchers and pre-paid credit card top-ups would be introduced at a later date.
Participation will be optional for Lottery retailers, who would not be forced to give up competing terminals, Camelot states in its proposal document.
If approved, the new services arm would be run in partnership with financial services aggregators including The Post Office, Santander, The Co-operative Bank and Allpay. All profits from the commercial services arm would be “shared” with good causes, according to Camelot, with around 80% being redistributed to the fund.
NLC has launched a consultation for interested parties, with a particular focus on whether the service would breach UK or EU competition law. NLC chief executive Mark Harris said: “We encourage innovation in the operation of the National Lottery for the benefit of players or good causes. We will examine these proposals carefully in light of our statutory duties to protect players and safeguard the National Lottery.”
A spokesman for PayPoint confirmed that the company had seen the proposal, and would be making a response to NLC once it had studied the document in detail. The consultation runs until April 12, 2010. Camelot's proposal can be viewed in full here.