National Lottery Operator Camelot Hit with £1.15 Million Fine

National Lottery operator Camelot has been fined £1.15 million by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for historic control and governance failures.

National Lottery

Governance failures by National Lottery operator Camelot have forced the UKGC to levy a £1.15 million fine. (Image: unclaimedassets.co.uk)

In a move that shows it isn’t afraid to tackle organisations of any size or stature, the UKGC has criticised Camelot’s operational standards. Following initial concerns regarding how certain aspects of the National Lottery were being handled, the UKGC launched an investigation early this year.

New Procedures Can’t Rectify Historic Problems

After an initial review, Camelot moved to rectify the issues with a new system called the Operational Excellence Programme (OEP). Despite acknowledging the new procedures, historic failures forced the UKGC to take action.

Camelot has taken a number of steps to rectify the issues and given us assurances that they now have the right processes in place to prevent reoccurrences. It is crucial that the National Lottery is run fairly, safely and with integrity and we’ll continue to hold Camelot to account,” UKGC Executive Director Richard Watson said in an August 23 press release.

Two of the biggest failures identified during the review involved the mobile app and the publication of raffle prizes. For the software issues and lack of clear information, Camelot has apologised and agreed to pay a seven-figure penalty package.

While we have always sought to run The National Lottery to the highest possible standards, we accept that, at the time of these incidents, our standards in certain areas weren’t as rigorous as they should have been and for that we’re sorry,” reads a press statement from Camelot.

UKGC Shows Its Regulatory Strength

Taking action against gambling operators is something the UKGC hasn’t shied away from over the last two years, but the latest move will be seen as a statement of intent. Although Camelot is a private company, it was selected by the government to control the National Lottery and has held that position since 1994.

This position of power means Camelot is often seen as a standard bearer for the industry, which is why a fine is all the more significant. However, this isn’t the first time the company has fallen foul of the UKGC’s standards.

In 2016, it was forced to pay a £3 million fine after an employee was able to claim a £2.5 million jackpot using what was suspected to be a fraudulent ticket. Although a police investigation didn’t lead to a prosecution, the UKGC found that Camelot failed to carry out sufficient verification checks on the supposed winner.

With a tender process for control of the National Lottery expected to open in 2019 , Camelot will want to avoid further fines ahead of the 2023 licence selection process.

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