British cross-party MPs call for action against lottery operator Camelot

British cross-party MPs call for action against lottery operator Camelot

A group of British lawmakers have called for action against Camelot, arguing that the app options being provided by the National Lottery operator are responsible for inflating the issue of troubled gambling.

Headquartered in Watford, Camelot has been operating the state-run National Lottery ever since its inception nearly twenty-seven years ago. Over the years, it has raised over £43 billion ($59 billion) for thousands of good causes. The decision of the cross-party MPs to urge the government to take action against the operator comes not long after it announced its yearly results. The operator saw impressive growth last year as well as this year, with nearly 66% of its sales coming from instant win online games.

Many MPs argue that the Camelot’s app-based games and other app options are too much and are causing problem gambling across the United Kingdom. The MPs also argue that the amounts given to good causes have also been steadily decreasing due to app-based gaming options.

According to the cross-party MPs, 9% of the operator’s revenues instant win games (includes scratch cards) go to the community needs. However, the figure escalates to 31% when it comes to traditional draw games. As increase in mobile app-based games led to a notable decline in traditional draw game sales, their continuation to community need have also slipped.

In addition to decline in contribution to community needs, the lottery operator’s app options are allegedly also causing problem gambling.

Problem gambling can be described as an urge to gamble constantly in spite of knowing negative consequences or a desire to stop. In severe case, problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling, which is a common disorder associated with social as well as family costs.

Another cause for concern on top of increased problem gambling is the ability to help community causes. According to MPs, 9% of revenues from instant win games go to community needs. This includes scratch cards and games. When it comes to traditional draw games, a much higher 31% goes to causes. As the number of traditional draw game sales drop, so does the majority percent of assistance to programs.

Among the MPs calling for action against Camelot is Labour MP Carolyn Harris – the chairperson of the all-party group on gambling-related harms. She recently stressed that ministers need to intervene to protect gambling enthusiasts.