Gambling Commission Fine Camelot £3.15 million

Last week wasn’t a good one for Camelot with the news and this one isn’t getting any better for them. A week after being told they won’t be getting the new National Lottery licence; the Gambling Commission have fined them £3.15 million.

The fine has been imposed after Camelot wrongly told up to 20,000 players, they did not have winning tickets. They also sent out marketing messages to players who had potential gambling problems.

The Gambling Commission (probably already off the Camelot Christmas card list) investigated three problem areas in the National Lottery app.

One concerned the wrong information given regarding winning tickets. Up to 20,000 players used a QR scanner to check if their tickets had been winning ones. This took place between November 2016 and September 2020. What were successful tickets were in fact declared losing ones. Another problem saw Camelot double-charge 22,210 customers who were later given refunds.

A larger number of people were affected by the third issue discovered by the Gambling Commission. Around 65,400 people who Gamstop (a gambling restriction service) had indicated as showing signs of gambling harm, were sent information by Camelot. This gave details of marketing information but thankfully none were able to use the National Lottery app to buy tickets.

Responding to news of the £3.15 million fine, a Camelot spokesperson said they aimed to operate the National Lottery to the “highest possible standards.”

They apologised for the fact some of their controls had not been good enough. The fine has already been paid and the monies will go to charitable causes.

Andrew Rhodes is the chief executive of the Gambling Commission. He said that they are “reassured that Camelot has taken steps to make sure that their National Lottery app is fit for purpose.”

However, he warned Camelot that any future “failings on their duties” would be “met with consequences.” Mr Rhodes stressed that “any operator failing to comply with their licence requirements will be investigated by the Commission and we will not hesitate to issue fines if requirements are breached.”

Recent weeks have seen the Gambling Commission fine several companies. This includes a £9.14 million fine for 888 and £1.17 million for Bonne Terre Limited who trade as Sky Betting and Gaming.

Last week the Gambling Commission announced that Allwyn were their choice for the new National Lottery licence that begins in 2024. Camelot, who have been the only company to hold the licence were only named as the “reserve applicant” but are threatening to fight that decision.