Global lottery among Camelot's promises in bid for third licence

National Lottery operator Camelot has pledged to raise more money than it previously has for good causes if it wins the third lottery licence.

The company promised to achieve this goal by introducing new games and an ambitious monthly world lottery when it submitted its application last week.

Bids to run the game for 10 years from 2009 closed on Friday. India-based lottery company Sugal & Damani, the only other organisation to enter the race, is considered a rank outsider.

Previous bidder Richard Branson criticised the application procedure for being loaded in Camelot's favour, despite the National Lottery Commission promising "a vigorous competition". The winner will be announced in the summer.

Neither bidder revealed the amount promised for good causes in their bids. But Dianne Thompson, chief executive of Camelot, said: "We will raise more for good causes than ever before."

The lottery has so far raised £19bn for good causes. During the current seven-year licence, which has two years left to run, Camelot has raised only £8.4bn, despite pledging to bring in £15bn.

Thompson said regulatory setbacks that restricted the development of new games were to blame.

The proposed world lottery would see people from at least 48 countries taking part in a monthly draw, plus an annual worldwide 'mega-draw'. Camelot also outlined its plans to raise the profile of good causes among UK players by running films about local projects on digital screens at retailers, and by allowing online players to receive customised information about projects.

Camelot's chances of winning the licence were boosted last month when a Commons select committee report on public funding for the 2012 Olympic Games recommended the commission "carefully considers the risks of a change of operator".

Joe Saxton, chair of the Institute of Fundraising, said: "As a society, we seem to disapprove of the nationalisation of utility companies, but we encourage Camelot to run what is effectively a state monopoly on the lottery."

Kevin Curley, chief executive of umbrella body Navca, said: "If a bidder promised to push up the take for good causes by reducing profit, we would support that. My guess is that Branson would not enter the competition if he thought he was going to lose."

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