Government proposals to let companies bid for separate licences to run different parts of the lottery could cause chaos instore, retailers have warned.

In a letter toTessa Jowell, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Spar UK MD Jerry Marwood said retailers needed clarification on how several different companies could operate through a single terminal, and how retailers would differentiate the cash taken.

If different companies were offering different games through the same terminal, they could be fighting for promotional space in store, he added.

“Can retailers expect sales personnel from different
companies to descend on their stores to promote their own product?”

The second largest lottery retailer in the UK with over 1,400 online terminals, Spar has offered to meet Jowell to discuss the proposals, said Marwood.

And Morning Noon & Night marketing director Stephen Thompson said: “Opening the lottery up to more competition is great in theory but they haven’t thought about the practicalities. It could get messy.”

In a White Paper in January the government said opening up the lottery to more competition could involve separate licences for scratchcards, web-based games, an international lottery and other new games as well as the main draw. Licence periods would also be reviewed.

Around 70% of lottery sales are from the main draw, with the remainder from scratchcards, Thunderball, Hotpicks and other games.
Elaine Watson