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Wednesday, 23 August, 2000, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Lottery Commission statement
The National Lottery Commission has rejected both bids to run the UK lottery, but says it will start exclusive negotiations with one of the bidders. BBC News Online documents the full text of the Commission's statement.

After five months of extensive examination of the bids for the next seven year National Lottery licence (including a period for both bids to be improved) the National Lottery Commission has determined that neither of the bidders' plans meets the statutory criteria for granting a licence.

The Commission is governed by the National Lottery etc Act 1993, which gives it overriding duties to licence a National Lottery that ensures the National Lottery is run and promoted with all due propriety, and that the interests of every participant are protected.

The Commission's Chair, Dame Helena Shovelton, said:

Both bids had many merits. We met the bidders and gave them every chance to make improvements to their applications. But they also had important failings. We are disappointed about that, but we would fail in our statutory duty if we granted a seven-year licence based on either bid in its present form.

This decision is made to protect the National Lottery and its players in the way Parliament intended when it created the National Lottery.

Our statutory duties are both clear and overriding. The Commissioners had no alternative other than to reach this conclusion.

This competition for the next licence is now at an end.

The National Lottery, however, goes on. The existing licence lasts until October 2001.

The question now, of course, is what happens in the light of this decision. The Commission has been advised that it can proceed on the basis of a new process. This would be with one bidder only and would take place over a short period.

This we propose to do as quickly as possible. We propose to negotiate with The People's Lottery and hope that we can reach a satisfactory solution within the deadline we have set of one month from today.

In the event that this negotiation fails to reach our required threshold, based on our legislative responsibility, we intend to ask the Government to take such steps that will keep the lottery running.


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23 Aug 00 | Business
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