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Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Camelot ups good cause cash
National Lottery balls
The battle to run the lottery rumbles on
The National Lottery operator Camelot has announced it will increase its spending on good causes by 500m.

The decision means 10.5bn will have been spent on lottery beneficiaries by the time Camelot's licence runs out next September.


Any decision about the lottery's future needs to be taken with care

Dianne Thompson, Camelot
More handouts could also strengthen Camelot's position in the battle for the next seven-year licence.

The National Lottery Commission, which awards the licence, has said the rival bid from Sir Richard Branson's People's Lottery promises more money for good causes.

Camelot said on Thursday that the increased spending on good causes was the result of the "unprecedented success" of the lottery and the impending launch of two new games.

Olympic success

Chief executive Dianne Thompson said the lottery had become a critical source of funding for a variety of groups and organisations in the UK.

Lottery spending
Camelot originally pledged 9bn to good causes
10.5bn will have been spent on beneficiaries when the current licence expires next year
Much of the money goes to sport, the arts, heritage and charities
"That is why we believe any decision about its future needs to be taken with care,'' she said.

Ms Thompson made the announcement after posing for photographers with rower Steve Redgrave and his gold medal winning team mates.

Much of the credit for Britain's success at the Sydney Olympics has been attributed to improved sports facilities paid for with lottery money.

When the lottery licence was awarded Camelot pledged to raise 9bn for good causes. That figure was increased by a billion three years ago.

The money is distributed among several groups. Much of it is spent on the arts, heritage, sport and charities.

Camelot's announcement came after news of the resignation of the National Lottery Commission chairman, Dame Helena Shovelton.

She resigned following criticism of her by Camelot.

In her letter of resignation, Dame Helena blamed the intensification of the media coverage during the past few days which has "amounted to a vilification of me personally" for her decision to stand down.

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See also:

05 Oct 00 | UK
Lottery boss resigns
24 Aug 00 | UK Politics
Lottery 'fiasco' prompts inquiry call
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