Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport First Report


FIRST REPORT

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has agreed to the following Report:

THE OPERATION OF THE NATIONAL LOTTERY

I. INTRODUCTION

Background to the inquiry

1. Since its launch in November 1994, the National Lottery has become part of the nation's life. More than 60 per cent of the population regularly plays the Lottery, and more than 90 per cent of the adult population has played the National Lottery at least once.[6]

2. The National Lottery has been the subject of parliamentary scrutiny on many occasions. It was examined by this Committee's predecessor three times,[7] and this Committee has considered aspects of the Lottery, particularly the distribution of its proceeds, in many of our Reports.[8] We have drawn on that accumulated experience in this Report.

3. We announced this inquiry in a press notice of 22 June 2000, when we expected to take evidence in the autumn on the current operation of the Lottery and examine proposals for the next licence period put forward by the preferred bidder, the announcement of which was originally expected "by the end of June 2000 (at the latest)".[9] Although we decided not to postpone the inquiry until after the Commission had concluded its evaluation of the bids, the timetable and conduct of this inquiry have been affected by the National Lottery Commission's delays in reaching its decision on the new operator.

Conduct of the inquiry

4. We took oral evidence at seven sessions between November 2000 and January 2001. At the first session, we took evidence from Camelot and The People's Lottery.[10] At the second session, we took evidence from The Neighbourhood Lottery Alliance,[11] The Bingo Association,[12] The Lotteries Council,[13] Vernons Group,[14] Littlewoods Leisure,[15] and Professor Ian Walker and Ms Juliet Young of the Department of Economics, University of Warwick. At the third session, we took evidence from Lord Burns[16], Chairman of the National Lottery Commission, Ms Harriet Spicer, National Lottery Commissioner, and Mr Mark Harris, Chief Executive, the National Lottery Commission. At the fourth session, we took evidence from the chief executives of Sport England, the National Lottery Charities Board, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council of England.[17] At that session we also took evidence from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations[18] and Dr Sue Fisher, Centre for Research into the Social Impact of Gambling, University of Plymouth. At the fifth session, we took evidence from the New Opportunities Fund.[19]

5. In the new year, we took further evidence from the National Lottery Commission. In the final evidence session, we took evidence from the Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury,[20] and the Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.[21] We received a range of written evidence, some of which is published in Volume II of this Report, and the rest of which has been reported to the House and is available for public inspection.[22]

6. As part of our inquiry we visited the offices of Camelot in Watford, where we were briefed on aspects of the operation of the current licence.[23] In December 2000, we visited the United States of America where we met officials of state lotteries from Maryland, New Jersey and New York, representatives of GTech and AWI and independent lottery experts.[24] We have drawn on our experience in the United States in our considerations of possible lottery developments in this country. We are most grateful to everyone who submitted evidence or assisted during our visits.


6  Evidence, pp 1, 25; Details of levels of play and demographics of players are on the web sites provided by the National Lottery Commission, www.natlotcomm.gov.uk; and Camelot Group plc, www.camelotplc.comBack

7  Third Report from the National Heritage Committee, National Lottery Etc. Bill, HC (1992-93) 389; First Report from the National Heritage Committee, The National Lottery, HC (1994-95) 131; Second Report from the National Heritage Committee, The National Lottery, HC (1995-96) 240-I. Back

8  First Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, The Royal Opera House, HC (1997-98) 199-I; Second Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, The Millennium Dome, HC (1997-98) 340-I; Third Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Preservation of Historic Ships: The Case of HMS Cavalier, HC (1997-98) 561; Fifth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Objectives and Performance of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, HC (1997-98) 742; Sixth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Not Only the Dome: The Millennium Celebrations in the United Kingdom, HC (1997-98) 818-I; First Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, The Heritage Lottery Fund, HC (1998-99) 195-I; Second Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, The Preservation of HMS Cavalier,(HC (1998-99) 196; Third Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Back to the Dome, HC (1998-99) 21-I; Fourth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Staging International Sporting Events, HC (1998-99) 124-I; Sixth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and its Quangos, HC (1998-99) 506-I; First Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Countdown to the Millennium, HC (1999-2000) 24-I; Fourth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Wembley National Stadium, HC (1999-2000) 164; Eighth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Marking the Millennium in the United Kingdom, HC (1999-2000) 578-I. Back

9  National Lottery Commission press notice, Statement of Main Principles, dated 29 July 1999. Back

10  Sir George Russell, Chairman, Mr Tim Holley, Chief Executive, and Ms Dianne Thompson, Chief Executive Designate, Camelot Group; Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, Mr John Jackson, Deputy Chairman, and Mr Simon Burridge, Chief Executive, The People's Lottery. Back

11  Mr Richard Siddle, Independent Retail News, Mr Eddie Thompson, Scottish Grocers Federation, Mr Roy Turnbull and Mr Colin Finch, National Federation of Retail Newsagents, and Mr Trevor Dixon, Association of Convenience Stores. Back

12  Sir Peter Fry, Chairman, and Mr Alan Nichols, Treasurer, The Bingo Association. Back

13  Mr Alan Austin, Chairman, and Mr Michael Edwardes-Evans, Vice-President, The Lotteries Council. Back

14  Mr Steve Roberts, Chief Executive, Vernons Group Limited. Back

15  Mr Roger Withers, Executive Chairman, and Mr Richard Boardley, Director, Littlewoods Leisure. Back

16  Lord Burns was appointed to the Commission on 12 October 2000. Back

17  Mr Derek Casey, Chief Executive, Sport England, Mr Timothy Hornsby, Chief Executive, National Lottery Charities Board, Ms Anthea Case, Director, Heritage Lottery Fund, and Mr Peter Hewitt, Chief Executive, Arts Council of England. Back

18  Rodney Buse, Vice-Chair, Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive, Margaret Bolton, Director of Policy and Research, and Helen Daniel, Policy Development Officer, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations. Back

19  Mr Stephen Dunmore, Chief Executive, and Ms Vanessa Potter, Director of Policy and External Relations. Back

20  Accompanied by Mr David Knight, Head of Gambling Duties Policy Team, Customs and Excise, Mr Ian Peattie, Comptroller General of the National Debt Office and Director of the National Investment and Loans Office, and Ms Helen John, Head of Treasury Spending Team Responsible for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, HM Treasury. Back

21  Accompanied by Mr Jon Zeff, Head of National Lottery Division, Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Back

22  See pp xlix for a list of memoranda published with this Report and p lii for a list of memoranda reported to the House, together with details on how such papers can be inspected. Back

23  See Annex. Back

24  IbidBack


 
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Prepared 12 March 2001