Camelot fined for misleading 100,000 people

Camelot fined for misleading 100,000 people

Thursday, July 28, 2016
An error on the website has proved costly for Camelot

Camelot, the national lottery operator in the UK, has been given a £300,000 fine after the Gambling Commission determined that some if its processes were not up to scratch.

The regulator was investigating an incident in October 2015 when Camelot published inaccurate Lotto Millionaire Raffle results on the National Lottery website for an hour and over 100,000 people viewing them.

Considering the details were for a launch promotion that included 45 Lotto Millionaire Raffle prizes consisting of 25 £1m prizes and 20 £20,000 prizes, the incorrect information could have had far reaching effects.

As well as the fine, the Commission decided that it took too long for a clear and explicit correction to be made and that it expects an improvement in its approach to any future issues. To that end the Commission said it is going to engage with Camelot on its control environment framework, with particular reference to digital content generation.

The Commission’s investigations into this error found that Camelot had breached the terms of its operating licence in two key respects: that processes and procedures were not fit for purpose and that players were misled. 

Commission executive director Sarah Gardner said: “It is essential that the public can have confidence in how the National Lottery is run. Camelot’s failures on this occasion resulted in a significant number of National Lottery players being misled and so put at risk that public confidence.  

“When errors occur, it is essential that the interests of players are put first and we will not hesitate to use our enforcement powers to take the necessary action to make requirements clear and to deter the likelihood of future incidents.” 

Two other similar incidents were also recorded as breaches but no additional sanction imposed, given their low impact. These concerned an incorrect jackpot advert published on EuroMillions results checker in November 2015 and inaccurate information about the Raffle prize tier in December 2015.  

Daniel Dyball, Camelot's head of policy and regulatory affairs, said: “We absolutely accept that we made a mistake in each of the cases and are very sorry that they happened. We therefore accept that licence breaches occurred and, in the one case in which a financial penalty was imposed, have paid it.

Public confidence in The National Lottery is of paramount importance and we believe our outstanding operational record over the last 22 years underlines how seriously we take our responsibilities to players.

The incidents, which took place back in 2015 and were caused by human error, were quickly identified and promptly fixed. We also took immediate action to communicate the correct results and to strengthen our internal processes to minimise the chances of these specific issues happening again. Returns to National Lottery Good Causes were not adversely affected by any of the incidents and Camelot did not benefit financially as a result of the errors.”

Totally Gaming Says: The stringent rules around the national lottery in the UK are of a much higher threshold than for other gambling businesses. For example a bookmaker could issue the wrong data for a horserace and back track using ‘palpable error’ T&Cs. However the price of a lucrative monopoly lottery licence is that the operator has to maintain higher standards.

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