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Scratchcards

We grant licences for each game, or class of games, promoted as part of the National Lottery. LottoEuroMillions, Thunderball, HotPicks, Scratchcards and Interactive Instant Win Games all have their own licences. The licence to run the National Lottery is called the Section 5 licence.

Whenever Camelot want to make changes to any of these games they must apply to us for approval. 

Before we will approve any changes and allow amendments to the game licence or licence additional games we look at issues like:

  • player protection
  • projected returns to good causes
  • protecting player funds
  • legality
  • impact on the National Lottery brand and intellectual property. 

We check that Camelot complies with the terms of those licences. 

Listed below is the history of changes to the Scratchcards licence and our reasons for agreeing them. 


October 2015
Rationale for agreeing Camelot’s request to increase the percentage of scratchcard games priced in excess of £1 that can be licensed at any one time from 70% to 80% 

We have considered this request in line with our statutory duties and directions issued to us by the Secretary of State. 

Propriety (the game is fit and proper)

We were satisfied that this request did not present any risk to propriety, particularly given that the number of £1 games was not reducing in this instance. 

Protecting the interests of players

We considered whether players will be disadvantaged by the changes and unable to access products most suited to their needs. Consideration of previous Camelot proposals assured us there is no link between product range and underage play. 

In addition, we do not consider that the proposal poses any concerns surrounding excessive play. We were also satisfied that players will have access to the same number of £1 games so they are not being disadvantaged or expected to spend more to access National Lottery games. 

Having considered these points, we were satisfied that permitting the request would be consistent with our duty to ensure that players are protected. 

Returns to good causes

Camelot has predicted a small uplift in returns as a result of this change. In addition, we have undertaken extensive work in returns to good causes from scratchcards for other recent proposals and are satisfied that the change is likely to have a positive impact on returns, albeit it not a substantial one. 

Decision

Having considered these points, we were satisfied that permitting the request was compatible with our duties. 


October 2015
Rationale for agreeing Camelot’s request to launch £250M Cash Spectacular under an individual licence 

£250m cash spectacular licence 

In 2015 Camelot sought approval to launch the £10 scratchcard game £250M Cash Spectacular. We have considered this request in line with our statutory duties and directions issued to us by the Secretary of State. 

Propriety (the game is fit and proper)

We were satisfied that consideration of previous £10 scratchcard requests applied to this request, our considerations included:

  • being satisfied that the game is a legal lottery as defined in the Gambling Act 2005
  • it being consistent with the National Lottery brand
  • price of the ticket and prizes available were reasonably balanced
  • environment in which the game was available
  • prices of other games available in the portfolio. 

Having considered these points we were satisfied that that permitting the request would be consistent with our duty to ensure that the game is fit and proper. 

Protecting the interests of players

Specific to this game we considered player comprehension, in particular whether the jackpot amount may be misinterpreted given the name of the game. Camelot has given assurance that the game call out area on this scratchcard will clearly explain the number of top prizes available. 

This request would allow Camelot to have two £10 scratchcard games in the market concurrently, as the £4 Million colour pulse scratchcard card was embedded into the Class Licence in May 2015. 

Camelot has been monitoring the impact of £10 games on players, in particular looking for indicators or evidence of harm. We considered:

  • Camelot’s rationale for having two £10 games in market, which is to offer players more choice
  • evidence supplied by Camelot as to the possible impact of the game and how it uses player protection tools to measure this
  • the continuing evolution of Camelot’s responsible play provision in retail
  • ongoing commitments by Camelot to gain a greater understanding of Scratchcard players. 

The approval was subject to regular monitoring of the games and our ability to withdraw a game at any point, should there are be player protection concerns. 

Having considered these points, we were satisfied that permitting this product under an individual licence would be consistent with our statutory duty to protect players. 

Returns to good causes

We were satisfied with Camelot’s analysis which forecasts that introducing a second game to market at this price point would further benefit good causes. We will monitor the impact of this game and continue to monitor this price point. 


June 2015
Rationale for agreeing products as a prize tier 

In 2015 Camelot sought approval to trial a product as a prize tier proposition for a limited number of its instant games (interactive instant win games (IIWGs) and scratchcards). This means that rather than a winner receiving a stake-back cash prize, it would be awarded with another National Lottery instant product of the same value. For example if a scratchcard player won a stake back prize of £1, instead of awarding that prize as cash, the winner will be awarded a £1 scratchcard of their choice. 

In reviewing this request, we considered the proposal in line with our statutory duties

Propriety (the game is fit and proper)

The Commission is satisfied that this proposal raises no legal issues and is consistent with the National Lottery brand. Changes to the way the stake-back prize tier will be funded for those games trialling this promotion are in line with the retention model agreed for the third licence, a proportion of the proceeds from those products which are awarded as prizes will flow both to good causes and Camelot in the normal retention propositions.

Protecting the interests of players

We considered whether this proposition would encourage excessive or underage play and whether there would be any player comprehension issues. We were satisfied that this proposition would be consistent with our statutory duty to protect players interests, subject to Camelot amending the relevant player facing documents notifying players of this offering. We also noted that this was a trial only and we could consider any issues arising as part of future approvals. 

Returns to good causes

The proposition is likely to increase returns to good causes. Camelot has provided details of how it proposes to monitor the potential success of this trial to demonstrate that the proposition will increase returns to good causes. We will monitor this post-launch.


September 2014
Rationale for agreeing request to permanently embed the £4 Million Jackpot colour pulse scratchcard game into the scratchcard class licence 

£4 Million Purple Game licence 

In 2015 we permitted Camelot to incorporate the £4 Million colour pulse £10 scratchcard game into the class licence on a permanent basis. This change means that Camelot will be permitted to launch this type of game without the prior consent from the Gambling Commission. 

In reviewing this request we reflected on the history of the £10 scratchcard game, of which the first, £4 Million Blue, was approved in May 2012 under an individual licence. Three similar games (same jackpot, but different colours) have been launched to date, and one different £10 game (with an annuity prize), following similar considerations in accordance with our statutory duties. 

In light of the previous games and new information provided by Camelot we considered this request in line with our statutory duties and Directions issued to us by the Secretary of State. 

Propriety (the game is fit and proper)

We were satisfied that considerations of previous £10 scratchcard game requests applied to this latest request to permanently include it in the class licence, including:

  • being satisfied that the game is a legal lottery as defined in the Gambling Act 2005
  • being consistent with the National Lottery brand
  • price of the ticket and prizes available were reasonably balanced
  • environment in which the game was available
  • prices of other games available in the portfolio. 

Having considered these points we were satisfied that permitting the requested change would be consistent with our duty to ensure that the game is fit and proper. This is supported by earlier considerations of £10 games under individual game licences, none of which have any reported issues of propriety. 

Protecting the interests of players

We note since the launch of the first £10 scratchcard game in May 2012 Camelot has been monitoring the impact of this price point on players, in particular looking for indicators or evidence of harm to players. 

In considering this request we considered:

  • evidence supplied by Camelot as to the impact of the game on players
  • how it uses its player protection tools to measure the impact of the game
  • evolution of Camelot’s tools and responsible play provision in retail and how it intends to develop those tools further, including the timescales for doing so
  • ongoing commitments by Camelot to gain a greater understanding of scratchcard players. 

Having considered these points and reflecting on our own experience and monitoring of the £10 scratchcard games licensed to date we were satisfied that permitting this product into to the class licence would be consistent with our statutory duty to protect players. 

Returns to good causes

We were satisfied with Camelot’s analysis which forecast that this price point would continue to benefit good causes. We will continue to monitor the impact of this price point.