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Thunderball

We grant licences for each game, or class of games, promoted as part of the National Lottery. Lotto, EuroMillions, Thunderball, LottoHotPicksEuromillionsHotPicksScratchcards 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 Thunderball licence and our reasons for agreeing them.


January 2018

Rationale for agreeing changes to Thunderball 

In October 2016 we approved Camelot’s proposal to make the following changes to Thunderball:

  • Extra draw day on Tuesdays
  • To reduce the advance play period for players from eight weeks to four weeks.

Propriety (the game is fit and proper)

As Camelot has a strong track record of running similar lottery games and the proposal is to make changes to a game already available we were content that:

  • the game would be a legal lottery
  • it would not damage the National Lottery brand
  • there was no additional risk of fraud. 

Protecting the interests of players

Having considered Camelot’s proposal we were content that:

  • Camelot is capable of explaining to players how the changes to the game would affect their chances of winning
  • Introducing an additional draw day would not lead to people playing excessively.

Returns to good causes

Looking at Camelot’s research we believe that the changes to Thunderball will lead to more money going to good causes. 

Decision

Based on information provided by Camelot, our own consideration and taking into account our statutory duties, we agreed to vary the licence for Thunderball to allow these changes to the game.


 

Rationale for agreeing Condition 23 Licence Investment Proposal: Additional Thunderball Marketing

Background

In March 2017, Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (Camelot) served the Gambling Commission with a Notice of Investment Opportunity (the Proposal) in accordance with the provision of licence condition 23 of the Third Licence (the Licence) with was granted to Camelot on 1 February 2009.

The Proposal requested an investment to support the launch of an additional Tuesday draw of Thunderball and the launch of a new draw-based game, EuroMillions HotPicks of up to £6.7m for marketing support (£2.6m for Thunderball Tuesday and £4.1m for EuroMillions HotPicks), to be shared between Camelot and good causes. 

Decisions and reasons 

The Commission completed an evaluation process which considered the methodology and monitoring processes detailed in the Proposal against our statutory duties. The Commission is satisfied that no issues were identified in relation to propriety and player protection. 
Given our two primary duties were satisfied, the Commission considered the benefits to good causes.

The Proposal stands to benefit good causes considerably over the course of the investment and it is envisaged for the benefits to continue for the duration of the current licence to operate the National Lottery awarded to Camelot and which runs to January 2023.

The Commission has decided to accept the Proposal as we are satisfied that under condition 23 of the Licence:

  • It will secure an increase in the net proceeds of the National Lottery
  • It will continue to ensure that the National Lottery is run will all due propriety and the interests of every participant in the National Lottery are protected. 

The Commission will review the investment and can amend the amount or cease to invest entirely at any point if it has concerns with its performance.


May 2010
Rationale for agreeing changes to Thunderball 

In May 2010 we approved Camelot’s proposal to make changes to the Thunderball game. Key changes were:

  • increase in the number of balls from which the main draw is made, from 35 to 39
  • increase in the top prize from £250,000 to £500,000
  • addition of an extra prize tier (for matching the Thunderball)
  • extra draw day on Fridays. 

Propriety (the game is fit and proper)

As Camelot has a strong track record of running similar lottery games and the proposal is to make changes to a game already available we were content that:

  • the game would be a legal lottery
  • it would not damage the National Lottery brand
  • there was no additional risk of fraud. 

Protecting the interests of players

Having considered Camelot’s proposal we were content that:

  • Camelot is capable of explaining to players how the changes to the game would affect their chances of winning each of the different prize tiers
  • increasing the top prize would not lead to people playing excessively
  • rules on capping arrangements (reduction in prize values in the unlikely event that prizes far exceed sales) strike a fair balance between protecting players’ prizes and good causes. 

Returns to good causes

Looking at Camelot’s research we believe that the changes to Thunderball will lead to more money going to good causes. 

Decision

Based on information provided by Camelot, our own consideration and taking into account our statutory duties, we agreed to vary the licence for Thunderball to allow these changes to the game.