National Lottery operator Camelot has been fined £3.15 million after erroneously letting 20,000 players believe they didn’t have winning tickets and sending advertising messages to individuals with potential betting addictions.
Issues With National Lottery App Means a Fine
Following an investigation into three issues with the National Lottery app, the Gambling Commission penalised the company today. First, between November 2016 and September 2020, up to 20,000 participants who checked their numbers using a QR scanner on the app were wrongly informed they had lottery tickets that had not won anything.
According to the Gambling Commission audit, Camelot also double-charged 22,210 clients through its National Lottery app if that was not enough. Camelot later repaid them.
Messaging Self Excluded Players
The third strike against the lottery operator and the most severe issue was that around 65,400 persons who had either self-excluded through Gamstop, a gambling restriction service, or got identified by Camelot as showing indicators of gambling harm received marketing message. The self-excluded players could not buy a lottery ticket using the app.
According to a Camelot spokesperson, the National Lottery is run to the “highest possible standards.” They advised that they are sorry that certain of their controls fell short in some very particular cases and that they have paid the fine as set out but the UK Gambling Commission. The fine will get donated to a good cause.
Andrew Rhodes, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, had the following to say
“We are reassured that Camelot has taken efforts to ensure that their National Lottery app is fit for purpose. However, we must caution Camelot that any failings on their duties will be met with consequences. Today’s announcement reinforces that any operator failing to comply with their licence requirements will be investigated by the Commission, and we will not hesitate to issue fines if requirements are breached.”
The news comes less than a week after the Gambling Commission confirmed that Camelot would lose its licence to operate the National Lottery game after 30 years, favouring rival company Allwyn. Allwyn is the UK subsidiary of Sazka and runs a variety of National Lotteries, including lotteries in Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy.